Toben’s identity system for Rooftop at QT pairs typographic flair with monochromatic function
New South Wales-based design studio Toben have rebranded Rooftop at QT, a sub-brand within the QT Hotels Family; a range of design-led, luxury hotels across Australia and New Zealand. Seeking and succeeding to develop a brand that is recognisable, distils a sense of customer loyalty and celebrates the individuality of the sub-brand, Toben have created a system for the bars to uniquely flex to the specific narrative of their location.
With an overarching master typographic system, aesthetic and logo, the modular identity uses the notion and physicality of the bars and their locations on the roof to frame bespoke typography – which is then fixed across all brand applications. The typography in question is a powerful combination of flair and function, opting for a customised version of Antiqua Roman as the first of two typefaces.
“We liked Antiqua Roman as a base font because it seemed a more unusual serif,” designer Jason Lui tells us, favouring its stretched forms and quirky character flourishes. “We however ended up tweaking each and every character in order to achieve a cleaner look,” Lui adds, “resulting in a logotype that is elegant and sharp at the same time.”
This is paired with 205TF’s Maax Mono as the more pragmatic member of the duo, serving as the body and informational text of the identity. “We are a big fan of contrasts,” Lui explains, “and picking a monospace such as Maax Mono seemed to add more depth to the brand,” he adds, giving the identity more of an edge and a sense of utility to contrast the eccentricity of the logotype.
What is made individual across each location is the graphic treatment of the bar’s photography, with a lenticular effect used to create a sense of intrigue and creative abstraction to counter the stripped, stark and slick graphic application of the QT Hotels branding. With the bigger picture in mind, Lui notes the need for a monochromatic colour palette to accompany the eccentric type and artful imagery.
“As this brand needs to be rolled out across the majority of QT hotels, with each one having a different identity,” he recalls, “we needed a neutral colour palette that would support and hero each venue's individual artwork,” also noting the significance of using a darker tone over a lighter one. “As the majority of customers to these rooftop bars are patrons from outside of the hotel, they visit in the late afternoon and during the evening,” Lui concludes, “so choosing black over a lighter palette seemed naturally more fitting.”