"Let us be part of your story"
The Slaak Rotterdam
a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott
In 1951 Slaakhuys arose as a so-called ‘reconstruction monument’. It was build on the ruins of a building called ‘Voorwaarts’ designed by H.P. Berlage in 1907 and destroyed during the bombings of 1940. Slaakhuys is based on a design by Jo Vegter and commissioned by de Arbeiderspers to house its socialist newspaper ‘Het Vrije Volk’. Het Vrije Volk was established in 1900 as Het Volk (“The People”), the official organ of the Socialist Democratic Labour Party. During the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, it was suppressed by the Nazis, but it resumed publication in 1945 as Het Vrije Volk. During its heydays it had over 325.000 subscribers making it the biggest newspaper of the Netherlands with newsrooms consisting of over 300 editors. Slaakhuys had a printing press, several newsrooms and a bookshop. Het Vrije Volk stayed in the building from 1955 until 1972. On March 30, 1991 the last edition of the daily newspaper Het Vrije Volk appeared. In the same year Het Rotterdams Dagblad arose out of the merger of Het Vrije Volk with Rotterdams Nieuwsblad. In 2005 Het Rotterdams Dagblad fused again and was taken over by Het Algemeen Dagblad, which still exists today.
For the branding of the Slaak Rotterdam, we had two significant inspirations; the iconic 50s building and the rich history of the socialist newspaper. With this concept, we wanted to link the newspaper to the city of Rotterdam again and embrace the coziness of the 50 while simultaneously looking ahead to a modern hotel.
After we have established what the brand should feel and look like, we start the process of making the corporate identity. In this process, we decide how we will activate the brand within the hotel and F&B.
For the Slaak Rotterdam, we designed the logo & names, color stories, a brand voice, icons & patterns, and the collateral, which concludes items from keycards to restaurant menus.
The Slaak Rotterdam logo is designed to celebrate the heritage of the building and to revive the glamour of its existence as a newspaper building in the 1950’s.
The typographic look refers to the logo of ‘Het Vrije Volk’ (The Free People), the newspaper the building housed. The base of the design is the Didot Typeface; a classic serif with an ac- cent of ‘joie de vivre’, combining boldness and elegance.
Together, they somehow form a reflection of daily life. A ‘Slaak’ is an old dutch word for safe mooring place for ships. To symbolize ‘standing with your feet in the water’ the word ‘Slaak’ is cut of at the bottom’.
In short, the name and the design are a tribute to the hotel’s history, and its place in the neigh- bourhood.
Just like how we activate the brand through the corporate identity, we also do this with the website’s design. By using our brand colors, fonts, and icons, we ensure that our websites are cutting edge and a perfect extension of our offline branding.