The atmosphere of an elegant hotel expressed through a family crest design
Based on the concept of “family crests as designs,” Kyogen has been expanding the possibilities of family crests across genres by designing logos for companies, collaborating with brands, and creating art pieces. For Shinsho-an, a luxury hotel in a Sukiya style building with just four rooms that opened in Kyoto in autumn 2021, Kyogen has designed a logo and other graphics in a comprehensive project.
The hotel crest that will be the logo resembles a blooming flower. The letter “S” from “Shinsho” is combined with light and dark elements that represent four rooms fusing Japanese and western styles. And the shapes spreading outward in a clockwise direction represent the hotel’s wish for people from various cities to visit.
“We combined logo-like design elements with a crest that packs a lot of different ideas into simple shapes,” say third-generation Kyogen designer Shoryu Hatoba and his son Yoji. The series of circles in the background of the logo are traces left behind from all the lines in the drawing process. This original technique, called a “crest mandala,” reminds the viewer of the beauty of crests constructed from nothing but circles and straight lines. It took a lot of trial and error to get the fine overlapping mandala lines to look right on the small surface of a hotel card. With the cooperation of a highly skilled printing company and foil stamping contractor, the designers managed to get the delicate 0.08 pt (1 pt = 0.35 mm) lines and two colors of foil stamping to overlap perfectly. The resulting card exudes elegance and represents the Japanese aesthetic Shinsho-an has long valued.
Kyogen was also asked to create an antique map of the hotel for its information guidebook, and spent a month perfecting it based on maps from the Meiji period. The designers worked meticulously to create a unique feel with Kyogen’s signature delicate lines. They also worked on amenities and various printed materials for guests to enjoy the hotel’s atmosphere.
“It was very exciting work. This is something we always strive for in our creations, and that passion becomes contagious and leads to more ideas. We hope to continue to promote family crests in Japan and abroad.”
Shinsho-an official website /www.shinsho-an.com
(By referral only from April 2022)