THE REPUBLIK’s Award-Winning Rebranding

The following spotlight of HOW International Design Awards Reader’s Choice winner THE REPUBLIK will also appear in the Spring 2017 issue of HOW. The Awards recognizes excellence on a global scale—and every year we honor entries from all over the world right in the pages of HOW magazine.

When THE REPUBLIK tackled the rebranding for The Franklin Hotel, a boutique hotel located in Chapel Hill, NC, the agency sought to create a unique experience with a rich attraction that would reflect the tradition and student life in the area. The new identity blends the “then” with the “now” to convey the devout, canny spirit for which The Franklin stands.

To that end, the most significant challenge of the project was reconciling the rich history of Chapel Hill with the modern aesthetic of The Franklin, all while conveying the curiosity and humor of Benjamin Franklin, the hotel’s namesake, says lead art director Matt Shapiro.

The Franklin hotel rebranding by THE REPUBLIK

Design Firm THE REPUBLIK, Durham, NC; | Creative Team Robert Shaw West, creative director; Matt Shapiro, art director/designer; George Lauinger, designer; Neil Hinson, copywriter | Client The Franklin Hotel

“Due to our client’s constant involvement in the project, they were able to immediately identify with the new brand identity,” he adds. “Their entire team quickly rallied behind the brand and started generating even more ideas and ways to bring it to life throughout the hotel. From there, we were able to expand beyond simple collateral to incorporate the identity across uniforms and accessories and other materials to enhance the experience throughout the hotel.”

In fact, Shapiro says the most rewarding aspect of this project was the client’s reaction to the final product, and how it’s been used as a cornerstone for executing and living out the brand. “Ultimately, it helped them look at their company/brand/hotel in a completely new way and has brought about massive changes and inspired bravery and risk-taking in the company,” he says.

Judge Mona Patel was quite taken with the identity as well, particularly the finer details: “The pin and the handkerchief did me in on this one,” she says. “What an elegant and unexpected way to reinforce the brand identity.”

The Franklin hotel rebranding by THE REPUBLIK

The 8 International Design Awards Outstanding Achievement winners across all categories went head-to-head in an online Reader’s Choice voting. The Franklin Hotel Identity, originally recognized as an OA winner in the Identity category, received 42% of the votes, making THE REPUBLIK our Reader’s Choice winner this year