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Branding a $65 million investment
in Buffalo’s East Side

Creating the East Side Avenues Identity and Website


Buffalo’s East Side has received a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the form of a $65 million dollar investment from New York State and private and philanthropic funders. The funds are to be disbursed to achieve maximum impact along four key commercial corridors, with an intended watershed effect throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.

An investment of this caliber requires thoughtful communication to a significant number of audiences. It was determined that the initiative should be individually branded, allowing for clear communication about the specific programs—five separate initiatives each threaded throughout the four commercial corridors, with milestones communicated meaningfully to five separate audiences.

The University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI) was selected to allocate the funding and act as a centralized resource for initiative communications and they engaged Riveter Design.


Elements developed within this initiative were required to appropriately address five distinct audiences with varying interests.


communicating the profound impact of their investment through the voice of the community

Small Business Owners

communicating the future benefits of the investment to those currently operating on the East Side and those who are ripe for relocation to the East Side

East Side Residents and Employees

communicating the radiating effects the initiative will have throughout the community


communicating and promoting the hard work and value of the direct benefactors of the investment, and empowering them in partnership with the funders

Anchor Businesses

communicating continued economic growth and the potential for increased access and connection to a ready-made working population on the East Side to large employers who are currently operating there.


Riveter Design was tasked with developing an identity, messaging strategy, visual ecosystem, and digital home base for the initiative. The tone of this campaign needed to speak to the residents and workforce on the East Side and engage them. Riveter focused on ensuring that the name reflected five core values:


“East Side Avenues” refers to the four major East Side commercial corridors—Bailey, Fillmore, Jefferson, and Michigan Avenues—where the investment is focused. “Avenue” is defined as “a way of approaching a problem or making progress toward something.” The name and tagline simply and elegantly express the purpose of the initiative to create a path forward for the neighborhoods to prosper.

Identity Development

The logo developed for East Side Avenues conveys a sense of motion, interconnectivity, and is representative of the four avenues coming together as one.

Visual System Development

Vibrant, lively, and rich color palettes were used in the design strategy as we built out the full brand ecosystem. Triangular patterns in full-color, rounded-end linework with arrow tips, and linear icons designed to represent the five investment areas within the East Side Avenues initiative contribute to the expanded asset library. Photography is focused on the “voices” of the community—real people and their experiences, with a sense of place and environment aligning with their story.

Video Series

The East Side Avenues video series shares the personal stories of community members who have and will directly benefit from the initiative. Interviewees are captured in their element—their place of business, worship, a community center, or their favorite street—and share their story with an intense sense of place and belonging. The videos are intimate, optimistic, and authentic, capturing each subject’s pride in what they’ve built so far, and their excitement for what’s to come.

Website Development

Our goal for was to create a smooth exploration experience that simplifies the projects and goals of the initiative, while also highlighting the excitement of the program through storytelling. Style concepts pick up the color and visual pattern established in the identity of the project and photography used throughout the site showcases Buffalo’s East Side. An interactive map displays the four main avenues that make up the East Side, and rollover features target each investment area as a way to engage and educate the user. An overview video features some of the faces of the East Side, speaks to the initiative and the excitement Buffalo’s East Side is experiencing.


“East Side Avenues”
has been fully embraced—
it is exclusively what the initiative is referred to and how it is communicated to all target audiences and to the general public. It is used in every aspect of communications regarding the initiative including a digital presence, media releases and coverage, and print and digital collateral and has been widely covered in the media.

The new East Side Avenues website
is a welcoming visitor experience and is a

strong storytelling asset.
Organic search traffic has seen a steady increase since the new site was launched and Google Analytics tracking was implemented. Each part of the web design, on every page, provides clear cut paths to learn more about the initiative and its programs.
This is just one example of developing not only a brand, but an entire community movement, from scratch. It would be our pleasure to discuss your company’s unique target audience, unique challenges, and unique objectives and collaborate on a strategy unique—and effective—for you. Reach us anytime at:
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