Opened earlier this year, Surfjack is a new boutique hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, with a design-led, art-driven mentality and designed in collaboration with many local artists. And that’s it, there is not much else to say in the introduction other than acknowledging that a single-location boutique hotel would usually be Friday Likes content instead of a Monday Review but the project scope is quite extensive and entertaining. The identity for the hotel has been designed by Honolulu, HI-based Wall-to-Wall Studios with interiors by The Vanguard Theory.
Taking inspiration from the heyday of Hawaiian hospitality, the Surfjack logo and brand elements pay homage to an era where corporate identity was truly crafted by hand, including illustrations, icons and typography created by W|W. […] W|W developed a comprehensive look-and-feel across all touch points, including the corporate identity system, hotel guest collateral, check-in packet, “do not disturb” signs, online and offline advertising, visual merchandising, website design, main hotel signage, plus the “Swim Club” name, concept and membership materials.
Even though it’s for a boutique hotel in Hawaii and this looser, joyful aesthetic is to be expected, it’s still nice to see something unhinged from the typical logo and identity work we’ve been seeing all year long that, as nice as it is, it can get repetitive. The main logo has a great surfer vibe and it could easily pass as some unassuming lettering on any number of surf-related t-shirts sold anywhere which isn’t meant to downplay the logo but to say how organic it feels to a relaxed-beach culture.The harsh, rough letters bounce up and down and create a strong rhythm for the main logo. The secondary elements all add to the charm and get their moment in the sun in different applications.
The applications follow a vibe more than a standard set of rules and everything has a wonderful flexibility to it that isn’t necessarily consistent but definitely conveys a sense of place and attitude.
The merch stuff is particularly groovy, with the nautical-pennant device and some great material choices. Overall, everything has a confident and relaxed aesthetic that comes from a hard-working identity system. Meanwhile the pool’s bottom captures the main essence of the hotel, its interiors, and identity: I really do wish I was there.