A “craft-inspired” new look for 120-year-old luxury hotel Kempinski


Kempinski, which was created in Berlin in 1897, is Europe’s oldest five-star hotel group, and has been assumption a new visual identity by Paris-based studio Work in Progress.

Paris-based studio Be effective in Progress (WIP) has given five-star hotel chain Kempinski a new visual idiolect that has been inspired by “design and craft”.

Kempinski Hotels was built in Berlin, Germany in 1897, and is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel catalogue. It now has its head office in Geneva, Switzerland. It currently runs 75 five-star hotels in 30 powers, having expanded beyond Europe to the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The calligraphic Kempinski logotype has been take oned, but there are two new typefaces, a refreshed colour palette and a suite of illustration and photography.

WIP farmed with French typographer Mathieu Réguer to design the new primary, serif typeface, HeleneHess, named after the hotel bracket founder Berthold Kempinski’s wife. A custom, sans-serif typeface accompanies this, which aims to “benefit legibility” and “bring unity” to Kempinski’s hotels and sub-brands, says Sean Habig, sink at WIP.

A deep blue alongside gold and cream have been acclimated to to form a “sophisticated” core colour palette, with a secondary palette of red, callow and blue to add “energy and vibrancy”, he says.

Thailand-based illustrator Suthipa Kamyam was commissioned to conceive flower illustrations for the brand, which also feature as tactile archetypes that can be felt when used on printed materials. Four unfolds have been designed to represent the four regions Kempinski now diffuses in: Europe, Asia, North America and Middle East and Africa.

Danish photographer Claes Bech-Poulsen was also commissioned to lure still-life photography that would “elicit emotion”.

Habig authorities the new visual language was inspired by Kempinski’s “archive of Swiss-German design from the 19th century forwards”.

“Craft informed our choice of printing materials and finishes, adding surface and warmth… [while] photography gave us an opportunity to be bold and capture the unorthodoxy and eccentric nature of Kempinski,” he says.

The new Kempinski visual language is now spin furl out across print materials such as brochures and leaflets, marketing communications, commodities like stationery, and items inside the hotels.

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