Year In Review
This past year was another fantastic one full of great clients and great projects. From city districts and a world-class hotel to boutique design firms and promotional packaging—no matter how big or small a project, we appreciate everyone's hardwork and dedication. Thank you to all who made it possible including our trusted collaborators, consultants, vendors and fabricators. Here is a look at 17 notable projects from the past year.
After years of anticipation the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel opened its doors to much deserved fanfare and accolades. This world-class hotel is unlike anything in the Baltimore region. The historic structure, located in historic Fell's Point, was built in 1912 as a Recreation Pier and serves as a stunning backdrop to the new renovation. In collaboration with Patrick Sutton Designs and Finndustry, we created the exterior and interior signage elements, dimensional graphics as well as feature walls, including a waterjet cut steel typographic installation of lyrics from The Star-Spangled Banner. With the fine craftsmanship of Gutierrez Studios, the signs are made from solid brass and blackened steel to integrate seamlessly with the rich interior finishes. A must-see Baltimore destination. See more stunning photos.
The Race of Gentlemen (TROG) is an automobile carnival celebrating American racing heritage on the beach of Wildwood, New Jersey. Known as “The Greatest Race on Earth,” restored vintage hot rods and motorcycles from the pre-war golden era blast down the sandy beaches. The Harley-Davidson Museum brought together the machines into an exhibit to showcase the artistry, passion and personalities that make TROG a must-see for enthusiasts. See all the details we designed including the vintage inspired hand painted signs.
Sagamore Spirit, maker of Maryland Rye Whiskey, opened a new five-acre distillery site in Baltimore City’s Port Covington neighborhood. The waterfront campus features three buildings that include, a welcome center, a main distillery building and the Rye Street Tavern restaurant. We designed the exterior site signage, building signage, restaurant interior and exterior signage as well as a two-story hand painted mural that greets visitors entering the distillery. See all the photos and read more about the project.
Central is a new mixed-use development project in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Centered around the modern residential units, this 70,000 sq ft building offers 243 units, 15,000 sq ft of ground retail and impressive amenities including an outdoor pool and sun deck, multiple terraces, bike workshop and more. We designed the project signage, created a design criteria for the exterior tenant storefronts and compiled a comprehensive sign plan. We also designed fun wall graphics throughout the interiors in select amenity spaces.
To help the school reposition themselves and increase enrollment, we developed a new identity and strategic brand for The Wilkes School at Grace and St. Peter’s. Considered a hidden gem, this small independent elementary school, founded in 1946, sits in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The custom-illustrated phoenix logo, inspired by the Wilkes family crest, reflects the school’s urban "Hogwarts" character and magical learning environment in which students learn within and beyond the classroom through art and cultural resources in the area. The redesigned admissions-based website now serves as a public portal into the inner workings and philosophy of the school—a perspective once reserved to only in-person visits. See all the elements we designed.
As a comprehensive healthcare solutions company, Maxim Healthcare Services has extensive experience providing home healthcare, healthcare staffing, and population health and wellness services in communities nationwide. We rebranded the company’s visual assets by developing a new logo, composed of uniquely shaped lowercase letters, designed to feel friendly and approachable. The interlocking hearts symbolize the compassionate connections that the company strives to create between its caregivers and patients. We also established new brand values and messaging standards through developing brand and style guidelines, ensuring that all collateral and assets supported the positioning of the organization. Currently, we are developing the printed marketing collateral for each service division.
The site of the former PEMCO factory, vacated in 2007, is now on path to become a major retail and residential development in Baltimore. The southeast industrial site of 20 acres, across from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center will be developed to function as a new, vibrant mixed-use district with an array of retail, restaurants, residential, hotel and offices. We were brought on in the beginning stages of planning and visioning to develop a fitting identity, which included naming and logo design. We also created a marketing and leasing deck as well as a website to explain the project to prospective tenants. We are currently working on the site signage and tenant signage criteria for all the retail buildings
Towson has long been the epicenter of Baltimore County’s entertainment and shopping needs. The population has grown to include an ever-growing number of university students and affluent, educated families. As Towson grows and becomes more of an urban destination, we developed an identity that establishes the Towson Circle and Towson Square area as one entertainment and shopping neighborhood/district with its own distinct attributes, character and branding—Circle East. Our designs encourage a vibrant, impactful and highly visible town center that is recognizable and remembered by its audiences.
Although Marks Thomas Architects’ original logo was great (ahem, we created it back in 1992), the firm needed a refreshed look to accompany their new location. The opportunity to modernize the mark with subtle, yet impactful, changes meant implementing new typography and minor adjustments to sharpen the iconic logo without losing its recognizability. The importance was not to makeover the firm’s brand, but to revitalize an already strong and identifiable mark. We developed a suite of marketing collateral using the updated logo that employs letterpress printing, die-cut and foil-stamped elements to create a tactile and innovative design. See more about the project.
The “Just Married!” exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland showcases more than 50 objects from Jewish-American weddings dating back to the 1870s, each representing the couples’ life-changing moments of choosing between their Jewish and American identities. The exhibit also features artifacts from nontraditional unions, including interfaith and same-sex marriages. We designed the exhibit logo using a typeface that evoked the wedding theme with fancy details and flourishes to the letterforms. From the logo, we developed a neutral color palette, allowing the textiles to be the stars of the show and tell their stories. View more photos of the exhibit.
