Every so often there comes an updated brand identity that demands attention and immediately engages the viewer—for me, that occurred recently while viewing a commercial for LaQuinta Inns & Suites. The new identity, created by Mullen (a creative agency with four offices nationwide) is such an improvement from the old one that I had to take a second look in order to truly appreciate its subtle nuances—and write this review. LaQuinta is a chain of hotels with approximately 600 locations nationwide. Based in Dallas, Texas, it is not surprising that the majority of their locations are in the southwest United States, a theme that is prominently featured throughout both their brand and the architectural detail of many of their hotels.
The old brand for LaQuinta had been in use since the early 1990’s, and was in desperate need of an update. It had become stale and dated due to its teal, purple and sunshine yellow color scheme (popular in the early 90’s), and its condensed serif typeface, which was a cross between Bodoni (thick character strokes and thin serifs) and Garamond. The arched “window” of the old mark (complete with a purple sky!) was disconcerting in that it had three-dimensional special qualities that the rest of the mark did not possess. While the new mark maintains the same shape as the old, the similarities stop there.
In the opinion of this critic, Mullen did an outstanding job updating the identity for LaQuinta Inns & Suites. The new brand not only retains some of the brand equity that had been established by the old mark, but is also surprisingly refreshing for an industry in which most hotel brands look alike, and in which competition is increasing.
By: Ryan Hembree