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To be or not to B&B?

In a moment of inspired madness Rory and Vicki Steel brought their years of hospitality experience together in the purchase of a 17th Century coaching inn in the wilds of Selkirk, Scotland. The previous owners had alienated the local community and run the bar and B&B business into the ground. With a view to refresh both the the bar, B&B and its reputation; Rory and Vicki commissioned me to revitalise their identity, collateral, website and exterior signage.

Briefed in January 2022, and with a launch planned for February, we had to work fast; myself on the new identity and Rory on the interior of the bar and B&B with Vicki keeping an eye on interior design, planning and the purse strings.

In conducting my research into the crossed keys as a symbol I found literally hundreds of bars all with the same name and identity as used for the current bar with its roots in the archdiocese representing the keys to heaven.

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Looking to create an ownable point of difference was paramount if we were to make the identity stand out in this crowded space. To counter this I created an identity that took the initials of the Cross Keys Inn Ettrickbridge and integrated them into the crossed keys symbol. The brief was to meet the expectations of the local community with the brand look and feel leaning towards a traditional approach. The resulting design marries both traditional and contemporary ideas together in a considered and sophisticated way.

Because of the time frame I proposed using a templated design layout for the website with content management tools built in so that bookings and updates could be easily applied as required.

The bar and B&B was relaunched on the 6th February with multiple bookings and a great response from the local community who also gave many welcome and positive comments on the new branding.