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The Client
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Exterior Rendering of Lumen

Lumen is the newest high-rise student living complex adjacent to Regions Field in the coveted Parkside district in Birmingham, Alabama. This new start development boasts endless variety for its future residents, from the floor plan options (ranging from studios to 5 bedrooms) to dining options (including an on-site restaurant) to truly cutting-edge community spaces (like a bike repair room and pet grooming station).

The Problem
The client came to us frustrated with their previous agency—a local agency they had chosen for their Birmingham expertise, but who had not met their expectations when it came to naming and branding. So instead, they turned to Threshold to help them break past conventional branding techniques and create something that would both resonate with their Gen Z audience and embody the unique spirit of Birmingham.
The Dream
Together with Threshold, the Lumen team set out to establish a cohesive, iconic, and bold new brand that would differentiate the complex from its many competitors in the market. The dream was for Lumen to become the most sought out place to live in Birmingham by earning early buzz and lease sign-ups as soon as the temporary leasing office opened in September 2020.

The Strategy
Xs and Os
Trailside Website
Naming & Branding
The first step in our process was to familiarize our team with the Birmingham market, including its history, its districts, competing properties, and lots more. We wanted a brand that would feel uniquely Birmingham while also having broad Gen Z appeal. This would help us speak to not just students from the city, but also students new to Birmingham looking to connect with the city for the first time. From our intensive research process, several potential names emerged, but Lumen was ultimately chosen as a nod to the iconic Rainbow Tunnel near the property and to resonate with the vibrancy of the brand personality we hoped to create. The logo came next, further highlighting Lumen’s desirable location near the Rainbow Tunnel and adjacent to Railroad Park. Finally, brand identity guidelines (including a brand manifesto, color palate, and brand patterns) were developed in order to fully realize Lumen’s voice, personality, look, and feel. The end result was a tongue-in-cheek, rebellious brand with bold use of patterns and vibrant color, that would speak to the sensibilities of Gen Z students attending UAB.
Trailside Lease Space
Web Development
Our next project was to create a property website that communicated Lumen’s unique brand identity. It was important to us to get started on this as early as possible, because establishing the brand’s online presence quickly would empower their teams to start generating awareness and leads. We began with a landing page that could be used for this purpose while we worked on a more complete website to be launched further down the road. For each of these phases of web development, we ensured prospects would have all the information they needed to start falling in love with the property. With references to the city’s statue of Vulcan, old blast furnace, and other local elements, the website speaks to UAB students who want their student experience to include more than just time spent on campus and demonstrates that the Lumen community is an extension of what makes Birmingham special.
Trailside Digital Ads
Print Media
Print assets like a brochure, stationery, and construction banner would also play a key role in building awareness and empowering the management team to engage potential residents once they were ready to start pre-leasing. Our designers and copywriters quickly got to work applying the Lumen brand to these assets, paying special attention to the brochure, which served as an excellent opportunity to highlight Lumen’s unique amenities, expressed through Lumen’s playful brand voice.
Trailside Lease Space
Lease Space Design
Finally, we worked collaboratively with the Lumen team to design the perfect temporary leasing office that would embody Lumen’s brand identity while giving visiting prospects the push they needed to apply to lease at the community. With the right design, we could help prospects fall in love with their new home and lean into the excitement of making the leasing decision. We designed and oversaw the install of stunning assets, from wall decals to raised floor plan displays to a stunning neon sign featuring one of the property taglines that features throughout Lumen’s print and digital assets (“Life at the hub”).

Start quote
We are thrilled to be working with Billy Wilkinson, and his team at Threshold, on our current project. We actually hired Threshold after a disappointing start with another firm, and Billy hit the ground running. Despite not being a local firm, he flew in for on-the-ground research, and has not only delivered results that exceeded our expectations, but also made up for the time lost in changing directions.
End quote
- Chief Development Officer of an Acquisition and Development Firm

Strategy &
Creative &
Brand Design
Web Design &
Lease Space &
Print Design
The Results
At the end of this process, the client team was thrilled with the one-of-a-kind student living brand they had created with us for their new development. With subtle nods to Birmingham landmarks throughout our branded assets and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, the client team had a truly out-of-the-box brand concept that would stand out from the competition. And because our teams weren’t afraid to take risks and make bold choices, the project was a joy to work on, and that joy translated into an energetic start to the lease up period.

Our work also empowered client leasing teams with the assets they most needed for their lease-up period, even after the pandemic altered the student housing market. They had the optimized website and landing page they needed for virtual leases while also enjoying an incredible lease space and print assets that would help seal the deal for prospects who would eventually visit the property in person. Crystal clear brand guidelines would also enable the management team and any future marketing partners to consistently embody the Lumen brand, reinforcing the advantages that the unique branding brings to their marketing efforts.

While the Threshold and Lumen teams raved internally about our work on this evocative brand, we weren’t the only ones who were impressed. In December 2020, Threshold was honored to be chosen from thousands of applicants as a Gold Winner at the MarCom Awards in the category of Real Estate Print Media for the work on Lumen’s brochure.
Lumen Creative Examples