When we receive a commission for a custom order, the creative process begins with our customer’s personal style and aesthetic. And who could be better for our first client than the oh so elegant manager of The Roger Smith Hotel, Ek Wongleecharoen! Ek is a classic sartorialist, born with an innate eye for sophisticated and timeless trends.
“Black and white is boring,” Ek says, suggesting that, in New York, such a composition is taking the easy way out. “I love colors that stand out and look for pieces that will last forever.” And as anyone overseeing the operations of a 130-room hotel in Midtown should know, the devil is always in the details.
Ek’s effortless style also reflects the design and atmosphere of the hotel. Brimming with modern art and simple, yet refined, touches, The Roger Smith Hotel is the complete antithesis to corporate culture.
|The shower in one of The Roger Smith Hotel’s suites. Art is literally everywhere.|
“The hotel is not confined to a corporate rhythm,” Ek declares, hence the dapper seersucker jacket paired with perfectly tailored jeans. So when Ek asked us to design his personal stationery to use with guests, how could we refuse this handsome guy?
|“The handwritten note is a lost art. It sends a powerful message to the guests that you took the time to write. But the quality of the note card is also important, since it is how you present yourself and how you show your respect for the customer.”|
From Addy, older sister and our creative guru: When I thought about creating a card for Ek, I wanted something that was elegant and sophisticated without being too sleek. I wanted something that would look good whether Ek left it in the charming, cozy rooms of the Roger Smith Hotel or mailed it to a colleague working in a polished, modern office.
I first thought of the artist David Smith and his bold lines and simple shapes. I’ve always loved how the texture of his sculptures give his work a tone-on-tone look. It was this that led me to use silver for Ek’s cards.
Then I thought about the city itself, specifically the skyline seen from the water. I conceptualized these images as two lines: the real and the reflection. I wanted a simple image with a bit of repetition, almost a pattern, but not quite. I think pin stripe suits crossed my mind, too! However, the horizontal landscape composition won out.
|Ek’s Stationery: On the envelope, the silver is almost invisible unless held in the right light. On the paper, the silver ink is absorbed, loosing its reflective quality and becoming more steel-like.|
The font’s thin, clean sans-serif lines give an art deco feel, hinting at an older New York style.
|The name “EK” on the envelope flap adds personality to the design, almost like a brand.|
|Ek: “The design is subtle but edgy, elegant in a modern way.”|