Richardson Innovation Quarter, or The IQ, conveys the enterprising, creative and cutting-edge identity of the area, said Ben Rush, the creative director for The Dodd Creative Group, the design firm hired to oversee branding of the district.
Rush’s team was tasked with creating a name for the district that was unique, on message and concise, he said. It was also responsible for designing a logo that was both simple and flexible—one that could work on both a business card or a billboard, he said.
The IQ is a 1,200-acre industrial area east of Central Expressway that for the past several years has been the subject of an in-depth, city-led revitalization effort. Richardson's vision for the area is that it will become the "premier tech hub in Texas," according to a 2018 vision statement.
In late December, Richardson City Council opened the door for mixed-use redevelopment projects by approving sweeping changes to the area’s land use regulations.
“What we’ve done is basically taken the handcuffs off the landowners here,” Mayor Paul Voelker said. “We’ve allowed them to decide what the market conditions and opportunities are.”
City officials hope that rebranding the district will not only spark redevelopment but also attract entrepreneurial and innovative companies. This effort dates back to 2009, when the area was identified by the city as a potential site for redevelopment. In 2016, a Richardson Chamber of Commerce task force was formed to create a game plan for private investment in the district.
“Hopefully you are going to start seeing changes over the next several years,” said Bryan Marsh, the chair of the task force. “This is like the end of the beginning.”
Voelker wrapped up the event by recounting The IQ’s storied history as home to some of the world’s tech giants, such as Texas Instruments.
“It is an amazing region,” he said. “The technology that has been invented here, been developed here, been delivered here—it’s mind boggling.”
The IQ is proof of Richardson’s commitment to flipping economic development on its head, Voelker said. Rather than investing millions in attracting one juggernaut company, the hope is that this revitalization effort will provide a platform for a slew of smaller companies to become leading institutions.
“Instead of giving a company $400 million, I’d rather spend $40 million to help 400 companies become that company,” he said.
Brand awareness efforts will continue in the coming months, Voelker said. In the meantime, he said he is counting on stakeholders and property owners to spread the word about The IQ.
“I need you to tell people that this is a place you can come to collaborate, work, invent and commercialize those ideas to create true value,” he said.