The Plaza

The Plaza Featured Image

Project

Hotel

Location

El Paso

Completed in 1930, The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park was one of Conrad Hilton's first hotels and a beacon of luxury in what was still a dusty West Texas town. By the early 2000s, the hotel had changed hands and sat vacant for many years. Since then, El Paso has been experiencing somewhat of a revival—in no small way aided by the passion and investment of philanthropist Paul L. Foster, who purchased The Plaza in 2008. 

Over the course of nearly a decade, The Plaza has been meticulously restored to its original splendor. 

Disciplines

  • Naming & Branding
  • Logo & Visual Identity
  • Print Collateral
  • Signage & Wayfinding
  • Graphic Design
Plaza logo square

An architectural marvel completed in 1930, The Plaza transformed the skyline of El Paso...

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... becaming a beacon of luxury in what was still a dusty West Texas town.

To this day, it remains one of the shining emblems of Mayan Deco Revival—a decadent aesthetic mashup of Roaring Twenties glam and Indigenous iconography.

Being itself a work of art, the building became our inspiration in crafting the Plaza's brand identity.

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We created a custom typeface from the channel letters of the historic sign—visible for miles, and so thoroughly tied to the building's identity.

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This paired nicely with our graphic rendition of the soaring tower.

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The building's facade also blessed us with some lovely Mayan Deco geometries in a series of strange seals.

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To the restrained palette we added a shot of verdigris plucked from the distinct roof tiles.

Plaza color palette 1
Plaza bizcards
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Plaza photography unsplash exteriortexas enrique macias

Photo by: Enrique Macias

Plaza robetag
Plaza vouchers1
Plaza luggageticket
Plaza photography lobbylibrary jamesbaigrie

Photo by: James Baigrie

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Photo by: David Sola

Tempering the restrained elegance of the main mark, we added some potent doses of high desert surrealism.

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Plaza keycards
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The shape of the in-room menu was inspired by the archways and deco geometries in the building's rooftop portico.

Plaza photography doublequeen jamesbaigrie

Photo by: James Baigrie

In each guest's room, an unassuming bookmark holds a delicious secret.

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The mysterious red monocle on the dresser is more than a curio—run it over the surface of the "bookmark" and find a Secret Menu hiding within.

Plaza secretmenu decode
Plaza photography unsplash horse cierra klatt

Photo by: Cierra Klatt

We helped craft a robust online presence to complement the myriad delights of actually being in the space.

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Plaza website homepage1

Digitizing the character of a historic landmark can be tricky. We raided the archives of news clipping and photographs for snapshots into the Plaza's glamorous mythology.

Plaza social

For Instagram icons, we reinterpreted the architecture's wealth of obscure symbology.

Plaza social highlights
Plaza photography philiplara 1

Photo by: Philip Lara

After 3+ years of painstaking renovation, un-tallyable sweat and setbacks, The Plaza opened its doors in the Spring of 2020. A giant achievement for all involved, and one of our proudest—and most challenging—undertakings to date.

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Book a room at The Plaza next time you find yourself way out west.

Credits

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Paul Foster for his vision and dedication, not only to the Plaza Hotel, but to revitalizing El Paso. Thanks to William Kell for shepherding this project to completion, and to Hersha Hospitality Management for their incredible execution.