NINE ZERO Hotel, Boston


When NINE ZERO opened in Boston in 2002, with its sleek design and signature swish, the city got a fresh glimpse in the mirror: the city was changing. This hotel-harbinger not only transformed its section of Tremont Street, it awakened everyone to the fact that hip could be cool in the Hub. Fifteen years later, in a heightened competitive landscape, new owner Brookfield Property Group needed to reset and re-establish the hotel’s very independent spirit and pivotal-to-downtown positon. They turned to Korn Design to completely redesign the brand and recast the hotel in sync with the city’s renaissance. In spring of 2018, Nine Zero emerges, enticing, inviting and new.

Korn laid a strategic foundation for NINE ZERO to arrive as a magnificent mirror of an emerging Boston – a sophisticated and stylish metropolitan hotel that strikes to the city’s essential core of independence and celebrates its ascent on the world stage. Eschewing the playbook, Korn helped NINE ZERO write its own script — a fresh, modern score that weaves Boston’s eclectic and irresistible history together with its colorful, innovative point-of-view.

In bringing this brand narrative to life, Korn set out to create a style inspired by the sophistication and simplicity of the original name – NINE ZERO is the hotel’s address at 90 Tremont Street – while layering in a seductive, metropolitan character. The new NINE ZERO identity riffs on the co-mingling of neighborhoods alive in the hotel, in a classically-patterned mark whose circular shape was lent by the area’s historic manhole covers. Working in concert, bold-like-the-hotel lettering spells out the name and is used in inverse to suggest the hotel’s distinctive character: the hotel itself is a study in modern contrasts, a place that savors history and invention in equal measure.

With language that is spirited – enticing, knowing, revolutionary – the NINE ZERO brand speaks as a hotel that charts new territory – announcing its role with words that strike to the essential core of independence from the first “Resist Much. Obey Little.” message, to the confident contrasts of phrases like “Live NOT Exist” or “Sensory NOT Censored.”

Korn recognized that NINE ZERO’s location, in easy proximity of the innovators and entrepreneurs now enrolled in downtown Boston, would translate into a high-end clientele that craves a nuanced experience – and that the hotel’s advantage would lie in exceeding guest expectations. Throughout the guest journey, Korn celebrated a boldly original POV with creative touchpoints — social and spirited in the lobby lounge, bespoke and residential in rooms, poshly private in the penthouse. From a local retail presence and a global magazine selection, to “sleep snacks” at turndown and a roving cocktail cart, NINE ZERO is that place that resists the commonplace to both celebrate and define a new Boston – and revel in an authentic and original point of view.


Brand Strategy + Positioning
Visual Identity
Brand Voice + Content Development
Brand Style Guide
Persona Development + Operational Dashboard
Stationery Package
Signature Property Brochure
Brand Integration + Guest Touchpoints
Print Advertising
Sales + Marketing Communications
E-Marketing + Email Templates
In-Room Touchpoints
Digital Guest Guide

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