Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora

Project scope
Branding, Positioning, Content Creation, Translation, Graphic Design, Visual Identity, Brand Application, Website Design, eCommerce, Website Development and Support

Hotel Indigo is IHG’s upper upscale boutique hotel brand. Each Hotel Indigo takes its inspiration from the neighborhood that it calls home. Opened in January 2020, Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora brings the best that the locale has to offer into the hotel. Then gives it a striking twist.

In the year before the hotel opened, IHG was undertaking a major repositioning of the Hotel Indigo brand. It charged the team at Paradigm with writing, designing, and developing a new website based on this new brand’s visual identity and tone of voice. In fact, this was to be the first website in the world to have the new brand applied to it.

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.

A potent positioning statement

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.

A vivid visual identity

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.

A seamless online service

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.

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.

Paul Tsuji
General Manager
Hakone Gora Hotel Indigo

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