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Time Travel Branding: The fictitious visual identity program of Xenia Hotels

In the early 1950s, the Greek state was effectively bankrupt. On that basis, the Greek government decided to initiate the ambitious Xenia project—a nationwide hotel construction program aimed at creating accommodation infrastructure for the development of a tourist industry to assist in rebuilding the economy. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the 59 Xenia hotels that were built became extremely popular and thrived financially. However, these hotels went under in the 1990s due to years of mismanagement leading up to the Greek financial meltdown. Although widely celebrated for their glorious post-war modernist architecture, they never had a consistent visual identity, as each hotel had its own typeface and logo. In collaboration with photographer Polly Brown, the authors created an ambitious image series presenting the brand identity from the past that never happened. The lecture will approach design as a form of speculative research, and will also illustrate the journey of navigating through archives, fiction, typography, and graphic design. The talk will culminate into the presentation of the fictitious visual identity program of Xenia Hotels. Selected images and videos will support the above effort, by presenting the imagined logo, typography, and brand implementation as props to highlight what could’ve been, but never was. This project is the first instalment of “Time travel branding”—a trilogy of projects advocating design as a form of speculative research, presented as a series of talks across Europe and the United States.

The project presented will also be exhibited at the Benaki Museum in Athens. It has been presented in Texas, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Athens. 

For further information, please feel free to visit the project’s website:
https://timetravelbranding.com
Or, see the promotional video on vimeo:

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Speaker

Nikos Georgopoulos

Nikos Georgopoulos is an award-winning art director based in London. Georgopoulos leads the graphic and branding projects at Pollard Thomas Edwards and is an associate lecturer at London College of Communication-UAL. Georgopoulos is best known for creating ideas, driving visual identities, and creative communication strategies for clients across the spectrum of culture and architecture. In 2020, Georgopoulos branded Greece’s first major coliving scheme, Ilior, as an imaginary country and. In 2019, Georgopoulos created the fictitious visual identity program of Xenia Hotels–the first installment of the “Time travel branding” trilogy.

Speaker

Polly Brown