Inspiration can be found anywhere, but when we teamed up with CR Architecture + Design to brand the revival of a historic hotel, we found it in collaboration.
I try to let anything and everything inspire me. I also tend to romanticize everything. For example, instead of flying to Rhode Island last year, I took a train. My romantic side said it would be a way to see America – both its beautiful terrain and its people. In reality, it was a fairly uncomfortable 24 hours of being on a train. Nevertheless, the people and places I saw inspired me. I find inspiration in other ways, like through the lens of a camera, or in a long motorcycle ride. My camera gives me a pass into other worlds that I would never enter into otherwise. One day I’ll be watching an old-time baseball game and shooting team photos, and the next day I’ll be photographing a fire and interviewing firemen. For me, discovery is what constantly inspires me.
Inspiration comes in many forms, and at Intrinzic, we often find it in unique places. CR Architecture + Design is a full-service architecture, interior design and MEP engineering firm headquartered here in Cincinnati. We worked with them to better define their value proposition through brand messaging and PR. When the owners of the hotel that was to become “The Sire” came to CR for help evolving their physical space, CR knew that we would be a great partner for helping develop an engaging and effective brand that told a rich story with messaging and visuals rooted in the concept of duality.
Our contact at CR had already begun to define visuals that would dictate the aesthetic of the physical space. These moodboards and material swatches helped inspire our work on the brand. Her moodboards were unlike anything we’re used to in the branding world. They were tactile. This really impacted our process and helped inspire a brand rich in the story and culture of the place. The use of metallic tones and marble elements in the interior design were especially inspiring for our work on the brand. There was a sense of duality in the way she chose modern materials to be paired with traditional ones. This was a major aspect of the brand as we went on and a reason we chose “The Sire” as a name for the hotel. The word “Sire” hints to royalty as well as Lexington’s horse culture.
A brand isn’t just a logo and some printed materials. It’s an experience. When a customer is in the hotel, they are immersed in the brand. The physical space and the brand identity need to be aligned to create a well-curated brand image. That’s why it was so important to match the feel of the space.
Using the CR moodboard as a jumping off point, we developed two brand moodboards that would help reinforce the aesthetics in the hotel.
The first moodboard had lots of visual nods to royalty and elegant, delicate visual elements. This was inspired by many of the choices CR made with materiality. The name “The Sire” was especially appropriate in this option, as it speaks to an idea of royalty. The second option is what the client ultimately selected to move forward with. We really pushed the idea of duality, with one side of the board being relatively black and white, and the other side with rich colors, but tied together with accents of gold. The timeless aspect of the brand is reflected on the left side, while the right side is more modern.
The final pathway uses lots of metallic elements and marble, like what is found in the environment at the hotel. We also chose photography very intentionally to give a hint as to what the physical space will feel like once the customer is at the hotel.
In the end, the branding we created helped nurture a refined image of the hotel. Everything worked together in telling a story about what the hotel is all about. If you want to read more about all the work we did for The Sire (naming, messaging, brand development and more), please view our case study!