Richardson to increase branding efforts in The Core District

The CORE District logo.
Richardson City Council recently received a presentation on branding efforts in The Core District. (Screenshot courtesy city of Richardson)

Richardson City Council recently received a presentation on branding efforts in The Core District. (Screenshot courtesy city of Richardson)

Richardson City Council received details of a branding refresh for The Core District during its meeting Jan. 10.

The Core District, which includes the Chinatown, Downtown, Heights, Interurban and Lockwood neighborhoods, was introduced in 2018 as an entertainment area that offers unique restaurants, independent retailers and special events.

Since then, logos for the five neighborhoods have been designed, a district website has been launched and merchants have met with Belmont Creative, a Richardson-based company who is spearheading the rebranding. District merchants were presented final logos and branding in December, according to the presentation to council.

Doug McDonald, Richardson’s managing director for the office of innovation and placemaking initiatives, and Belmont Creative founder Merrick Porchèddu presented council with upcoming plans for the branding process.

“Merrick’s team is going to be helping us with the social media rollout,” McDonald said. “We’re working right now with them to help us redo the website to incorporate the new branding and guidelines.”

One way that Belmont Creative and the city plan on raising awareness of the branding is through events in The Core District. Their next big event will be the Chinese New Year Festival on Feb. 5 in Chinatown.

“We’re working very closely with Mr. Johnny Lee with Chinatown in helping us advance the work he has done for a number of years,” McDonald said. “This will be an all-outdoor event, but it will be great for us in this weird, turbulent time of indoor events. We are going to have the lion dance, dragon dance and a noodle-pulling demonstration by Monkey King Noodle [Co.], another great Richardson business.”

McDonald added that 20 Asian restaurants in The Core District have also expressed interest in participating in the event. The city has arranged for a shuttle service from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit station on Arapaho Road to help alleviate any parking or traffic issues for the event, according to the presentation.

To help raise awareness of the event, red lanterns will be delivered to businesses in the district to commemorate the new year and to show visitors which businesses are participating in the celebration.

Another way the city plans to raise awareness of both The Core District and its five neighborhoods is through pole banners posted in each area. Downtown is scheduled to be the first area to receive the banners.

The city is also aware of the staffing issues that are prevalent for many small businesses in Richardson and the metroplex. McDonald said the city has a plan to help local retailers with those problems.

“We do know a lot of restaurants and retailers are short-staffed right now, so we’re working with the businesses to put them on an interactive map and put their promotions on our website,” McDonald said.

Porchèddu also explained the color schemes and logos for each for the five neighborhoods as well as their meanings. She said Chinatown’s logo is red because it celebrates community tradition, good fortune, luck and the strength of a city that honors the diversity of its people.

Downtown’s yellow color scheme denotes a new horizon and the dawning of a new day, according to Porchèddu.

The Heights logo employs a blue color scheme as a nod to the area’s population boom in the 1960s and 1970s, she said. The mid-century modern style of the Richardson Heights Recreation Center is incorporated into the Heights logo as is the iconic circular Richardson Heights Shopping Center sign.

The green color scheme for the Interurban neighborhood, Richardson’s first business district, denotes economic growth and progress, according to Porchèddu. That one also incorporates the logo of the historical train of the same name.

Lockwood’s logo is black and white, and resembles a keyhole, which was designed on the premise of unlocking the treasures beyond the eye, she said. Lockwood’s circular logo also celebrates the Richardson water tower as a piece of city history.

“It’s a marketing goal of ours to celebrate the water tower,” Porchèddu said. “We want to see it become an artistic piece of the city. We want to do a really cool campaign around that water tower someday.”

The logos of the five neighborhoods are viewed as mini brands, so the presentation to the board noted those logos resemble the one for The Core District as a whole.

“You’ll see [The Core District] logo and you’ll start to see the shapes of the other districts and how they resemble a piece of the whole,” Porchèddu said. “That’s the overall logic and idea.”