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The Broadview Hotel by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity designed by Blok for Toronto's The Broadview Hotel

The Broadview Hotel is located within one of Toronto’s most recognisable architectural landmarks. This was built in 1891 by a wealthy businessman who recognised the strategic importance of the East End as the city was expanding. It has been home to a business centre, acted as a political and social hub, and used as a hotel, boarding room and more recently, a strip club.

The building, over the last two years, has undergone extensive restoration and renovation, and now features a distinctive glass structure and new floor on the roof. This was done with great consideration for the original architectural details. Interior design, created by DesignAgency is inspired by the local community and is infused with a contemporary yet old-world grace. The hotel is made up of public spaces and 58 private bedrooms. These are peppered with what is described as a witty eclecticism that pays homage to the building’s past, with certain rooms featuring the original brass poles from the strip club. These homages are set alongside modern finishes and amenities.

Canadian graphic design studio Blok worked with the hotel to develop a visual identity that would embrace and express the building’s contemporary new voice, possess a similar wit and attitude, and finally acknowledge and celebrate the hotel’s East End roots. This is achieved in the contrast and collision of image and type, emphasised by a simple colour palette, and in the variety of secondary typefaces. This run across and links a plethora of printed assets. These included business cards, menus and coasters as documents here, but also wayfinding and signage.

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Hidden Characters by RE, Australia

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and branded pencil boxes for Sydney-based PR firm Hidden Characters by RE, Australia

Hidden Characters is the latest PR offering from international advertising agency network M&CSaatchi. It replaces/is an evolution of Bang PR, developed in response to the changing public relations landscape.

With the advent of social media and the subsequent growth of non-traditional influencers and an increase in inauthentic product placement, Hidden Characters intends to make sure that their client’s reach is handled in an ethical and authentic way.

Sydney-based graphic design studio RE worked to created a brand identity for Hidden Characters that articulates this intention with a concept that makes a connection between the hidden characters that shape how text appears and the creative behind the scenes shaping of a brand’s public perception. The idea of the seen and unseen plays out in a number of ways in print, and links business cards, headed paper, stationery and brochure.

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Landhaus Keller by Seite Zwei, Austria

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and gold foiled business cards by Austrian graphic design studio Seite Zwei for Graz-based restaurant Landhaus Keller.

Landhauskeller is a restaurant and bar in the Austrian city of Graz, housed within a building that is over 400 years old. It has a distinctive and highly ornamental interior reflective of the building’s history, and a quirky, current and unusual presentation style. Together these play with classical and contemporary materials, details and forms. This also runs throughout Landhauskeller’s brand identity, designed by Seite Zwei, in the use of typographical juxtaposition, choice of materials, illustrative flourish and print finish. This links business cards, coastersmenus and website.

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