Hotel Brand Identity
|Institution:||St. Cloud State University|
|Level:||Advanced, Junior, Senior, Undergraduate|
|Category:||Advertising, Branding, Environmental Design, Experience Design, Graphic Design, Packaging, Print, Systems, User Interface, Visual Communication, Web Design|
|Filed Under:||3-D, Brainstorming, Business, Campaign, Culture, Design Research, Digital, Four-year Program, Printed Matter, Semiotics, Signage, Wayfinding|
Imagine and brand a novel concept for a new boutique hotel. Who would stay there? What amenities would they enjoy? What would distinguish your hotel from other options? Your proposal should be grounded in research on the hospitality industry and other cultural trends, but it should have a unique, imaginative quality. Over the course of the project, we will develop a brand system and apply it across a variety of media.
Phase 1 – Research & Concept
Designers conduct and synthesize research on the hotel industry. They generate three concept options for different hotels, including descriptions, supporting research, and target audience descriptions.
Phase 2 – Identity System
Designers brainstorm names, create a visual mood board, and sketch logo thumbnails. They refine their work and collect all of the assets in a brand style guide that includes their concept statement, logo variations, color palette, and typographic palette. Additional items like logo alternatives, patterns, illustrations, or photo treatments are encouraged.
Phase 3 – Applications
The Applications phase begins with a group journey mapping activity to help identify the common touchpoints for a hotel brand (website for booking, wayfinding for checking-in, etc.) Designers then complete an individual journey map to help identify branding opportunities within their unique concepts.
Designers apply the visual language they established to create a stationery set (letterhead, envelope, and business card). They employ the journey map to inform their choices for an additional 2D print application (“Do not disturb” sign, advertisement, room key, room service menu, event invitation, etc.) and two 3D applications (wayfinding, packaging, uniforms, vehicles wraps, etc.) This phase is concluded by a web design process that includes a content strategy, site map, wireframes, and the UI for the homepage plus one additional page.
Phase 4 – Presentation
In the project's final phase, designers create and present a deck showcasing their research, process, and final applications.
- Understand practical usage of a graphic signifier in brand identity design
- Advance skills in logo making, systematic visual structure, grid, and typographic hierarchy building through clear visual communication, and pragmatic yet experimental brand identity design
- Engage in research, ideation, and concept development to produce a design system
- Demonstrate an understanding of target audience and design contexts
- Implement a consistent brand voice across design formats and materials
- Articulate ideas through visual, verbal, and written languages
- Concept/mission/brand statement
- Logo variations
- Color palette
- Typographic Palette
- Stationery set
- 2D application of their choice
- Two 3D applications of their choice
- Website homepage and additional page
Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
This project helps build on previous classes' print, 3D, and digital skills while challenging students to create flexible design systems.
Having some specific guided activities like the journey map allowed me to give them more flexibility in choosing their own applications and led them to more creative ideas.
Since the project spans a longer timeframe than what they have worked on in the past, it is critical that students feel connected to their concept.
In the future, I would dedicate a bit more time to research and conceptualization at the beginning to challenge students to generate more creative and thoughtful concepts. This is a robust project, so I would likely drop one of the 3D applications and one of the web pages as requirements to provide more time in the beginning.