The Arlington: Identity & Launch Campaign Study
(In-progress) We're all a little weary of throwing out babies with the bath water, right? If there's a remarkable collection of history wrapped up in a legacy brand– or legacy anything –we're careful to not mess around with upsetting the faithful in order to preserve the qualities worth hanging on to. Sometimes that's a lineage of ownership, passed down from older generations to younger and younger ones (thinking of the perennial folk hero roles that family businesses tend to play in our culture), and at other times it's a character quality; a detail, a color, or even, frustratingly, a font. As a species, us humans tend to loathe change, and this is either because of our nature or due to our societal programming of valuing the things that remain constant and reliable.
The Arlington Hotel (Hot Springs, AR) is one of those mainstays tied to many generational residents' regional identities. To change anything about this establishment, even affecting a small, peripheral detail, would be akin to asking the town patriarch if it would be okay to tweak his ancestors' family coat of arms. There are enough sacred cows around here to make the project virtually impossible to touch, yet there's enough of a desire among the city's residents to return The Arlington to its former glory that just might edge out the "never change" camp. There's a pretty small needle to thread here.
The work displayed here is a pitch study for what a visually-progressive yet historically-sensitive rebranding would look like for The Arlington. As of 2019, the hotel is currently lobbying for historical preservation funding from state and federal programs as it plans to renovate and rejuvenate the 1875-built jewel.