When Wunder Werkz were approached by Sage Hospitality to reposition the former Salvation Army building in Pittsburgh into a work / lifestyle hotel the studio knew they would have a rich history to draw from.
Wunder Werkz collaborated with the Sage team to determine the positioning of the hotel, which was steeped in a historic, working-class grittiness, and to bring new life into the property. The studio wanted to create a brand that was both a place of analog immersion and a counterpoint to an overly digital world. When crafting the name, their thinking was inspired by the woodworking technique, Joinery. The word alludes to both a hands-on approach to working and connections made in the modern day. From there, the studio created a wordmark, heavily inspired by the hand-lettered labor movement posters of the mid-1950s and 60s. Wunder Werkz wanted a visual identity that felt real and tactile and that highlighted the care and imperfection of the human hand. The graphic mark the dovetail joint spoke to the connection to the city that is authentically famous for rolling up its sleeves.
To round out the brand and further the historic touch marks, we created a custom typeface, Evangeline Script, which resurrected the original block engineers handwriting from the early 1900s. The result is a precise, but emotive script that has a full set of latin characters, numerical and title case scripts.
The space needed to feel like your living room inviting and thoughtful. Wunder Werkz worked with the architects to help guide the common areas and then created signage that was textural and analog in a warm and complementary way, including a large format map where people could write and physically pin their own neighborhood recommendations.
The brand carries this tactile standpoint through the guest guide, a small press zine containing info about the area and local artists. Other collateral includes custom playing cards, bingo sheets, bookmarks and postcards. The result was a brand that was intriguing for a traveler and an honest homage to the steel city.