Those are the words Mayor Tom Henry’s Legacy Champion Team used to describe Headwaters Junction when they first endorsed the project to be part of riverfront development in 2012.
Since then, it’s only gotten better.
Headwaters Junction is the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s project to bring trains back to downtown Fort Wayne for recreation, rides and creative community programming.
It’s a mixed-use public rail park on the riverfront with a vintage roundhouse, Northeast Indiana’s famous steam locomotive 765, a 1940s-inspired cafe, downtown overlooks, train rides, event spaces and more.
Earlier this year, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette’s editorial board dubbed the project an “identity marker” for our entire region.
“In Headwaters Junction, northeast Indiana might finally have an attraction as iconic as San Antonio’s River Walk and as family friendly as a water park. Best of all, it could have an attraction unique to the region and true to northeast Indiana’s rich history.”
So when the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society came to us for marketing materials to seek funding for Headwaters Junction, we were excited to get involved.
Many exciting dichotomies are at play with this project. It’s a historical tribute and a futuristic vision, a train station and a public park, a traditional experience and a progressive innovation.
In the process of branding it, we drew on the Society’s incredible collection of research, information and previous marketing materials to bring all of these distinctions together.
For the presentation outline and brochure, we framed the conversation around the idea that Headwaters Junction is both authentic and progressive at the same time. And we focused on key talking points about bringing our region’s rivers, rails and trails together as one cohesive force to drive our region forward.
For the logo, we wanted something that felt historic and modern. So we based the design off of a railroad drumhead—a round piece of art once mounted on the backs of passenger trains that has a sleek, industrial vibe.
The logo also represents Headwaters Junction’s various components. The center reflects the circular bolt pattern on the front of a steam engine, and the rest is an abstract layout of the roundhouse facility that anchors the project on our riverfront.
With new marketing materials to reach out to public and private investors, we’re excited to see where Headwaters Junction will go from here—full steam ahead.