Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Hilton Trades Beverly Hills for Beveled Hills

Reviewed Sep. 24, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Hospitality Tags /

Hilton Worldwide Logo, Before and After

Founded 90 years ago, with a modest hotel in Cisco, Texas, Hilton Hotels now encompass 3,300 properties in 77 countries through ten different brands, including Waldorf Astoria, Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and Hampton Inn & Suites, among others. This amalgam of hospitality powerhouses was most recently known as The Hilton Family but as of yesterday, it will be going by the more corporate Hilton Worldwide. The name, and identity change designed by Landor, coincide with the move of their headquarters from glitzy Beverly Hills to, um, non-glitzy McLean, Virginia.

With the addition of the word “worldwide,” the new logo unites all members of the organization across all parts of the globe with one shared vision for success. The platinum and gold stylized H evokes quality, stature and the richness of Hilton’s heritage. The two halves are reflective, which are a reminder of the company’s storied past and vibrant future, and the open curves are welcoming, symbolizing the world of travel by suggesting the round edges of the globe, the arch of a bridge and posts of a bed.
Press Release

Hilton Worldwide Logo, Detail

Hilton Worldwide Logo, Flat Versions

Detail (above) and flat versions of the logo.

Hilton Worldwide Logo, Black and White

Black and white shaded version.

Since the corporation and the actual Hilton hotel shared the same H icon, establishing a visual separation between the corporate entity and the consumer-facing hotels is a very smart move and allows the rest of the brands to fit better under the parent umbrella. Like the name, the new logo is deadly serious and business-like but, for a handful of reasons and decisions unbeknownst to us, the final result is a cheapened version of what could have been a solid corporate identity. I see absolutely no need for the bevels, it adds nothing to an otherwise perfectly acceptable icon, and as seen above, the logo looks infinitely better flat.

There are few other things that could have made this stronger, like matching the weight of “HILTON” and “WORLDWIDE” because they are almost the same, and since the type is Gotham and it comes with a dozen weights, it would have been pretty easy to match — or, the contrary, make the difference more noticeable. Personally, I would have taken the width of the “I” and use that to define the space between the two arches in the icon. And the spacing between icon and “HILTON” and between “HILTON” and “WORLDWIDE” seems arbitrary. Still, it passes muster.

Hilton Worldwide, Old Hilton Logo

Old Hilton logo at the Hilton Las Vegas. Image source.

When I first saw the logo I knew it reminded me of something, but it wasn’t until one of our tipsters pointed out that it looks like the old Hilton hotel logo, except sideways. And I’m sure comparisons to the Herman Miller logo will come up. In application, despite the dumb volume of the logo, the identity works pretty well in the stationery and print applications, which play off the curve of the arches and has a nice use of framed photography and knocked-out objects. This could have been one of the most decent corporate identity projects here in a while, but the bevel is too much like wearing pool-side flip-flops with a tuxedo.

Hilton Worldwide, Stationery

Business card and letterhead.

Hilton Worldwide, Print Applications

Various print applications.

Thanks to Gigi Frias for first tip.



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