For 2017, AHEAD has introduced a new category in line with the increased focus on every touch point within a hotel. The Visual Identity award commends graphic designers, branding agencies and creatives on their ability to capture the essence of a hotel and translate it through a variety of mediums. From menus to signage to door hangers to stationary, the identity of a hotel is becoming all-encompassing. This award is presented to the project with the strongest visual identity from the existing list of shortlisted projects.
One project excelling in the visual identity arena is the recently opened Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, London, whose branding, by The Plant is based on a historic rendering of the external façade of the building. Used throughout the hotel’s collateral, the reference represents the location’s history and significance, as well as underlining Four Seasons' meticulous attention to detail. The result is a cohesive guest experience.
Another brand leading the way in the identity stakes is COO, with a logo that represents an ethos, embodies boldness, yet exudes sociability. COO Singapore’s branding by Ministry of Design speaks clearly to its millennial target audience, combining a clever use of graphics, artwork and signage with an online presence, COO Connect, allowing guests to link up with each other. Winning the Visual Identity award at the first AHEAD Asia event, COO boasts an identity that is as far reaching as it is strong.
For this accolade, the selection process is an interesting one. Throughout the weeks of judging, the AHEAD panel will make a note of shortlisted projects that they would like to learn more about. These projects will then submit further details, and hope that they achieve the coveted Visual Identity award
Exactly what the judges are looking for can be hard to pinpoint – a je ne sais quoi is likely. However the official definition for the award is to recognise exceptional design for the overall visual identity of a hotel or hotel brand. This includes, but is not restricted to elements such as graphic design, digital marketing materials, signage and physical collateral.
This year’s Visual Identity shortlist sees an array of projects, from Rove Downtown to Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort to Fairmont Quasar. The diverse selection makes for an interesting showdown.