Kevin Högger brands Sri Lankan beach hotel Mond, drawing on its tropical yet modernist setting
Mond is a small boutique hotel located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Its four rooms and café sit on the beach within the tiny Hiriketiya bay, providing a smooth, peaceful experience with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Its tropical yet modernist aesthetic is a derived from its founders, Swiss couple Jessica and Renato Fernando. Their vision of concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling sliding wood panels was made a reality by Abraha&Achermann, a renowned architecture firm from their home country, and a team of local Sri Lankan builders.
While the couple was still living in Switzerland, they asked Zurich-based design Kevin Högger to help with the hotel’s branding and some parts of the interior design. They together decided the visual identity should feel totally in sync with the location, its surrounding materials, colours and general vibe, while not forgetting about its Swiss origins.
The resulting graphic system is constructed from two contrasting yet complementary directions. From one angle, it’s distinctly Swiss thanks to typography set in Davide Rossetto’s Funktional Grotesk and Linotype’s Times Ten, a strict grid system and an abundance of negative space. Abstract illustrations add a Sri Lankan flavour, which Högger explains he made “with a kind of collage-technique”, before adding that he “collected black and white textures and used them as architectural elements to show the site’s roughness and beauty”. The colours are directly pulled from the plants and wildlife found on the beach and surrounding area.
The raised ‘O’ in the logotype is a subtle hint towards the name, Mond, which is the German word for ‘moon’. Its straightforward execution allows the more vibrant parts of the identity to shine.
Högger designed all of the collateral, including business cards, postcards, menus, booklets and coffee packaging, as well as soap, towels, glass straws and stickers. He reveals that orchestrating the production from Zurich “took a bit more time”, but “we were able to find everything we wanted in Sri Lanka, and it turned out super nice in the end”.
He also helped to design a gigantic traditional Sri Lankan wax painting for the hotel’s courtyard. “I was able to visit a traditional batik workshop run by old ladies – hot wax, dyes and boiling water everywhere. I worked there for a few days, and they showed me how it works. I developed the design and painted it by hand on textile with hot wax. In the end, we had this huge piece that they dyed for us. It was a great experience – the final piece came out very nice. It looks different from what the ladies usually produce but still has the Sri Lankan connection.”