imaginarykingdom


Wydown Hotel

California’s wine country is known for luxurious experiences that range from lavish to posh. However, hotelier Mark Hoffmeister wanted to offer something more authentic. Located in the small town of St. Helena, right on charming Main Street, the Wydown Hotel specializes in personalized experiences that make guests feel right at home—albeit a very stylish, curated home.

wydownhotel.com

Goal

Rebrand the hotel to convey its personal, curated touches through an identity system, printed collateral, and a website.

Role

  1. Design logo and develop brand toolkit
  2. Build messaging strategy with copywriter and strategist
  3. Design website
  4. Expand the brand’s photography library

The logo embraces all of the experiences that the Wydown Hotel has to offer its guests. Tiny depictions of custom decor and Mark’s handpicked furniture playfully mix with representations of wine country comfort. The custom-drawn logotype, with its whimsical half-sans-half-serif treatment, reflects the contemporary atmosphere of a modern hotel situated in a historical district. The rich, muted palette is inspired by the handsome hotel lobby yet complemented by swatches from vibrant Main Street.

The iconography became the foundation for a flexible identity system. Different logo lockups tell different stories about the hotel’s offerings, depending on the context in which they are used. Standalone icons tease their way across various touchpoints, creating a common thread throughout a guest’s experience that still allows the hotel’s tasteful decor to shine.

Keycard Holder Corner Room Door Card
Hotel Lobby Front Door Business Cards
Tastemaker page

From the lobby furniture to the in-room artwork to the business cards, the hotel is filled with cozy, one-of-a-kind touches. Different touchpoints needed to reflect this intimacy. We didn’t try to repeat the physical tactility in the digital space, though. Instead, we teased visitors with the promise of personalization.

On the website, we structured the site around a trio of exploratory journeys. Each journey provides different reasons to visit the area, tailored to discerning tourists, wine enthusiasts, or business guests. Mark’s recommendations around town are interwoven with highlights of hotel amenities, forming a compelling reason to visit.

Tastemaker mobile page Comforts mobile page
Flavors page
Rooms page Booking module

As our team built out a content library of assets, I was also asked to supplement existing hotel photography with vignettes and details. I spent a day following Mark around the hotel and through his office as our team learned more about his vision. Some of these assets were used on the site, while others became part of the social media library.

Storied artifacts Tea room lights Room service

As our team built out a content library of assets, I was also asked to supplement existing hotel photography with vignettes and details. I spent a day following Mark around the hotel and through his office as our team learned more about his vision. Some of these assets were used on the site, while others became part of the social media library.

Hotelier Mark Hoffmeister Tea Room seating

What started as a simple identity refresh project became a wonderful partnership built on mutual trust and respect. Wydown Hotel continues to evolve with the team at Chen Design and find new avenues to delight each guest who walks through its doors.

wydownhotel.com

Creative Direction Josh Chen Art Direction Josh Chen, Max Spector Strategy & Copywriting Kathryn Hoffman, Becky Luoh Brand Identity Kimberly Low, Max Spector UX Design Brian Conery, Kimberly Low UI Design Brian Conery, Kimberly Low Photography Melissa Kauffman, Kimberly Low Development Ben Falk