Launched in 2002, Hotels.com is an online service to reserve lodging around the world with more than 145,000 properties listed. The last time we talked about Hotels.com was in 2008 when two separate logos, one for the U.S. market and the other one for international sites, were introduced. Since then, Hotels.com has completely abandoned the bellhop mascot and adopted “SMART”, a soul-patched claymation spokesperson that is not as annoying as he may seem at first glance. This month, Hotels.com has introduced a new logo.
Colorful and bold, the new logo is a visually striking way of showcasing the hotels.com expertise and presence in the travel and hotel industries. The new “H” logo represents the abundance of choices hotels.com provides in destinations, hotel types, and price points.
— Press Release
The previous logo seemed like a good concept — most hotels have an elevator with buttons for Up and Down — but the execution was as lackluster as it gets. The new logo strives for more points in the execution department trying to pull off a handful of visual tricks. Unfortunately they add up to a big mess. The layered “H” icon could have been interesting in a flat color rendition and some smart maneuvering of placement and overlays but instead we just get a literal stacking of “H”s with cheap rendering. The colors are pretty, though. The typography… oy vey. Why on earth would a “t” and “e” ever connect like that? The “c” and “o”, maybe, but when you look at it up close it’s not even resolved properly. The “c” just sticks itself into the “o”. It’s either a sans serif or it’s a script, but you can’t have it both ways, especially when it’s only less than 25% of the characters that are joined. Good execution can sometimes save misguided ideas — not the case here.