Fonts In Use: Enjoy your stay
  This headline is set in Utile Display by Kontour. Get it on Fontstand for only €4.50/month.

For hotels, typography plays a dual role. As part of the branding, it helps – along with the visuals and ad copy – to convey the right feeling. And for newly arrived guests, there is functional signage to your meeting room, sauna, and bed. This article profiles four unique hotels’ use of typography to tell their stories and set themselves apart.
This headline is set in Utile Display by Kontour. Get it on Fontstand for only €4.50/month.

A business hotel like Navis in Croatia may be primarily focused on repeat customers, benefiting most from a familiar look and feel. At Ama Stay, the hotel itself is hardly seen on the website. Instead, they deploy short copy and beautiful scenery photography. A few mountains away in Portugal, Hotel Minho is anything but ordinary. Across the ocean in Nashville, visitors are treated with a complete branding experience, with a custom typeface and color applied down to the smallest details.

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What’s not to love about mountains, skies, a river and a headline in a good typeface? Image source:

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The website presents its offerings in three languages: English, Italian and German. Image source:

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Website menu with one-word choices, offered at two levels. Image source:

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In all online communications, the venue's logo plays only a supporting role. Here it is part of a promotional text on social media. Image source:

AMA Stay website

Looking at the photos of South Tyrol’s Plan de Corones, you’d almost think Ama Stay is a mountain lodge – but then the website probably wasn’t on Fonts In Use. This place is more urban. Its guests do not arrive carrying picks and crampons but instead rolling suitcases and laptops for a “working stay in the Dolomites for digital nomads and nature lovers.”

Local designer Samuel Clara, a.k.a. Meteorit, created a visual identity with the hotel’s trilingual website as the main brand-expression. The spacious pages with ample landscape photography suggest a mix of tranquility and adventure. Headlines in bold capitals ensure that website visitors don’t wander off into daydreaming but proceed to action and book one of the offerings.

For the headings, the designer chose Utile Display  Bold – always set all caps. Subheads, in sentence case, use the Light style. In doing so, Samuel Clara cleverly applies one of the key features of Kontour’s typeface collection. Its lowercase letters are clearly ‘flared’, meaning that its strokes thicken slightly toward the end. In effect, the lowercase appears almost as a serif. In the uppercase, designer Sibylle Hagmann strikes a different note. On her website she describes it this way: “To keep reverberations of the pen at its lowest, the majority of uppercases are (...) mostly spared of glyphic details generally maintaining a sans identity”. For body copy, Utile is paired with Mulish, available from Google Fonts.

See the original version of this contribution on Fonts In Use, where it was contributed by Sibylle Hagman

Louise Reichardt Le Mée-sur-Seine 469 Big Round B-82 gartenschläuche

incapacitations Khartoum-Omdurman nepremišljenost Federico Chueca

Antonio Sacchini Colorado Springs Jakob-Baumann-Allee 43 rannsóknarréttur

Johanna Maitland EST. 1962 cortado technologickému schraubenzieher verkorting Dürer

Utile Display is a modulated sans that "pays homage to the contrast between thick and thin." The Utile collection has three families. The pronounced contrast of the Display family is toned down in the Text styles; Utile Narrow is a condensed extension of the Text family in seven upright weights.


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Collect your purchases in a bag with scattered type. Photography: Mucca

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The sunflower yellow color is reflected in all expressions, elevating even simple stationery into something that evokes a sense of fun and luxury. Photography: Mucca

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A bold use of a bold logo: the hotel logo printed larger than life on an umbrella. Photography: Mucca

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A small welcome booklet for guests, with keywords that evoke the hotel’s atmosphere and history. Photography: Mucca

The Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel opened its doors in 1910 as “Nashville’s first multimillion-dollar hotel.” Fast forward to one hundred and twelve years later: design firm Mucca is asked to undertake an overhaul of the hotel with today’s traveler in mind. With more than a century of history behind the facade, the designers found inspiration in abundance. The new identity was built around an old theme that is still relevant today, the suffragette movement. “The hotel’s opulent rooms famously hosted campaigners for (and against) women’s suffrage, with yellow rose suffrage advocates winning by a hair’s breadth.”

In honor of this pivotal event, Mucca’s rebranding leans on a bold signature yellow combined with its own font, Suffragette. This custom typeface, inspired by the hotel’s Beaux Arts interiors, was designed by the other end of the design studio: Sean O’Connor and Matteo Bologna of foundry Mucca Typo. The supporting role is played by Dunbar by CJ Dunn, like Suffragette set in capitals throughout.

See the original version of this contribution on Fonts In Use, where it was contributed by Sean O’Connor

Jetski tajine fez kanji #154 ALKALINE specialisme stekmenilja

Plaça Jorge QUAGGA Smørrebrød primordial Bernkastel-Kues HOLOGRAM

sonnenuntergang Habibi Novicija FORCE WIND saltvandsområde Franz Ignaz Beck

Suffragette is an all-caps typeface in a single weight. After finishing their design for the Hermitage Hotel in New York, Mucca released Suffragette for general licensing, advertising it as “the perfect match for luxury packaging and high-end couture. If your brand wants to project elegance with a playful edge, then Suffragette is the font for you!” The widths of its monumental shapes differ dramatically from narrow characters like J, N, and K to the inflated rounds of P, Q, and O.



