Detroit’s Gyro Creative Partners with Ford on Corktown Development Branding

Ford Motor Co. has hired Detroit-based graphic design studio Gyro Creative to develop and design a new brand identity for Ford’s Corktown development, which has the Michigan Central Station as the centerpiece.
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Ford Corktown development
Gyro Creative has been selected to create a brand identity for Ford’s Corktown development. // Rendering courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co. has hired Detroit-based graphic design studio Gyro Creative to develop and design a new brand identity for Ford’s Corktown development, which has the Michigan Central Station as the centerpiece.

The project is designed to position the Corktown area in general and the Michigan Central Station in particular as a new innovation hub that will bring Ford together with other entrepreneurs to ensure that Detroit is a leading global center of mobility via communications, design, and interactions.

“We specifically sought out Gyro because of their significant experience in place-making initiatives in Detroit,” says Mary Culler, Detroit development director for Ford. “They have a unique approach that is consistent with our philosophy of inclusion, authenticity, and innovation.”

While Gyro clients span the world, the studio says it has been committed to the city of Detroit, its growth, and renaissance. Recent projects include The District Detroit, the Detroit Entertainment District Association, The Corner at Michigan and Trumbull, and Elton Park.

“We will be working with the team to develop the narrative that will clearly facilitate an understanding of the development and inspire optimism and excitement for the project, the community, and the possibilities embodied within it,” says Angela Topacio-DiDio, co-founder and creative officer at Gyro.

As the Ford Corktown branding project moves forward, the Gyro team will work with a variety of stakeholders including the community, Ford employees, its leadership team, and partners to establish an emotional, human, and community centric connection with the Michigan Central Station and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The brand identity process includes assembling a variety of focus groups through interviews, group meetings, and insight reports to accomplish an inclusive and collaborative result.

Ford acquired the train station in June and plans to transform it and its surrounding properties into a 1.2-million-square-foot innovation campus for autonomous and electric vehicle creation as well as urban mobility services and solutions. The project will bring about 2,500 Ford employees to Corktown, mostly from the mobility team, and an additional 2,500 jobs with Ford’s partners and suppliers.

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