Moody Graham, a landscape architecture studio located in Washington, D.C., came to Ashton Design in 2017 with an idea for a boutique package of flower bulbs. We designed the simple and modern packaging for 5 types of alliums, tulips, and daffodils. Each paper tube contains up to 20 spring flowering bulbs with instructions for planting. The playful instructions encourage people to “paint” with the flowers by creating "spots” (a circle arrangement of bulbs), "snakes" (lines of bulbs), or "swarms” (irregular shapes of bulbs). The Flower Dots are provided to clients as gifts and may appear for sale at garden centers. See more about the project!
Robert de Gast was a photographer well-known for his images that capture the stories of the Chesapeake Bay and the Eastern Shore, as well as his previously published books that include The Oystermen of the Chesapeake from 1970. Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake is a hardcover catalog of the Chesapeake Maritime Museum’s exhibit that displayed 80 curated photographs from de Gast’s nearly 10,000 image collection. We designed the book to let the images speak for themselves by giving them white space and creating interesting pairings. Printed as a duo-tone, the book's warm gray and rich black inks replicate the photographic details. Finishing touches include a cloth cover with a tip-on image placed by hand and white foil letters. Have a look inside.
880 P is the newest addition to the City Market at O neighborhood, located in Washington D.C.’s legendary Shaw district. City Market is centered around the historic O Street Market that was built in 1881 and is one of three 19th-century public market buildings in the city. With the new construction, this one million square foot project includes over 87,000 square feet of retail, 650 multi-family units, a 182-room Cambria Suites Hotel, and a 500-car parking garage. 880 P is the final phase of multi-family living at City Market, preceded by 770, 800 and The Hodge, and features one of the most stunning rooftop spaces in DC., with 360 views, beautiful pools, fire pits and a cascading waterfall. Ashton designed the exterior and interior signage for all the residential projects as well as the exterior Giant Market signage and garage signage.
Whitehall Mill is an adaptive reuse project in a historic building that dates back to 1798 in the Jones Falls Mill District. Originally a cotton duck factory, the current building is the second iteration, rebuilt after being destroyed in a fire. Terra Nova Ventures wanted a new identity for the building to create a space for the new market and apartments. Inspired by a fire insurance map of the property, printing techniques and graphic style of the time, we created a custom typeface for the Whitehall Mill and Market logos and signs as well as custom illustrations with an etched graphic look to distinguish the market space. Keeping the feel of the turn of the century era, we also created the new identity suite featuring website and stationery, as well as a printed brochure with a new custom drawn map inspired by the original insurance map.
Until recently, the Town of Vienna in Virginia relied on versions of a government seal to serve as it’s visual identity. Following an open logo design competition this past summer, Ashton was selected to develop their concept. Our team enjoyed the challenge of creating an authentic and recognizable logo for the Town of Vienna. The town’s strong sense of pride and community felt best expressed through the iconic places where people gather. The mark depicts and connects three iconic facilities: Town Hall, the Freeman Store and Museum, and the Town Green. The simple illustration of the landmarks is friendly and inviting—just like the town and its people. The new brand was designed to be applied across multiple platforms and incorporated into materials to promote and reflect the authentic, independent, and community-minded town.
COPT, Corporate Office Properties Trust, needed a quick turn-around on a brochure to be shared at the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) Mid-Atlantic retail conference. The brochure highlighted COPT’s signature properties in Baltimore City, including their proposed vision for a $1 billion dollar waterfront project at Canton Crossing that includes 1.1 million square feet of office space, a 400-foot apartment tower, retail and restaurant space, a 200-boat marina and a hotel. We designed, printed, and delivered them in time for the conference.
Located in Brooklandville, Maryland, the 100-acre shared campus consists of a girl’s school, a boy’s school, a preschool, and an arts center. St. Paul’s lacked a unified wayfinding signage system. Ashton Design succeeded in obtaining buy-in from three separate stakeholders while managing design approvals, budgetary constraints, and implementation schedules. A series of programming workshops allowed for the development of a comprehensive strategy before any design began. The goals included making navigation easy for students and staff as well as visitors and family looking for specific destinations. The aesthetic design responds to the natural setting of campus while complementing the historic architecture. Implementation and installation of the system will continue throughout 2018.
Each year, we design and produce a custom holiday card to send out to our clients, consultants, collaborators and friends. If you did not receive one, please let us know! And sign up below to receive periodic updates from us.
Check out our archive of holiday cards from past years.
Works in Progress
Four Seasons, Baltimore, MD
Camana Bay, Cayman Islands
900 La Brea, Los Angeles, CA
Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Lexington Market, Baltimore, MD
The Avenue at White Marsh, White Marsh, MD
Brightview, Bethesda, MD
Brightview, Rockville, MD
Baltimore Museum of Industry, Baltimore, MD
Columbia Association, Columbia, MD
Dulles Town Center, Sterling, VA
Parker Metal Building, Baltimore, MD
Parcel L, The Yards, Washington, DC
ABET, Baltimore, MD
Ladew Topiary Garden, Monkton, MD
Patapsco Brewing Company, Baltimore, MD
Pentagon Row, Arlington, VA
The Woodberry Apartments, Baltimore, MD
Historical Society of Harford County, Bel Air, MD
Hord Coplan Macht, Baltimore, MD
225 North Calvert, Baltimore, MD
Plant 83, Baltimore, MD
Pike 7, Vienna, VA
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