The Blog


specht building
Photo by @eastof72nd

Last night was a victory party for saving the Christian Specht building. A few months ago, I posted the logos I designed for the campaign, but since then the project has grown a little.

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Around the time the threat against the Specht was emerging, the amazing Yates School in the Gifford Park neighborhood was also being threatened, by Creighton University, one of the more aggressive predators of historic properties in Omaha. The effort to save the school didn’t have as much immediate momentum as the Specht, though. Looking back at the past five or six years, each time a historic building has been unduly threatened, there’s been a backlash against the threat. Most have been led by members of the neighborhood with an assist by Restoration Exchange Omaha. Since the efforts have often been more localized than the Specht campaign, they’ve ended up having desperate marketing campaigns, each with varying levels of success. Each of the responses to these demolitions — The Clarinda-Page, the Johnston Funeral Home, etc. — looked like their own local effort. One way to, I hope, increase the success rate of these preservation efforts is to make their visual identities part of a larger campaign. So, when I heard Yates was threaten shortly after I did the work on the Specht building, I broke out my pixel grid, my contrasting san-serif type and drew up a logo for the Save Yates group. They’ve taken the image and run with it and now hundreds of people around Gifford Park and the city have signs in their front yard showing their support, and it sounds like promising news may be coming out of that battle as well.

With a little luck, tying the visual identity of all of the threatened buildings in Omaha together will help us save more of them. The fact that the inaugural campaign to use this look was successful can’t hurt the cause, either.

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