Signs of the Times - August 2016 - (Page 6)
S T U P D AT E
By Steve Aust
is ST's Senior Associate
Editor. A member
of its editorial staff
since 2000, he
graphics, and 3-D
signage in his work.
Searching for a distinctive hotel
experience can prove challenging.
Megachains reek of homogeneity
and conformity. Airbnb? I prefer
personal space at the end of a day's
travels, and would rather avoid nosy
hosts. I relish the faded majesty of
hotels of a certain age. The Hotel
Congress in Tucson, AZ and Driskill
Hotel in Austin, TX, which date to
1919 and 1886 respectively, stand
out as favorites that embody local
history and color.
As such, I consider it a victory
when a previously shuttered hotel
is reanimated. In 1959, the Fenway
Motor Hotel opened on Boylston St.
near Fenway Park, the venerated
home of the Boston Red Sox. It
later closed, but this property gained
new life once it was acquired by
the Samuels & Assoc., a Bostonbased developer of upscale properties,
who transformed it into The Verb
Hotel. Samuels & Assoc. engaged
Gregory Bonner Hale (GBH), a
Boston design firm, to develop the
environmental graphics befitting
the Verb's lively name.
6 SIGNS OF THE TIMES August 2016
"This project didn't just focus
on creating a new hotel brand, it
breathed new life into a local icon,"
Jason Gregory, a GBH designer,
said. "We wanted to honor its midcentury modern architecture, but
also tell authentic stories about
local music history."
The Verb's exterior channel letter
signage features a playful cursive
script. Its parking lot features six,
double-sided branded signs that
were custom-fabricated from aluminum extrusions that are LEDilluminated. Inside, 12 internally
illuminated lightboxes depict memorable scenes from local music
history. Hall corridors feature
printed graphics that convey such
maxims as "Listen to more music
and less advice."
TV shows from the '50s and
'60s inspired the wayfinding, and
GBH's color palette of pastel blue,
yellow and pink "balances the
industrial with the artful," he said.
To create door signage, the firm
commissioned a local photographer to shoot numerals on local
buildings, and combined them
into new, kitschy creations using
Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.
The motif carries into each room,
where guests view acrylic-mounted
prints that show past covers from
The Phoenix, a local publication
known for its music-scene coverage.
Boston Building Wraps fabricated
the entire sign program. The shop
fabricated the Verb's channel letters
by hand, and printed all graphics
on a Roland DGA SolJet Pro 4
XR-640. Shop President Joseph
Correia II said one of the biggest
challenges was getting the banners
atop the front pylon into a "radiusperfect" stretch.
"We had to go out with a 45-ft. lift
and create a template of the sign's
top, which was needed to stitch the
banners correctly," he said. "It was
also quite a task to reproduce the
Phoenix covers properly; we retouched more than 200 covers before
submitting them to the Samuels
team for selection. But, it was
rewarding and took our entire crew
back in time. A very cool concept."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - August 2016
Signs of the Times - August 2016
Why You Should Invest in a Color-Management Device
Technology Review - Epson SureColor S80600
Technology Review - The AXYZ Trident
Sign Museum News
Writing on the Wall
Dostoevsky and the Crane Truck
Penn State Study Assesses Font Legibility
A Crossroads Celebration
Signs of the Times - August 2016