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Gruene River Hotel and Retreat Logo Process – MaryMakingTX
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Gruene River Hotel and Retreat Logo Process

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Gruene River Hotel and Retreat Logo Process

Tubing and waterlife is such a big part of the Gruene and New Braunfels scene – that’s why I was so excited to jump on redesigning the logo for a new Hotel and Retreat making its mark on the Gruene Historic Area. The owner and I had tried to get together earlier this year, but the timing never seemed to work out. I was excited when she called me again to work on establishing some logo and colors work.

Mark my words, this place is going to be BIG! It’s going to really make waves! It is going some places! It is making a splash! It’s already a far cry from what it used to be –

After two meetings we discussed a logo containing the imagery plus the name of the location, using a typeface she had previously been using on some of her marketing materials. We began to differentiate their persona by going with a blue color to represent being right on the water, and the brown color to represent the historical aspect by being a similar color the state uses for its historical marker.

My first round of logos for a client is always based on concepts and ideas. No logo in Round 1 is ever a complete logo, but they establish directions to explore.

In Round 1, Number 1 was my favorite out of the entire bunch. I thought it had great balance, represented the waterfront location well, and looked elegant. The second was a logo that brought in the aspects of the downtown Gruene area and being right on the river. Number 3 was to symbolize a fun, energetic, and entertaining location. It even took it some decor from the Hotel and Retreat. Number 4 was representative of a sunset on the water, illustrating a relaxing getaway. Logos 5, 6, and 7 represent the discussion we had against standing up against big chain motels that have simple logos – mostly the big name ones that line the highways of town here.

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In the end, the team decided that they should have gone with their original intention, of just featuring a nameplate style logo. A nameplate style logo implies that the name (letters and all) is the main imagery for the logo, as opposed to the name, a shape, and a drawn subject.

They expressed to me that their intention was to focus on being a waterfront property, as they have many, many amenities – for example: not only does this business have a well-sought after riverfront access and activity area, but they have arrangements with local tubing business to pick up parties and drop them off after a day of fun in the sun on the river. I came up with the following logos to establish a river, and water-y feel.

Another issue facing the current logo situation was that their previous choice in typeface/font was to pose a challenge. It would need to be embroidered, and on smaller items like coffee mugs. The owner felt that it could use some thickness to it in order to stand out. In round 2, I offered to “thicken up” the typeface they’d already approved, and offered some alternatives for their consideration that had a bit more weight to them, and would lend themselves better to the marketing and promotional items they wished to have made.

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After this round, the team at Gruene River Hotel and Retreat decided they liked a direction. They liked the thought of ‘a river running through it’, and also water ripples. I also threw in another concept, the last one, of the logo ‘dipping its toes in the water’ for another option.

For logo 1E, I went onto Google Maps earth view and studied how the river just outside of the Hotel and Retreat bent and made its way through the Gruene Historic Area and on it’s way into downtown New Braunfels. The river makes a couple of rough turns that pro tubers are well aware of.


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It was clear at this time that either the smooth, flowing ripple concept was the way to go, or ripples. The next round was personal favorite round. We had a clear direction out of many concepts, and then we could move forward. Something the client was also struggling with, was that in the future, this location may operate as two similar businesses operating to different markets. More on that in a future blog post. In this round, I suggested we come up with a set of logos: 1 primary logo, and two sub-brand logos that could be used to further break down the niche of those two markets. I also threw in a smaller version of the first three logos that could be used for embroidery or promotional and marketing items.


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From this, the winner was decided:

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If you’re interested in getting started on a logo design with MaryMakingTX, please use our New Client Questionnaire to get started!

Mary Scheske Wharmby
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