What is possible when you create something based on your values? Can these values guide you in building something worthy of honoring the history and ecology of the land? Is it possible to create an experience so cohesive and powerful that it becomes transformative? These are the questions we faced when building The Homestead brand, and they are the heart of how we shepherded its creation.
With a history of building amazing experiences together, Dave Alder and the creatives at Envoy San Diego joined forces with The Homestead team to define the brand and crystalize the vision. In close partnership, we created a brand strategy to guide us in the design of a complete brand identity, to fulfil the vision and to build a foundation to translate the values in every aspect of The Homestead endeavor.
The vision for The Homestead brand and guest experience is about creating and celebrating the deeper understanding that comes with a transformational experience. The purpose crystalized as connecting people to the profound potential they have for positive impact. We found that to see this potential, there needed to be a catalyst—a shift in perspective. And if we could translate that visually, it could reveal a glimpse of pure beauty and represent a deeper understanding of our place in the universe.
So it was this “shift” that we became obsessed with. The idea that looking at something through a new lens, finding the uncommon in the everyday and discovering threads that unite us were keys to unlocking a deeper experience. We united as a team to become the champion of a special place whose ecosystem models sustainability and offers education, as well as an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the grandeur and also the smallest details of the African bush. Our goal was to showcase the breath-taking natural beauty of Nambiti Private Game Reserve and the gorgeous South African light through an uncommon lens, revealing a glimpse of the magic of a transformational experience. To bring these concepts to life, we instilled their essence into each layer of the visual identity so that it could in turn be reflected in every visual extension of The Homestead brand.
The design language embraces a tranquil modernism inspired by the golden age of travel, but proudly forging a new path. The identity balances luxury and minimalism while infusing jubilance and a sense of peace. The logo that anchors the identity embodies the curated experience of The Homestead and was built around a customization of the minimal and timeless letterforms of German typographer, Nikolas Wrobel. The refinement of these forms created a harmonious balance that blends a beautifully traditional typographic style with modern sensibilities, reflecting the design philosophy of The Homestead. These customizations resulted in a commissioned version of an entire typeface, which can be seen in the headlines used for the brand.
Juxtaposing the logo’s letterforms and the luxurious headline type is the no-nonsense supporting type that brings confidence and capability to the brand, properly representing the uniquely South African grit. With the personality of the logo and type developed, we moved on to craft a color palette inspired by the land, adding peaceful and organic energy.
Emma Gatland teamed up with The Homestead to bring her talent behind the lens to the project’s photographic component. The result—a photographic approach that celebrates the fecund landscape and showcases the unique aspects of the experience.
To represent The Homestead’s mission of utilizing its space in the world to immerse guests in peace, love and understanding, we developed a series of icons inspired by the ironstone blocks from the ruins at the lodge. These are meant to remind The Homestead of its history and its role in shaping the future.
These are the core elements that make up The Homestead visual identity. Of course, there are a myriad of small things that contribute to the identity as well, such as the select use of gradients and graphic elements like the map lines, but each of these are imbued with our strategy and reflect the design language. All the elements are like words in a sentence that blend together with a pinch of magic to create the framework for how The Homestead shows up and how it curates the experiences it shares with the world.