DTOriginal: An Iconic Visual Identity

Authored by: Jamie Kruger
September 13, 2022

When you close your eyes, what is the first thing you see when someone says “downtown Orlando?” The visuals associated with DTO are a mosaic of diversity including Lake Eola – downtown’s undisputed iconic crown jewel.

In order to advance not only downtown Orlando’s business brand, but also that of our greater region, we must have an iconic downtown that distinctively, resoundingly differentiates DTO from our centers of tourism. Creating a memorable landmark, iconic skyline, or vertical visual element that clearly identifies downtown will build recognition for Orlando and, like Lake Eola, become a rallying point of pride for Orlandoans. Dramatic lighting and enhanced building crown designs can also have transformative effects on our skyline that help us achieve our distinctive edge. 

DTO’s identity exceeds our tall buildings, so our path to an iconic visual identity does not end with our skyline. Immense potential exists to amplify our identity where our skyline, districts, and unique urban neighborhoods meet: on the ground, at the human level. Impressions of our identity can be greatly enhanced from the ground level through traditional and interactive wayfinding systems. Our districts and neighborhoods also provide the opportunity to celebrate and unite the unique characteristics of those places to formulate DTO’s identity. They are the patchwork creating our downtown Orlando quilt. 

In establishing our iconic identity, we must also be proactive in helping ensure it extends outside of our geographic area. Social media holds immense potential for us in this quest. With every picture, post, and tweet, locals and visitors share our iconic identity with their social spheres, propelling it beyond our borders and creating new scenes for people to envision when they think about Orlando. 

We will galvanize our iconic visual identity by: 

  • Creating opportunities in public spaces and gateways into areas to express the unique character and promises of DTO’s neighborhoods and districts. 
  • Promoting distinctive architecture that can become a visual exclamation point in our signature skyline. 
  • Embracing opportunities for dramatic architectural lighting. 
  • Advancing large scale art installations that may include traditional, transitional, or high tech materials.

View the entire Project DTO Vision Plan

Learn more about this report


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