These unique boutique hotels are designed to capture the true spirit of the community they belong to. They also inspire curiosity in their guests. So, in addition to the new visual identity, the website also needed to reflect the spirit of the Hakone Gora neighborhood.
The creative team at Paradigm began by making a number of trips to Hakone. We met with and interviewed some of the local artisans and merchants who would have an ongoing relationship with the hotel.
Then, we created a key positioning statement as well as copy for the entire site. We began with English, then translated everything to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
This was the first time the new brand and visual identity would be applied to a website. So, there was a large group of stakeholders who needed to be involved in the process. Through Figma, one of the primary UI/UX design applications we use at Paradigm, we were able to easily share prototypes, make design presentations, and gather feedback, regardless of location.
A sophisticated editorial look and feel was a key ingredient of the brand. That meant delicate typographic choices played a huge role in the final design. Paradigm also created a custom graphic pattern based on the yosegi-zaiku — traditional Japanese marquetry that the region is famous for — which has been used liberally throughout the hotel.
The last step in the project was to develop a custom booking form to seamlessly integrate with the IHG booking engine. And then we added e-commerce functionality for visitors to purchase gifts.
“Paradigm were a great team to work with and really understood how we wanted to project our unique hotel brand into the market in Japan,” said Paul Tsuji, General Manager.
Hakone Gora Hotel Indigo