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I could not resist the urge to search and find the expected: the coordinates on the mirror are indeed the hotel address. Image source: Ivan Dilberović

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Much of the communication between staff and guest happens with wood as a companion, from the reception desk to menus, reservation bars and key chains. Image source: Ivan Dilberović

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A custom stencil version of Amalia guides visitors to their rooms. Image source: Ivan Dilberović

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Never the coziest place in a hotel, yet Amalia makes a valiant effort to welcome visitors in all languages upon entry (and to bid them goodbye upon departure). Image source: Ivan Dilberović

Hotel Navis

Hotel Navis is a 5-star design hotel in Opatija, Croatia. Their visual identity – a mix between feeling at home and corporate luxury – was designed by Croatian designer Ivan Dilberović. He used a compass and GPS coordinates as key elements of the hotel branding and combined them with natural materials such as wood and leather in their application.

For the typography, he chose Amalia  by fellow Croatian designer Nikola Djurek, which plays a prominent role in the hotel's corporate identity. Amalia was originally designed as a pleasant reading letter for long-form text. The sturdy details that effortlessly guide a reader from one word to the next through the text for hours on end also prove an excellent anchor for hotel visitors looking for their room or meeting. A custom stencil version of Amalia Regular Italic was created for the signage on the doors.

See the original version of this contribution on Fonts In Use, where it was contributed by Typotheque.


Rillieux-la-Pape elfenbeinarbeit saltvandsområde Jean-Noël Hamal

Luigi Castellacci 1678 Villar de Olmos Sabrina-Heinrich-Markt 88 skeiðarársandur

saltvandsområde illiberalnesses Frederick Converse Gräfenhainichen

Stich Jardins Sisneros D-33 Jan Václav weltraumtechnik Bourg-en-Bresse

Amalia was first published with OurType in 2006. In 2018, it was remastered and re-released through Typotheque. On its website, Typotheque describes Amalia as “a text typeface based on the pointed pen, with a moderate contrast typical of modern typefaces such as Bodoni and Didot. Its wedge serifs and graceful proportions make it especially suitable for setting text at small sizes.” The focus on long-form text is reflected in Amalia’s family planning. It is a compact family in one optical size, available in four weights with a relatively small difference between the lightest and heaviest styles.


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Certainly not a run-of-the-mill entrance. The large letters of the hotel logo align with the underlying grid of wooden slats. Photo: R2 Design

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Bilingual signage. As with the logo, all text is set in lower case. The monospaced text aligns easily on the wooden wall covering, two letters per slat. The matching icons, which do not adhere to the grid, are simply sawed through to maintain the rhythm. Photo: R2 Design

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In the application of the hotel signage, it is clear that material was given priority over readability from all angles. A good choice for a hotel focused on guests for whom wellness and high quality is more significant than ‘good enough’.Photo: R2 Design

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Photo: R2 Design

Hotel Minho

This project is looking fresh but nevertheless celebrated its tenth-anniversary last year. Hotel Minho, located in Vila Nova de Cerveira in northern Portugal, decided in 2012 to completely revamp the building and branding. Virguila i Architects was responsible for the new building, composed of large planes and natural materials. The designers at R2 were asked to create a new design concept to reflect the contemporary nature of the building and the character of the region.

In the words of the design studio: “We were requested to create a signage system that should fit with the architecture project, and would interact and blend perfectly with the colour palette and materials. Our aim was to create a harmonious relationship between different materials, maintaining the aesthetic and consistent quality throughout the system.”

The stag – a symbol of the region – was chosen as the basic symbol of the identity. With another animal, R2 found a perfect typographic match with the straight-but-friendly architecture. Capibara  (designed by Pieter van Rosmalen for Bold Monday) became the basis for the signage and the inspiration for the pictogram system that guides visitors around the venue.

See the original version of this contribution on Fonts In Use, where it was contributed by Pieter van Rosmalen

SUIKHU midway charlatanamente 2008 Elizabeth Chile Luonnolliset Anspach Khartoum-Omdurman

379 Cooper Invertáló photoconducteur Tolbaños de Abajo berücksichtigen

Filippo Gragnani Jardins Delapaz F/83 unprepossessing Puebla–Tlaxcala

Capibara is a geometric font family composed of horizontal and vertical stripes. No diagonals. But – on closer inspection – it does have curves: all of its outer edges are rounded. The design “echoes the typographic experiments of the early 20th century by constructivist artists.” Capibara – named after designer Pieter van Rosmalen’s favorite rodent – shows more softness than its inspiration. That is not only due to its rounded corners but also because the letterforms while appearing modular, do not adhere to a strict grid. The family is available in proportional and monospaced subfamilies, each in five weights.

The fonts mentioned in this article are available to rent by the month for a fraction of their retail price on Fontstand.