How Pop Art Branding Made Gallery 64 the Hottest New Address in DC

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

Gallery 64 is unique as it shares a courtyard with the Rubell Museum of Contemporary Art. Leveraging this distinct attribute, the Gallery 64 brand evokes a very curated and artful approach. The property name is not only the street address (64 H ST SE) but is a reference to 1964 which marked a pivotal moment in contemporary culture with the invasion of The Beatles, civil and voting rights were in signaling for change, and the arts scene was exploding with new interpretations of creativity that would shape many generations to come.

Gallery 64 branding is expressive, artful, and diverse. The many variations of the 64 are used to represent all aspects of “art” from textile design to break-dancing, while the curated photography visuals were concepted as modern “pop-art.” The brand colors are primary yet polished, and the brand patterns allow for a controlled graphic volume based on application. Much like a gallery opening, the Gallery 64 was the hot ticket in town. During pre-leasing, Gallery 64’s Instagram gained an average of 200 organic followers per month, and at opening Gallery 64 signed over 22 units in 2 months — often with a waitlist for tours.

All answers from Pum Lefebure, chief creative officer and co-founder, Design Army:

1. Describe the purpose of the project.
Gallery 64 is a new DC apartment building with a distinctly covetable address—set smack next to The Rubell Museum, famed for its progressive art exhibitions and contemporary collection. BUT the property is also surrounded by 15 other brand-new developments with similar amenities, features and fees—all targeting the same demographics. Design Army was tapped to bring their wild creativity to help Gallery 64 stand out in DC’s hyper-booming real estate market.

2.  What was your thinking behind the solution?
Our concept “Live Artfully” takes inspiration from the property’s unique setting—sharing a courtyard with The Rubell Museum on one side. And Culture House DC, a cool graphic-covered church, on the other. Popping with wonderfully weird avant-garde photography and art direction, the modern art-esque graphics speaks to curiosity-driven, art lovers who want to live and breathe art in every form—every day.  We also conceived the name “Gallery 64,” inspired not only by the address (64 H ST SE), but a nod to 1964’s pivotal moments in DC culture, from The Beatles to civil and voting rights to the arts scene exploding with new creativity. 

We hand-drew a huge typographic logo library and pattern series with “64” reimagined through the arts—from gorgeous graffiti lettering to fashion, music, and beyond. Plus, a super fun 30sec animation with all the interpretations. 

This is anything-but-usual real estate branding—designed for those who crave the artfully unconventional. And much like a gallery opening, this property was the hottest ticket in town launching with a waitlist for tours, gaining over 200 organic Instagram followers per month, and signing over 10 leases in the first 30 days.

4.  What visual influences fueled your solution?
Spanning website, social, print, digital, and collateral, the artfully whimsical visuals wink to Magritte’s surrealism, painter Alex Katz’s color-blocked portraits, and even Andy Warhol’s slightly skewed primary color palette. Be it creatively walking your pooch, prepping breakfast with a bread and jam painter’s palette, or dining with a jello-faced gentleman—it’s all about living artfully.

5. What details are you most proud of and why?
Apartment advertising always looks the SAME (stock photos, super conservative). This feels anything but traditional. “Is it an art museum? What the heck is this?” The visuals are over-the-top weird, artful and pique your curiosity, yet totally makes sense with the progressive museum’s proximity. We also worked super hard on the “64” typographic library and pattern series. And just like art exhibitions, I love that the branding can constantly evolve and feel fresh (like “64” with ribbon lettering for the holidays, etc). Yet all together remains timeless.

Chief Creative Officer: Pum Lefebure
Account Director: Jake Lefebure
Executive Creative Director: Sucha Becky
Creative Director: Mariela Hsu
Creative Director: Heloise Condroyer
Senior Designer/Animator: Jason Chae
Animator: Yeri Choi
Designers: Tony Kim, Yeri Choi
Photography: Dean Alexander
Stylist: Michele Onofrio
Glam: Dale Johnson