Hostess House is a historic mansion turned restaurant that aims to honor the stories of the past and showcase their effects on the surrounding community. With the current audience old and continuously shrinking, there was a need for a total rebrand and strategy in order to spark interest in a younger generation so that the house may continue to serve Marion IN.
Much of the research for Hostess House involved frequent interviews, photo ethnography, and a communication audit in order to determine an effective brand strategy. Travelling to the local library to study those behind the house’s history was also in order. Built in 1912 by Samuel M. Plato, a prominent African-American architect, the Hostess House became a home for Peggy Pampel, a woman with a history of scandalous relationships.
Looking to capture elegant architecture along with a feminine charm, the house needed a brand that would draw attention for tours, wedding reservations, and restaurant patrons.
Hostess House had a variety of different rooms, each with its unique architecture, color, and furniture collected from around the world. As a result of this, a series of sub brands were created to exist under the main brand.
Each icon and color for these sub brands were based off architectural elements found in the room, along with overall color themes present. These would primarily be used in wayfinding, advertising, and signage. The main logo, however, would be based off the oculus window featured on the front of the house. Being a prominent feature, the window acts as a form of openness that the Hostess House has been come to be known for in the community.
As a result of the work, a visual identity, strategy, brand guidelines, and research book were created in order to be passed on. Along with this, material was created in order to allow for ready-to-print files that would be easy to be implemented at different stages of the Hostess House’s rebrand process. The new strategies and visual identities that resulted from this work are currently being implemented.