/ Joinery Hotel
Naming, Brand Identity, Collateral, Signage, Wayfinding, Consulting
Soup, Soap, Salvation
When we were approached by Sage Hospitality to reposition the former Salvation Army building in Pittsburgh into a work / lifestyle hotel we knew we would have a rich history to draw from.
We collaborated with the Sage team to determine the positioning of the hotel, which was steeped in a historic, working-class grittiness, and to bring new life into the property. We wanted to create a brand that was both a place of analog immersion and a counterpoint to an overly digital world. When crafting the name, our thinking was inspired by the woodworking technique, Joinery. The word alludes to both a hands-on approach to working and connections made in the modern day. From there, we created a wordmark, heavily inspired by the hand-lettered labor movement posters of the mid-1950s and 60s. We wanted a visual identity that felt real and tactile and that highlighted the care and imperfection of the human hand. The graphic mark – the dovetail joint – spoke to the connection to the city that is authentically famous for rolling up its sleeves.
To round out the brand and further the historic touch marks, we created a custom typeface, Evangeline Script, which resurrected the original block engineer’s handwriting from the early 1900s. The result is a precise, but emotive script that has a full set of latin characters, numerical and title case scripts.
Stay here like you own the place
The space needed to feel like your living room – inviting and thoughtful. We worked with the architects to help guide the common areas and then created signage that was textural and analog in a warm and complementary way, including a large format map where people could write and physically pin their own neighborhood recommendations.
The brand carries this tactile standpoint through the guest guide, a small press zine containing info about the area and local artists. Other collateral includes custom playing cards, bingo sheets, bookmarks and postcards. The result was a brand that was intriguing for a traveler and an honest homage to the steel city.