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HIKARU

A branding and design project for a property management company. Highlighting elements from Asian design elements.

THE PROBLEM

The business outgrew itself and wanted to be a standalone brand in the property management market. The brand also wanted to reach out to the Asian demographic visiting the city of Austin, Texas.

The company started as a property management company using a popular property hosting site. As the brand grew, it wanted to move out of the platform and have a dedicated brand and site. 

In a competitive market, becoming just another brand won't be enough. The team behind the brand wanted a strong visual identity that can be used in different aspects of the brand.

For a detailed presentation of Hikaru, click here.

TIMELINE

2020

2 months for branding

1 week for web design

ROLE

Brand and web designer

KEY GOAL

Creating a whole new brand with elements of Asian heritage that can be applied in digital and print

MY ROLE

As the sole brand and web designer for the project, I planned out the timeline in phases for smooth development. 

Planning a project of this scale needed some time by understanding the brand, market, and future plans of the brand. I conducted a workshop in defining the character of the brand and how they see the brand grow in the future. Key word that came out from the workshop is heritage and a lone traveler seeking guidance.
 

UNDERSTANDING
THE USER AND MARKET

I was provided with data about their current customers and their target market. I gathered data on the local level about the target market and competitive analysis.

  • There is a high influx of Asian visitors to Austin, Texas. There isn't a property brand tailored to the demographic.

  • Competition among management companies is high due high number of visitors looking for long-term stay for work.

  • The market is millenials, ranging from 25 to 35 young professionals. This age range is often looking for authentic and local.

BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS FOR BRANDING

The process for the whole project was the following: Discovery through research, ideation, designing, review and testing by getting opinions from the target market. 

Discovery and workshop were done with the owner and interior designer. We wanted to make sure that the branding can integrate with the interior design elements they plan to have. 
 

Why does the brand exist?

To help people feel at home and settled after a long journey.

How does the brand do it?

Provide a unique experience with well-designed spaces.

What we do

We offer properties for young professionals looking for a long-term stay.

The brand attributes were a journey, comfort, and nostalgia. Using these as the guide, we started planning ideas and created some designs.

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Detailed brand pattern
Brand pattern

BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS FOR WEB DESIGN

After the branding phase was completed, web design was created using the brand guideline.

In discovery, I researched other competing sites and see common design patterns that can be applied. This was to lessen the burden on the user. 

In the ideation, we wanted to highlight the accommodations right away as the user scrolls and highlight reviews for assurance of the service and product of the brand. 

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Landing page
Blog
Properties

LESSONS LEARNED

Regular communication to be in sync with stakeholders.

Regular communication was implemented for this project every step of the way during the branding stage. This was made to ensure that selected and refined elements of the brand are polished before moving to the next step. 

Once all was set, it was easy to apply the brand elements to other materials, from print to digital. If given more time in web design, I would have done user testing to iterate over designs until the final form that's close to good. 

For a detailed presentation of Hikaru, click here.

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