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Commonwealth Plaza Window Signage

Commonwealth Plaza Graphic Identity

Commonwealth Plaza Condominium Association
Real Estate
Environmental Signage

Bud Rodecker
Design Direction

Zach Minnich

Designed while at Thirst

The Commonwealth Plaza is a pair of residential mid-rise apartment buildings located in Lincoln Park, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1956.

We began our process for the Commonwealth Plaza identity redesign by researching early Bauhaus typographic experiments and searching for examples of Mies van der Rohe's typesetting. This research revealed Mies's preference for very loosely set typography, always all caps, always sans serif, not necessarily Helvetica. This was surprising and liberating, opening up the palette of modernist-inspired, sans-serif typefaces.

The architectural drawings for The Commonwealth Plaza (originally called Commonwealth Promenade) used Futura in their title blocks. In response, we used a modified version of LL Circular, a new take on the classic genre of geometric sans serifs first explored by Paul Rennerʼs Futura (1927-28). To reference the gridded facade and Bauhaus typography we modified select characters, squaring off the angles and curves of the A, H, M, N, U, and W. The identity system relies solely on the application of the typeface, allowing it to integrate quietly with the architecture.

Commonwealth Plaza Architectural Plans
Commonwealth Plaza Customized Font
Commonwealth Plaza Historical Images
Commonwealth Plaza Business Cards
Commonwealth Plaza Building Address
CPCA Post Plan 1 170328 3 AM 6 CPCA Post Plan 1 170328 3 AM 5