The Bulgari sparkler – a foray into luxury hotel web design

luxury hotel web design

Having worked for both luxury hotels and a wide range of corporate businesses over the years it seems logical that we might somehow combine the two. I must admit I never saw how we could creatively exploit the link – until recently.

My thinking has been that with a strong brand culture, most of the larger hotels in London logically focus their online presence on their customers. Then, invariably this sort of marketing-led creative work is handled centrally at a headquarters in, for instance, Milan or New York. But hotels are a business like any other and require a corporate side to their branding.

The first requirement of this is usually the part that makes the hotel tick – staff resourcing. It’s this interesting crossover of corporate and luxury that recently led us into our first luxury hotel web design project – for the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge.

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New legal brand design – for Freedman + Hilmi

new legal brand design

One of the great things about having ‘been around’ a while is that we tend to experience growing with our clients.

While we’ve completed plenty of identity design over the years, this project I am writing about today covers two rather fantastic ‘firsts’ for us.

The work completes a completely new legal brand design. It’s also the first project that we’ve completed after a merger.

In this case it’s the blending of our long-time client Freedmans Law and Hilmi+Partners, engaged in similar work to do with commercial real estate.

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New year, new brand identity

There is little designers dislike more than taking their own medicine. And the old chestnut of when to update your own brand or website is the bitterest kind.

The diagnosis tends to be for a good measure of double standards! It’s fine for everybody else to stay modern and at the cutting edge, but the thought of taking your own branding to that place (wherever it is) is a well worn path so narrow it’s almost a… tightrope.

Cutting edges and tightropes aren’t really that compatible.

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The Antique Dispensary – selling vintage products online

selling vintage products online

Over the years it’s often occurred to me that we should focus on design for one specific business sector stick to and specialise in it. However every time I resolve that is what we are going to do, a fabulous little project comes along and I realise, yet again, that such a notion is once more scuppered. So I have come the the conclusion that in fact that’s essentially unworkable! What it comes down to is that perhaps our strength (and interest in the jobs we do!) comes from diversity.

A classic example of such an unusual ‘left turn’ project is The Antique Dispensary – an extraordinary online goldmine of beautiful antiques, selling vintage products online. We’ve just re-launched the site, replacing an original we designed and built back in 2012. That old site had lasted the distance but was created before a responsive build was something we did ‘as standard’ – and after six years needed a wide-ranging design and technical update.

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Yamaha Music London store window designs at Christmas

’Tis the season to be looking in shop windows, bathed in the glow of their Christmas promotions…

Needless to say these store window designs were completed months ago, probably on a boiling hot summer’s day. We designers tend to sit in tee shirts doing creative work for the coldest time of the year. We look forward to our summer holidays while trying to imagine how we might feel wrapped in knitwear and hunting for presents.

Our client providing this particular festive brief was Yamaha Music’s UK flagship store, on Wardour Street in central London.

As a 1990s art school student in London, the idea that a business I lead might one day actually design something on the amazing and iconic Wardour Street would have been … bonkers. And yet – here we are. Best of all, it looks really great. A colourful, modern celebration of all things musical from the classical to the bang up to date in a extravagant festive motif.

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Elegant custom design folder for London Base

custom design folder

We’ve recently completed work on the first phase of a new project for our long-time property management client London Base.

The team had a requirement for an imaginative solution to how to present the detailed information that comes with each apartment. This could be from the mundane such as wifi passwords or how to operate an air conditioning unit to something a little more trip-enhancing such as cultural information about the neighbourhood.

Having worked on a series of menu design projects recently we had seen some prototypes of the sort of custom design folders that many luxury hotels use. These are leather-bound, hard-wearing and still very beautiful. With this in mind, we pitched the idea of this sort of folder to the London Base team.

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