Hilton Gets a Facelift

By Mash Bonigala

Seoul, Hilton Hotel, 1977-1983

Image via Wikipedia

Usually when you are talking about the name Hilton and plastic surgery, you are referring to an item from a society column or gossip magazine. Well, pull your heads out of the gutter, folks, because the latest Hilton facelift is in the hotel logo design and brand.

We think this is a good example of rebranding done right. At first glance, the logos are very similar, which will promote recognition among the hotel chain’s many loyal customers. However, subtle updates have been made—an while they are subtle, they add up to major brand changes. The font of the hotel name is a little softened, with less severe serifs and rounded edges. We especially like the difference in the letter ‘T’; the old one felt a little awkward with the low crossbar. The font is appropriately named “Hilton” and was designed especially for the brand’s new logo design and identity.

Another major change is in the color of the logo, which has been deepened to a dark tone reminiscent of the evening sky. While it is still definitely blue, the new hue is less corporate and more luxurious in feeling. This color is one that will look attractive if incorporated into hotel uniforms, furnishings and decorations as well.

The image and the arrangement of elements have been kept the same, but there are a few subtle changes. The words “Hotels and Resorts” have been added to the logo design to distinguish this brand from the parent company Hilton Worldwide. The use of the popular Hilton symbol was important as the company recently held a study that found that customers considered this a very positive core element. However, this image was made smaller to allow the Hilton name a little more of the limelight.

Other aspects of the Hilton hotel brand are changing as well. Earlier this year, the company introduced a new tagline: Stay Hilton. Go Everywhere. The Hilton business has also began using product placement to their favor, putting their resorts on several popular television shows. The brand is attempting to maintain their place at the top while opening new hotels and resorts almost every month. That challenge demands a compelling brand and logo design. In this case, we think Hilton may have what it takes to succeed.

This rebranding is the first round of changes to Hilton’s logo design and other brand elements since 1998, an astoundingly long time when you consider the changes in the hotel industry over that same time period. However, you probably haven’t seen the logo design on a Hilton hotel near you. The company plans to phase in the new brand, now using it in communications and marketing, and later on the properties themselves. There are no announced changes so far to other Hilton brands, such as Hilton WorSpellBrandide.

It’s amazing how just a little facelift can do wonders for a logo design! The new Hilton logo looks more modern and attractive than ever. Now that’s plastic surgery at its best.