Contributed by Jonathan Wybrow of London-based Glazer.
Sankara set Glazer the challenge of combining the business values of an international five star luxury hotel, with an authentic African flavour.
All parties agreed this could be a delicate balancing act and, in particular, that an over-emphasis on local imagery could overwhelm global ‘business’ perceptions.
Our design solution flowed from a brandmark evolved from a zebra’s face markings that created a symbol of international stature but with African roots.
The brandmark was adapted to create Sankara’s own distinctive luxury pattern which was used as a key element of the branding alongside a luxury colour palette of dark brown and white accompanied by a vibrant turquoise.
These elements were carried onto the design of literature and merchandising materials as well as informing interior design and a comprehensive signage system.
Local artwork was sourced and used as a vivid complementary element on selected designs, reflecting the vibrancy of Nairobi itself.
The result is a successful fusion of global and indigenous styles which sets new standards for Africa.
Following the branding project, Sankara Nairobi earned a listing in Wallpaper and Fortune magazine’s best new business hotels as well as a coveted spot on the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List — being acknowledged as one of only 65 ‘extraordinary’ new hotels and resorts around the world.
The creative work also won a World Luxury Finalist Award in the category of branding and visual identity. The awards, held in Monte Carlo with an international jury from 10 countries, focus exclusively on luxury brands and recognise the very best of creativity in luxury design.