Located on Lewers Street in the heart of Waikiki, The Surfjack Hotel offers laid-back accommodation, the Swim Club’s poolside style, and local chef Ed Kenney’s first restaurant venture in Waikiki, Mahina & Sun’s. The Surfjack, a design-led, art-driven establishment that many locals had a hand in creating, seeks to encapsulate the easy going spirit of mid-century Aloha.
We were selected to define the hotel’s brand identity through a strategic process and competitive audit, identifying key target audience personas and developing the unique voice, tone and personality for all communications.
Birth of a brand
We coined a new name and definition for the word Surfjack. Playful and instantly familiar, a word to define anyone, anywhere who finds inspiration in the ocean.
We remember the Duke, prohibition, Pearl Harbor, statehood, Sailor Jerry, and the single fin. Through it all, we’ve never lost sight of what makes this place truly special. Where late nights on Lewers turned into early morning sessions at Queen’s. Right here, an entire lifestyle was forged. One where adventure, exploration, and a thirst for the unknown moved us forward. Where the cadence of the ocean, not the tick of the clock, set our lives in motion. This is the Waikiki of old, reborn.
A new identity
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 us.
The little pool that could
From our first tour of the property, we knew that the once-neglected pool had the potential to be meme-worthy. All of the rooms at the hotel gaze down upon the same view, but how could we turn this little pool into an actual attraction? We pitched the idea that it deserved to be a beacon for the brand by doing something unexpected. The classic phrase “Wish You Were Here” felt perfectly retro and whimsical and we suggested local lettering artist, Matthew Tapia to execute the custom typography. Today the pool has become one of Surfjack’s most popular social media subjects.
Photo by Vincent Ricafort
The second rule of Swim Club…
We 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.
Take me home with you
Exclusive to the on-site boutique, Olive + Oliver, we helped to collaborate on branded merchandise for guests staying at the hotel as well as the growing legions of local fans.
Photo by Daeja Fallas
Brand infused environment
Housed in a 1960’s-era building, the hotel’s concrete interiors were refreshed with local reclaimed wood, and infused with work by some of Hawaii’s most notable artisans, including more than sixty fixtures by Retrospect Designs, photography featuring mid-century Hawaii landscapes, and restored aloha fabrics by resort lifestyle brand, Tori Richard.
We were able to deliver a true sense of the physical environment in the Surfjack.com website through a custom WordPress design and deployment that leverages unique page layouts, texture, and compelling graphic assets.
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