Old Oak is one of Southwestern Ontario’s largest and most beloved real estate development companies. Led by a third-generation real estate family, Old Oak formed in 1955, and hitherto, has built and managed a wide-ranging portfolio of residential and office spaces across London, Ontario and the surrounding region.
The company is vastly expanding its residential portfolio, and with it, producing some of the most prominent news stories in the real estate space in Southwestern Ontario; including the acquisition of the 170-acre former provincial psychiatric lands which will become the largest residential real estate development project in London’s history (i.e., will host over 3,000 residential and commercial units over the next 15 years); and the acquisition of the Camden Terrace site (now named Centro) with development underway for a $245 million twin residential tower complex.
– London Free Press article on Old Oak’s now Centro project
tbk is an extension of Old Oak’s marketing arm. We are their kindred corporate partners providing weekly strategy, creative in both traditional and digital formats, integrated digital advertising, website maintenance and branding inceptions for their properties.
tbk runs the gamut of helping Old Oak name buildings, design logos, perform digital advertising, create print advertisements, and more, to ensure their buildings’ occupancy rates remain high.
The original Old Oak logo has served the company well over the years. Its stalwart ITC Avant Garde Gothic font type and stolid use of white and dark blue had fit the company well as most of its portfolio was commercial. In the last decade, and certainly in the current one, in addition to commercial holdings, the company has traversed more into the development of high-quality residential high-rise units for families yearning for a great living and customer experience.
A pivotal question posed was, “How do you take a three-decade-old company, modernize their brand, but not lose their identity?”
tbk’s branding projects are arduous and meticulous. Led by a principal at tbk, and supported by a team of design and writing specialists, we go through this process:
Our Creative Brief stage in particular is often exhilarating and refreshing for clients. Honed through over a decade of iterations, our creative process aims to precisely uncover the greatness and vision that is already existent in a brand, and next, through an uncompromising creative production process, we have that greatness manifest itself as a mark (essentially, the new logo).
Old Oak has cemented itself as a builder of large and luxurious residential units. Current projects underway include a future 3,000-unit district at Highbury and Oxford street in London; the development of One Richmond Row which is anticipated to be amongst the most luxurious residential properties ever built in London; and the development of Centro, which will host 652 units and become the tallest building—residential or otherwise—west of Toronto.
In all, the company caters to productive young professionals and retired people in their golden years who are astute and trendy buyers. Old Oak’s customers appreciate a higher quality experience in many aspects of life, which especially includes real estate.
In most logo and design projects, tbk provides a client 5-6 new logo concepts and this project was no different. In total, tbk provided Old Oak with six logo concepts to create the initial contours of what would eventually be a finalized, new corporate logo.
The Old Oak Team warmed up immediately—and us too—to the golden circle-conjoined logo invented through the tbk branding process.
Why this logo hits the mark is perhaps best summed up in this statement written to us by Old Oak during the Creative Brief period:
“…we want to instill the ideas of community, strength, and comfort. Being so involved with what is most important to many people, (their home) we want to be able to make their apartment feel just like that. A home. Family is a very strong sense too. This is a third-generation family run company, and hopefully more generations to come after that.”
Old Oak is a hybrid of a large, high-quality real estate rental provider but is also family-run and oriented, and as such, operates with a personable, customer-centric ethos. This new mark quintessentially portrays their high-quality product offering while also communicating the attributes of benevolent feelings such as warmth, inviting, etc.
To go a step deeper, the emblematic circles are a more approachable figure than the use of hard edges and straight lines. The purple tone was an update on the blue–regal yet personal; and the font choice is warm and familiar, while not compromising quality.
And it doesn’t end there: the use of the modern ITC Avant Garde Gothic typeface; the symbolic strength that interlinked circles communicate (i.e., the starting point to the formation of chains); and the inescapable reminiscence of the infinity symbol that the linked circles demonstrate, permeates throughout this bold but caring corporate identity.
After three proud decades in business Old Oak looks towards a future of more luxury, eco-consciousness and accessibility within its products. Working with tbk on rebranding and repositioning the company has been nothing short of an extraordinary and worthwhile endeavour. I recommend businesses looking to modernize their brands and to market better go to tbk.