For Zurich’s iconic boutique hotel, we built a brand platform and developed a timeless visual identity.
The Hotel Seidenhof belongs to Switzerland’s largest hotel group, Sorell Hotels. It is located on
Sihlstrasse, close to Zurich’s famous shopping street Bahnhofstrasse.
Following its renovation, the long-established hotel whose iconic façade has dominated the cityscape
for over a hundred years was to experience nothing less than a rebirth. The Sorell Group commissioned us to develop a brand strategy and visual identity.
After defining the new brand strategy, we descended into the depths of Zurich’s archives.
There, we combed through more than 60 years of Zurich’s city history. It was our goal to understand
the identity of the Seidenhof – to unearth the unique historical character of the house
and build a bridge towards its future.
Thus, the core idea for the hotel was born: “Zurich’s gathering place since 1902”. It expressed the
essence of the Seidenhof’s history, a lively place full of exchange between people from all over the
world whom the silk industry had beckoned. A place where the paths of the travelling traders and
merchants crossed with those of the local population.
Including the year provided an elegant way of articulating that the building had long since been an icon of Zurich.
For the naming, we utilized a “house-of-brands” strategy, with Sorell as the endorsing brand. By
adding “member of Sorell hotels”, we created a mechanism to maintain the individuality of each
hotel of the Sorell Group – not only the Seidenhof. At the same time, we communicated the affiliation
to the parent company. Nowadays this addition is used for all hotels and serves Sorell as a platform
for unlimited growth.
We then developed the brand story as well as the positioning of Seidenhof, including the visual
identity with the logo, typography, and imagery. The colours and shapes reference the silk itself; the
lines symbolise threads in motion and evoke associations with weaving fabrics, city maps, travelling,
and encounters. We placed particular importance on translating history and tradition into a timeless
design, thus linking the past with the future.
The story continues
Many different media outlets covered the reopening of the Hotel Seidenhof in March 2022, including
the Zürcher Tagesanzeiger. The coverage adopted the storytelling we developed.
Following the renovation and repositioning 120 years later, the story of the reborn Zurich city icon lives on.