The Jesse Hotel and Bar Exterior - Signage
High-design meets history meets high-desert

I partnered with hospitality powerhouse Piper Stremmel and San Francisco-based architectural firm Studio BBA, to create a brand and digital experience for The Jesse boutique hotel in Reno, Nevada. The final concept is faithful to the city’s history, community and desert landscape while appealing to design-conscious travellers.

The launch was awarded a Gold ADDY and gold certificate for Integrated Branding from the American Adverting Awards in Silicon Valley. The Jesse receives ongoing recognition, with features in Forbes, Wallpaper*, Design Milk Travels, Hospitality Design, and Schoolhouse.


Strategy, Branding, Digital, Collateral, Signage


The Brief

The Jesse, a new six-room boutique hotel and bar, required a distinctive end-to-end brand experience. It had to bring to life the “hip, approachable, design-oriented, warm, experiential, and uniquely Reno property” with the hotel’s ethos of “great design, exceptional service, and community”. It also had to appeal to the local community while attracting design-loving tourists. 

The team required a powerful brand concept that would work across everything from hotel collateral to signage and social media, along with a WordPress website integrated with the hotel operational systems.

The Answer

The ethos of the brand is design, and I looked for every opportunity to pay homage to the local surrounding high-desert, the history of the building and its location, with simple sophistication.

The illustrated tumbleweed honours the transiency of the Lincoln Highway’s history of divorcees and extended stay travellers, a similar path to the constant travel of the high-desert sagebrush. The monochromatic colour palette features hunter green with neutral tones to add balance and contrast with a pop of peachy/coral, similar to a sunset over the Nevada landscape.

We used classical and minimal typography to blend the two font types to create sophistication while allowing a simplified J that can be applied anywhere. 

Scalable design: The visual identity is easy for the team to apply across dozens of pieces of collateral, everything from door hangers to invoices to glassware.

Website: From scope through to UX structural design solutions and UI interface design, I built an on-brand digital experience that makes booking simple and integrates with the hotel’s systems. 

Signage: I mapped the customer journey through the hotel to develop intuitive, friendly signage.This project involved everything from restoring original signage to creating new custom signs.

Customisable templates: Social media campaign templates, IG posts and Stories, and several menu templates allow the team to adapt and produce new ideas last minute.

The Outcome

I managed the project, including print, signage and digital developers, from start through to delivery. The Jesse receives ongoing recognition and was launched to great acclaim. Most importantly, it has been a commercial success in an overcrowded market and tough economy. 

Accolades include a Gold ADDY and gold certificate for Integrated Branding from the American Adverting Awards in Silicon Valley. The Jesse continues to be featured in the press, from Forbes, Wallpaper*, Design Milk Travels, and Hospitality Design, to Schoolhouse.

What they say;

“We had the pleasure of working with Victoria on multiple projects. To say the least, she did an amazing job, going above and beyond our expectations. Having worked with a number of designers, her talent, patience, and passion far surpassed past experiences.”

Dave Seminsky – Sumerian Coffee Roasters, Owner

“Our branding was nailed immediately, that was good we didn’t have much time to do it! It was a new concept in Hong Kong and we needed a very strong identity – which was achieved.”

Bex Pawsey – Studio Hong Kong, Marketing Manager

“For me, Vic’s brand design is minimal, sophisticated, and at times, playful.  Her workstyle is collaborative and engaging, and the process was and still is a constant and evolving conversation.  Even now, two years later, I reach out to her with questions and concerns, and she makes time to re-engage with me and the brand.”

Piper Stremmel – The Jesse, Entrepreneur Business Owner

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