Intro

ANCHOVY. was approached with creating a brand identity for a boutique hotel, where the client’s vision was to focus on the development of smaller sized hotels; to be able to give more attention to the customer and to deliver an excellent experience. They started in Gozo, with the intention of eventually venturing out; and as such, they wanted to create a brand which had the characteristics of the small island of Gozo, but which also encompassed the refinement of a global hotel brand. This is what we created:

Initial Phases

Reference Material

Being an old building with lots of history, we had a lot to draw off and we tried to find as many visual cues as we could, in order to find the right mark for the brand. We told the client to scavenge for old photos and stories that they remember from the place, from their youth; with the reference materials showing various graphical symbols on the facade of the building. These eventually developed into decorative marks, and later influenced the brand monogram.

Research & Moodboarding

We also drew inspiration from the client’s memories and experiences in the hotel, starting from it’s rich history as an old house when they were children. The memory of a lion statue was one which resonated, and which we felt could have something interesting to experiment with.

These lion statues are ubiquitous, and could be found all over Malta and Gozo; and they also reminded us of another very common visual in the Maltese Islands which are the ornate door knockers.

Being in close view of the old Citadella, we looked at various shapes and structures from it, particularly the various clocks found in it

Development

Marks

With all these rich visual and conceptual resources, it was hard to pinpoint the one defining idea which would stand out, so we amalgamated the various elements and developed them further to achieve a more holistic mark; which ended up being a standalone mark to be used for large formats rather than the main mark.

The Right Type

We also worked on a variety of custom type designs to feature the name in writing, keeping a local & traditional feel but also modernising and refining it, and ultimately creating a unique look and feel.

Finalisation

The final Product

We then settled on the combination of the final type, accompanied by a stylised monogram; which was inspired by the abstract marks on the building – this time developed using the brand’s initials. Despite its decorative nature, we geometrically calculated its structure to achieve the perfect balance of legibility and empty space vs. positive space. This simple and elegant combination became the main logotype and symbol; which was designed to be perfect for small sizes, both print and digital.

Application

With the main brand elements created we turned our attention to the brand peripherals, and created the stationery, business cards, do not disturb signs, and finally the brand guidelines.

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Author Kurt Bullock

Kurt is the Creative Director at ANCHOVY. inc

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