A Complex Complex
Just because a project is complex, doesn’t mean the brand shouldn’t be simple (at least to those experiencing it). The Source is 100-rooms and 25 vendors, including two bars, two breweries and four restaurants all under one overarching brand. Our challenge was to create a discoverable and iconic design system that acted as a canvas for the individual brands, craftspeople and guests to interact within. We extended the brand beyond just logo and signage, we worked on everything from art to blankets, wallpaper to consumables – every item in the space became part of the greater design narrative.
Growing a Brand
In 2013, we were approached with a project in the RiNo neighborhood, an area that was experiencing unprecedented growth but that lacked F&B and community amenities. The Source building was a former 1880s iron foundry that had sat unused for decades and was converted into a space that highlights local makers, restaurantures and artisans. After our success in branding, environmental design, color study and ongoing programing for this initial project, we were asked to help bring the second phase of The Source project – The Source Hotel and Market Hall – to life. The Hotel and Market Hall represented a number of unique challenges: it was one of the first lifestyle hotels in Denver and one of the only multifaceted market-centric hotels in the world, with multiple restaurants and bars, a brewery, dynamic retail, an art gallery, a bakery, a coffee shop – all in a single complex. For three years, we worked with the developer, hotel management group, architects and tenants to make sure The Source brand was expressed through every aspect of the project and highlighted the makers culture that was so deeply imbued in the first phase of the project. We worked to expand and codify our initial brand work and rolled out a unique collateral package, including a quarterly newspaper and a one-of-a-kind product line.
Holistic from the Start
We developed the wayfinding and signage system including all aesthetic and egress signage, developed the brand color used throughout the project and worked with international artists to help create and curate the art program – including our collaboration with Calico to get custom wallpaper into 60 of the hotel rooms. We designed the in-room blankets, worked with local makers to create custom pillows, and collaborated with the build team on both in-room and common area FF&E, OS&E and lighting design. We also worked to create and name the sub-brand for The Woods, the bar and restaurant on the roof of The Hotel, a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing and The Source Hotel. We assisted in the recruitment of many of the tenants that make up the market hall, helping them to build their brands when needed. The results were instantly apparent, a complex that was deeply explorative and experimental but that had core elements of the brand structure in every aspect. After only two months, The Hotel enjoyed some of the highest occupancy rates in the city and has been featured in The New York Times, GQ, Wallpaper magazine, Travel Channel, Bon Appétit and other international publications as a globally unique project.