Civilization — A Design Practice

Hotel Sorrento

The Hotel Sorrento first opened its doors in 1909, at the tail-end of art nouveau. We rebranded this Seattle landmark to mirror its timeless features and to live up to its role as a cultural hub in the Seattle literary community.

    The Hotel Sorrento first opened its doors in 1909, at the tail-end of art nouveau and just before the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a world’s fair held in Seattle to highlight the development of the Northwest. In the last century the hotel has seen many changes, but it has always remained a cultural hub and held strong ties to Seattle’s literary community.

    The original dark woodwork and marble flooring that remain give the hotel a library feel. In creating the identity and branding for the hotel, we wanted to enliven the spirit of this Seattle landmark and drive home its uniqueness with a fitting-mascot. For inspiration we studied vintage publishing house colophons and matched a shade of green drawn from a vintage book cover. The Sorrento attracts the movers and shakers from the arts community, patrons who dress to be seen and speak to be heard – evoking the spirit of a peacock. We were also inspired by the mythology of the peacock – its tail holding the many eyes of the cosmos and acting as a symbol of immortality – which pays homage to the hotel’s impressive longevity. The logo’s border we were inspired by art deco to reference the end of art nouveau.

    In creating the website we envisioned a seamless mobile-first experience that allowed patrons to easily and quickly reserve a room, navigate their way through the Sorrento’s event offerings and introduce them to the hotel’s incredible story. We reorganized and restructured the web content to ultimately create a simple and clean user experience.


    Branding, Identity, Graphic Design, Print, UI/UX, Web Design & Development

    Featured In

    7th Annual Logo Design Awards Winner - HOW Magazine

    Seattle Times