Throwback Thursday: Branding Amsterdam’s coolest hotel

As Jaz Stuttgart does cool things after opening late last year, and the upcoming Jaz Vienna shimmers on the horizon, we’re allowing ourselves to get nostalgic for the property that started it all: Jaz Amsterdam. The cool new kid on the hospitality scene, Jaz in the City is one of our most vibrant brands, and one that has – gleefully – stayed true to its original vision through every touchpoint.

It all started when parent group Deutsche Hospitality (then Steigenberger Hotel Group) approached us back in 2014 to create a distinctive, experience-led brand for them that would help them expand the existing Jaz portfolio (already established as a luxury resort brand in Egypt) into Europe in a way that made sense. Fast-forward to today and we’re still admiring how amazing it all turned out.

Brand Culture

Getting into the Groove

After lots of collaboration with Deutsche Hospitality, QUO’s strategy team came up with the ‘In tune, but offbeat’ Jaz in the City, an experiential brand that promised to sync global travellers into the rhythm of the locale. Borrowing heavily from jazz culture, because you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, the resultant brand celebrates art and music, and uses improvisation to stay fresh and ‘tuned in’.

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Corporate Identity

A Universal Beat

Jaz already had a name and a logo, which was pure letterform with Arabian-style serifs. We took it and modernised it by separating its cursive letters to improve legibility and accessibility.  For the colour, black was out – only royal purple would do, to give Jaz a luxurious feel. ‘In the City’ was used as a descriptor, to differentiate properties from their Egyptian cousins. The logo works both without the descriptor and with the property location, as pictured. A secondary colour of orange – or oranje, if you prefer – was used to reflect Jaz Amsterdam’s Dutch pride.

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Brand Voice

Night at the Improv

How would you expect Jaz to speak? A jazzy tone suited the brand perfectly, but to keep it rooted in the now, its wordplay, rhythm and rhyme was injected with a cheeky sass – the confidence of a truly in-the-know local. To provide a sense of place, and to be truly improvisational, the voice incorporates local slang and sayings.


Keepin’ it cool

There was no place for tired old stationery and boring ‘do not disturb’ signs at Jaz. Amenities invite guests to “Make your jaz hands sparkle” (soap) and “Clean up your act” (shower gel). All around the hotel, the brand voice works together with the rich royal purple for a brand experience that hits every note. Even in longer form, Jaz copy’s got that swing.

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Brand Video

Lights, Camera, Jaz!

The brand video for Jaz posed a problem we often have: what do you feature in a video if there’s no product? The answer is either stock footage or animation, so we went with the former to convey Jaz’s dedication to the locale. Using footage of Amsterdam cut together with ‘improv’ takes and a jazzy saxophone-led soundtrack, the result is fun, quirky and a little off-beat, with text on screen to help pull all the traits together. Are you ‘jaz-y’ enough for this?

Check out Jaz on the web here.