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Alter Brand

Altered State for Respected Real Estate Developer

In the summer of 2015, dda collaborated with longtime client and one of America’s preeminent commercial real estate developers, The Alter Group, to refresh the firm’s 60-year-old brand.

Over the past few years, there has been a significant, brand-driven shift in Chicago commercial and residential real estate. With so many players in the game – brokerages, developers, architects and more – brand is becoming an important deciding factor when selecting a firm to work with. With this shift in mind, dda completely repositioned the Alter Group brand and developed a more crisp, clean brand identity for the visionary firm.

As the rebrand was underway, it became clear that an abbreviated moniker was also in order. The Alter Group has always been a small, scrappy company, able to nimbly navigate amongst larger companies in their same space. Thus, almost organically, The Alter Group became Alter.

“The new name is both a recognition that we are a leaner, faster company and also that we have re-focused our strategy on our core products – class A offices, master-planned mixed-use developments, and medical facilities under the auspices of our healthcare affiliate, Alter+Care,” said Michael J. Alter, company president.

Alter defines itself as a new economy firm that understands the future of work: to drive serendipity, engagement, productivity and innovation. Alter understands that office environments must be able to attract and retain the future employees and innovators of the world who demand a completely different work experience. Channeling these ideas into one crisp image, dda created a simple, yet stunning new logo for Alter.

The new brand identity intentionally incorporates the keyboard Alt key and moves the “er” outside of the key to visually convey the concept of Alter, a company that has altered the state of the real estate business by focusing on relationships, not just spaces. The brandscape continues this theme, as the intersecting squares represent the places created at the intersection of life and work.

Explore the second phase of the Alter rebrand, our responsive web design.

The rebrand of Alter was a significant event for the company – the first in more than three decades and a bellwether of a whole new strategic direction for the firm. A lot was riding on it. To create the new identity, we collaborated closely with David Day’s superb team of designers and project managers to work through the brand process in order to create something that would grow organically from the soul of our company. Throughout, dda was extraordinarily agile and very in-depth in their analysis of our brand. They ultimately ended up producing the new logo in the first round. We immediately knew this was what we were looking for. We then worked with them to scale this into the entire brand identity and and our fabulous new multimedia website. What’s unique about the firm is their commitment and passion. They care deeply and are invested in doing the very highest quality of work. I can’t imagine working with anybody else, and I know that the power of our brand was significantly greater by virtue of their care, attention to detail and superb communication skills.

- Tom Silva, Alter

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