Flat Iron District

Although the Flat Iron is most famously known for its triangular structure, its meaning goes beyond structural design. Found between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, the Flat Iron Building stands in the center of the Flatiron District. The area, named after the famously known tourist spot, is known for its architectural buildings that surround the Flat Iron and its reputation as a high end location.

Flat Iron District is known for its historical features. To match the aesthetic, many stores located around the Flat Iron District were created to match the classiness of the buildings as well. Flat Iron District, despite being known for its historical features, harbors many modern technology forms. From storefront digital ads to public installments, technology is widely present through the busy streets of Flat Iron District. The photos shown throughout the essay are located from Fourteenth Street to the Twenty-Third Street, between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue South. 

Simplicity: The New Look

Often overlooked, fonts play a major role on how brands can be perceived. For example, a well known technological retailer “Best Buy” using a different font in Flat Iron District compared to their well known logo. Typically, Best Buy’s logo features their brand in a bold font with a bright yellow tag which everyone recognizes. However, the store located in the Flat Iron District uses a more formal and sophisticated font. This change in the font and logo design compliments the architecture of the building. Because Flat Iron District is known for its historical like and upend features, Best Buy shifted in the way they project themselves to consumers, which is quite different from how they are usually seen in common suburban areas. 

However, Best Buy is one example of the many stores that have utilized the same strategy, using simplistic and minimalist fonts. Many retailers have used the same tactics to enhance their image and appeal to the consumers.

Another example of this branding strategy being used is Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, and Dardan’s Barbershop, as seen in the image below. In the image, we can see that Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, and Dardan’s Barbershop are similar to the one Best Buy used. When comparing the original logos of Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabons, we can see that both shops have discarded their traditional colors and opted for a more simplistic design. This simplistic approach ties with the architectural design of the buildings within the area compared to your typical stores. However, food chain establishments are not the only ones utilizing the same branding strategy. Stores such as Bank of America, Mason’s Make a Difference, Porcelanosa, and Chanson, have also adopted similar strategies. These stores have adjusted their fonts and logos to match the structural elegance of the buildings. As such the font changes adds to the upscaled atmosphere of the district, establishing Flat Iron District for its high end shopping district.

I Surrender

A unique characteristic of the Flat Iron District is not its famous triangular building, but how the district portrays itself differently. They do this by promoting their stores through flags. 

In the pictures below, numerous stores can be seen with flags displaying their logo. These flags were used to increase visibility of their store and promotion towards pedestrians passing by. Notably, many of the flags lacked any additional texts, aiming for just their logos on the flags. The use of flags adds to the uniqueness of Flat Iron District as not many neighborhoods in New York use such a technique. Moreover, the fonts used in the flags within the logos utilizes the same branding technique used by other retailers. They aimed to use simplistic and minimalist fonts that add to the distinct aesthetic of Flat Iron District. Furthermore, many of the flags were accompanied with an American Flag. An unspoken rule when displaying a company logo flag is to display an American Flag alongside it. In the images, “Home in FinTech” and “Home Depot”, the American Flag’s is larger in size in comparison with the companies flag, also an unspoken rule when displaying your own flag. 

Tech Advancements

As technology progresses, it is inevitable as it becomes more widespread throughout the city. Many stores leverage the use of technology to promote their products and services. While walking the streets of Flat Iron, many electronic stands are scattered around the streets. These stands, with two screens front and back, display through multiple ads throughout the day. These stands not only advertise but provide amenities such as free WIFI, access to emergency services, and a charging station. Many of the ads display short animations,clips of TV shows, and music which add a dynamic appeal to views. With the use of technology, many of the advertisements include vibrant pops of color. Not only do these stands feature advertisements but safety warnings and regulations as well. As shown in the “Slow your Roll, Respect your Stroll” image, it provides rules that allow for the safety and protection of the cyclists and pedestrians. As show in “Historic NYC”, these electronic boards also provide wildly known tourist locations for passersby to visit including the location and name of the place. Despite these ads being electronically advertised, they still hold the same font as the images shown before. Unlike the storefront labels, the electronic advertisements use color to promote their products and services. Despite these ads being electronically advertised, they still hold the same font as the images shown before. Furthermore, these electronic screens can also be seen above subway signs. These electronic signs do the same job as the ones seen on the street but are placed in more traffic area with pedestrians. 

Historic NYC


Within these pictures, a common theme can be found within the signs. English. Most of the signs use English as the form of text without the use of any other language. This can indicate that retailers aim to appeal to English-speaking individuals or those who understand English. Given the location, stores may specifically target New Yorkers who would mostly likely come more than once to their store. The absence of other languages can also indicate a lack of acknowledgement towards non-English speakers. However one can argue that because English is considered as the common language for others, it is common for the majority of the stores to use English as a way of communication to others. It acts as a form of communication between the seller and the buyer.


Flat Iron District, located between Fourteenth Street to the Twenty-Third Street, between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue South have a plethora of linguistic surrounding the area. Electronic stands, flags, and the use of fonts adds to the uniqueness of the location that other neighborhoods in New York lack. Their use of signs add to the distinct aesthetic, combining the historical, modernity, and architectural aspect that encompass Flat Iron.