SCOPE OF WORK
Brand Research & Strategy
Brand Identity System
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group pioneered the “boutique” hotel category over 30 years ago and is continually expanding its horizons. With its talent for finding prime travel destinations, the Kimpton team saw an opportunity to revitalize Palm Springs with a desert retreat in the middle of the downtown strip. The Rowan boasts 4 food and beverage programs—a sleek lobby lounge, a rustic Mediterranean café, and a rooftop pool bar and restaurant with unparalleled views of the stirring desert life. Kimpton reached out to Farm to nurture these 4 programs to life.
Brand Research & Strategy
Brand Identity System
Kimpton strives to give guests unique experiences in each of their locations across the world. This means there is no one company-wide look in their hotels (something they refer to as a “Brands of One” mindset). Farm Design was called to bring the Southern California flair and restaurant branding experience to this new pillar in the Palm Springs community.
The Rowan Hotel branding celebrates the rugged beauty of the desert with a refined and timeless style, creating an oasis that anchors the center of legendary Palm Springs. Steps from the San Jacinto Mountains, a soulful, restorative desert vibe echoes throughout the guests’ stay.
This destination attracts an audience of California locals, national visitors, and even international travelers specifically seeking the Palm Springs culture of architecture, food, music, and an escape from reality.
The initial kick-off of the project had the Farm team touring the bare bones of the soon-to-become grand Rowan hotel—construction hats and all! Although beginning as an eyesore in the middle of town, the team was enthused at the prospect of what the property could become. Through on-site and off-site market visits and research, the Farm team was able to get into the mental landscape of this desert retreat.
The creative stage was rich in inspiration from mid-century modern architecture, 1940-50’s print collateral, and romanticized stories of Hollywood stars in the golden days of the desert. The Farm team accepted the challenge to help modernize a town stuck in a legendary time-warp.
“We create capsule experiences that relate to the local flavor of a hotel’s destination.”
– Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
At the Rowan’s rooftop restaurant-bar, the focus is shareable, global flavors with a Mediterranean flare. The restaurant is throned in a stunning social setting with an intimate lounge area and an open patio with breathtaking views of the city. With an experience that was intended to fill a gap in the Palm Springs culinary scene, the restaurant provides the neighborhood with upscale dining that presents views as delicious as the food.
With an understanding of this intention for the space paired with our research, we began the creative process starting with none other than the naming!
An integral first step in ideating names for the upscale restaurant is understanding their key archetypes, competitive advantage and personality of the property. From there, we formulate “word buckets” to capture brand essence. We proceeded with naming the restaurant “4 Saints” to pay homage to the four highest mountain peaks in Southern California with one being the San Jacinto mountains that Palm Springs.
The beginning of exploring design concepts starts with figuring out how the audience will perceive the brand. Using keywords found during the naming process, we created brandscapes that helped define the brand beyond just the name. We leveraged the provided interior renderings and material boards to understand the necessary balance of interior design versus branding design. The 4 Saints story is of a restaurant that embodies a hip, mature, intimate and elevated persona paired with a whole new take on the Palm Springs dining scene.
“We want every touch point of the guest experience to speak to the location’s story and inspire a more meaningful, heartfelt visit.”
– Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Senior Director Connor Smith
We pull elements from the brandscapes to create a unique touchpoint experience. For 4 Saints, there is a certain classic essence to the logo juxtaposed with linear elements that make the overall brand take on a modern and edgy aesthetic. At Farm, we are always finding ways to add something cool yet functional to the experience, like a brass clip on the check presenter that is threaded from the brass accents throughout the restaurant’s interior or even gold foil print techniques to give a sophisticated touch for a simple, refined menu design.
A key factor in creating any successful project is giving close attention to the details of production. Whether it is choosing paper or figuring out how to add indelible accents, we work closely with vendors to help create unforgettable pieces of collateral.
The Rowan guests and visitors are taking to social media to show off their experience. The hotel and its 4 food & beverage programs have also caught the attention of the press including Forbes, Travel + Leisure, GQ, and Food & Wine. With 4 Saints ranking #1 on EaterLA’s Essential Palm Springs Restaurants list.