Image of brand collateral.

Springhill Suites

A new and upscale brand voice for one Marriott's suite-style hotel brands.

Project Summary

Project Type

Visual Design

My Role

As Sr. Art Director, I created and oversaw the execution of the new brand's touch points.

Timeframe

Over several months in 2015-2016

Company

Marriott Creative & Content Marketing

Team Members

Jessica Chakrin, Account Manager
Whitney Howell, Account Manager
Hyun-Soo Ko, Associate Creative Director
Roman Kuebler, Senior Production Artist
Holly Sheldon, Senior Copywriter

Project Details

Marriott says, "SpringHill Suites is the largest all-suites style hotel brand in the upscale tier that delivers industry-leading service to guests enthusiastic about travel." As the properties began elevating their suites and services to align with their market of business travelers who enjoy treating themselves, the brand visuals and tone needed to match the new on-site identity.

I joined the Marriott creative team soon after an external agency proposed the new brand direction. Although the design was beautiful, we soon realized that it had some technical issues and cost implications that made it challenging to implement realistically.

As Senior Art Director, I managed the launch of the new brand while solving design challenges, constraints, budgets, and timelines. Working closely with creative and brand team members (especially with my production partner Roman Kuebler,) I successfully launched a comprehensive suite of materials on time and under budget by $30,000.

The Final Designs

Flexible, surprising, and comprehensive, the SpringHill Suites brand voice contains visual elements that create a vividly inviting and stylishly smart look and feel at every touchpoint.

Just as the little things add up to a great experience during a SpringHill Suites stay, every brand material helps build a larger, more meaningful story about who the brand is, why they're different, and why guests should care.

Image of brand collateral. Image of hotel key cards.
A picture of the landscape matrix.A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.

The Fractal

One of the main design elements is the repeated triangular pattern. To maintain a sense of refinement and continuity across materials, I developed a series of design considerations for how they should be used—from the number of triangles to their scale, position, and color.

A picture of the landscape matrix.A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.A picture of the landscape matrix.A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.

The Nugget

Although the fractal pattern is beautiful, we soon realized it couldn't be used on many materials due to production or cost limitations. After ideating and presenting several alternatives, the creative and brand teams agreed on this simple and practical design element to supplement the fractal pattern.

A picture of the landscape matrix.A picture of one of the pros/cons pages.

A Little Extra

A central theme behind the new brand is the idea of "a little extra"—that there are pleasant surprises when guests stay at Springhill Suites. I incorporated that idea of surprise into the designs.

Gif of a brochure opening and closing. Gif of pen with cap being removed to reveal orange tip.

The Brand Guide

I developed a comprehensive 80-page brand guide for all internal and external stakeholders to reference. Applying all of the knowledge I gained over the creation of its launch, the brand guide helps retain consistency and clarity for any creator.

Image of brand guide pages.

Conclusion

Throughout the ten-month project, I worked closely with creative and brand team members to ensure everyone loved the outcome and understood the rationale behind design decisions. It was a highly collaborative effort that resulted in a refined suite of materials and a clear brand guide that would help maintain its design integrity. Despite the unexpected challenges related to the complexity of the design, the project still concluded on time and under budget.

Due to my successful execution and strong understanding of the brand, the Springhill Suites brand stakeholders asked me to train external creative teams on how to enforce the brand elements into their work.

In the end, the project was a success, and I learned many lessons about building a compelling and practical brand.