8.3.2010 UPDATE: Got the final icons for the Aulani resort approved last week. Here is the updated set.
“Simply by focusing on the aesthetic and narrative essence of Hawaii itself, we can already step into a design territory that has been only superficially treated elsewhere.”
I got the opportunity recently to personally design the logo for Disney’s newest resort and spa in Hawaii -Aulani. The Aulani mark: Inspired by the soaring traditional architecture that greets guests as they arrive, the arch of the Aulani mark represents the central gathering point for the entire resort. It is the heart of our home and “hale.” This graceful, open mark echoes the welcoming gateway where guests travel from the mountains (mauka) to the sea (makai) and back. Because Hawaiian aesthetic taste is the most refined, minimalist and elegant of any in the Pacific, and bears a closer superficial resemblance to Japanese aestetics than to any of it’s Polynesian cousins, I wanted the Aulani mark to echoe this. It is about classic form over decoration. It also is about delicacy of execution. So I thought of the mark as if it had been well made long ago in these traditions and weathered a bit over time to give it some history and character. The font is based on Goudy Old Style but is hand done to give it a historic weathered feel also.
Aulani is about immersing you in traditional Hawaiian art, expression and culture and I wanted the design of the logo to reflect that also. This is why I designed a logo system for Aulani, made up of icons from Hawaiian culture and history that could be interchanged in conjunction with the base Arch design to continue to tell the story of this great resort. I also had the honor of working with a hugely talented individual on this project named Joe Rohde (head designer of Animal Kingdom and Expedition Everest etc.) and the words of wisdom and attention to detail he had, has been inspiring to say the least. This has definitely been one of those dream projects to work on and there are a lot of creatively talented people that are bringing this place to life.