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Project:

The Forest at Duke

The Forest at Duke faced an interesting problem—they were thriving. Residency was steady, the wait list was full and a major renovation was planned to refresh the main building. Yet in the life cycles of retirement communities, this set of circumstances inexorably leads to decline and financial trouble for the community.

The Creative


To help ensure The Forest at Duke didn’t start to down the path of becoming a struggling community, we designed a vibrant and bold brand for them, much more in keeping with the overall spirit of the community: upbeat, active and engaged.

Unusually, a revised logo was not initially requested—management believed it was revered and therefore an untouchable asset. It was only after the new work was in progress that the question was asked about why all this wonderful new material was carrying that “old-looking” logo.

Our work is bold and different—a new website, sales collateral, ads, departmental materials, signage and best of all, a whole new feeling of energy and vibrancy about the community.

The Strategy Behind the Work

Most branding work for retirement communities runs the gamut from dull to uninspired. The Forest at Duke is the antithesis of most such communities, attracting an interesting, lively, intellectually curious group of lifelong learners who crave inspiration and stimulation.

These are people who need to keep growing in order to thrive.

And The Forest’s new brand needed to reflect that.

The Forest’s task was to forget about current success and to set about ensuring the future of the community.

And although current residents, and even those on the wait list eagerly waiting their turn, were completely satisfied with The Forest and what it offered, the next-younger generation and their offspring were looking for an entirely different experience. Those were the people we needed to connect with.

The new brand is helping them do that. The wait list continues to be full, residents love the new branding and the community is thriving.