Responses by Nikolos Killian and Tanner Woodbury, cofounders, Forth + Back
Background: Hotel Emporium designs and manufactures original amenity lines for hotels, as well as custom amenity lines for existing hotel brands. Essentially, we had to develop a brand that would be able to effectively house and showcase other brands.
Reasoning: We wanted to create an identity with dual functionality. The brand needed to compete with top cosmetics brands, yet not overshadow any of its own existing product lines. With this in mind, brand stationery and company collateral would utilize brighter color palettes and louder brand elements. Conversely, extended product offerings in both print and digital spaces would rely on more neutral palettes and less overtly branded elements.
Challenges: Apart from the aforementioned design challenge, our studio was also in charge of the art direction and photography of Hotel Emporium’s entire product range. We were tasked with making each product line feel individual and unique, while also allowing them to live amongst Hotel Emporium’s new brand canvas.
Favorite details: The brand’s typography pairings. The larger color palette was seriously considered and lends itself to be extremely versatile. Possibly the most overlooked aspect of most branding projects may be the design and development of a company’s style guide. With Hotel Emporium, we created an extensive brand guide for the internal design team to be able to effectively carryout down the line.
Visual influences: The current visual language of the cosmetic and fashion world. We wanted to find a way to live in that world, yet at the same time, not feel completely engulfed by it. Hotel Emporium also happens to be family owned and operated, so we felt it was vital to include a bit more warmth into the brand.
Specific demands: Hotel Emporium is a unique brand that has to both compete with other brands, while at other times, aid to them. We were searching for an elevated, yet understated look that would allow Hotel Emporium to feel both universal and exclusive. Finding that paradoxical space made this project challenging, but ultimately rewarding.