Case Study: The Ratner

APT101 was hired to create a name and visual identity for the building formerly known as the Art Center Block. The Ratner is located in East Village and is bounded by Park (12th), 13th, F&G Streets. The building is situated in the middle of East Village and in the area known as the I.D.E.A. District.


Brand Naming:

We began by looking at the history of East Village, the history of the Art Center Block, and history and future vision for I.D.E.A. District.


The building itself had a fascinating history. In the 1920s, Isaac Ratner established his cap business in this building, and two of his sons, Abe and Nate, joined him as salesmen. During World War II, Ratner Clothing Corp. manufactured naval uniforms and officers’ caps – including a lieutenant’s cap with a special braid that Abe Ratner designed. After the War, Ratner Clothing added men’s pants and suits to its manufacturing portfolio. Under Abe Ratner’s skillful leadership, Ratner Clothing became the largest manufacturer of men’s clothing west of the Mississippi.


Isaac Ratner not only built a very successful company, but his children and grandchildren have been incredibly active philanthropists in the community. The family was a pioneer and visionary in the East Village who understood that East Village was the next frontier downtown.


Naming the project "The Ratner" is a tribute to the family and to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ratner family.




Brand Pillars:

The Ratner is at the heart of one of San Diego's fastest growing communities. The building honors the past in architectural elements and key branding points while fostering an inspiring environment for the creators of the future. Past history meeting bright futures:


Pillar 1: The Midpoint: Authentically centered in the heart of East Village

Pillar 2: Purposeful Interaction: A place designed to meet, do work and collaborate

Pillar 3: Connected to Community: We invest and engage with our community


Brand Identity:

The logo and typography for the RATNER are both modern while honoring the history of the namesake "Isaac Ratner" of Ratner clothing. We drew inspiration from the original "Ratner Clothes" Clothing Label which led with a large "R" and then a reduced font size for "atner."


Graphic Elements:


Photography Style:

The photography style captures details of the experience along with architectural details of the building. The mix of sepia-toned photos to reflect the past and modern photography representing the modern retelling of history echoed throughout the brand materials.




© 2018 APT101,LLC.