Branding Freedom

2 March 2018

What is freedom? Is it something you can buy, or brand? These questions and more arose when we began our branding journey with The Nautilus, a new Maldivian project aimed at ultra-high net worth individuals. Looking to create a stand-out brand for their tiny, untouched island in Baa Atoll, The Nautilus needed an identity that offered something truly of elusive and undisputed value to people who ‘have it all’. QUO was tasked with not only creating a brand strategy and culture for The Nautilus, but a coffee table-style launch 'brochure', giveaways and an experience-based microsite, all in time for ITB. But first we had to ask: what is the most precious commodity of all?

Liberating Indulgence

Answer: time. Pinpointing an abundance of unstructured time and liberation from life’s pressures as the most desired of ‘commodities’, QUO’s brand culture positioned The Nautilus as an immensely private resort where a whimsically bohemian attitude towards time informs customisable experiences that let guests do whatever they want, when they want. It emerged as a sophisticated refuge that affords guests the ultimate freedom to enjoy life’s elusive elemental pleasures, namely the ability to ‘simply be’.

Breathing Life into an Empty Shell

The Nautilus, having come to us with a name already, needed a visual identity that flew in the face of expectation. While the resort hardware itself would have echoes of the nautilus shape, the designers and strategists at QUO didn't think it would position the brand correctly to utilise the shell shape overtly through its corporate identity. Instead, we crafted a logo that would breathe bohemian sophistication into The Nautilus and its collateral, one that would resonate both with its luxurious side and with its more free-wheeling spirit of liberation.

A Modern Bohemian

The voice created for The Nautilus does not shy away from its poetic side. Unafraid to ponder aloud, it sets a philosophical mood with provocative questions peppered throughout prose. It also ‘paints with words’ to create a sense of intrigue and invite readers into a world without inhibitions - a world of their own making (that's the tagline!).

What is your greatest freedom?

One of QUO’s main challenges in building The Nautilus micro site lay largely in trying to create a user journey for a resort that doesn't yet exist. It’s always challenging building a website before the resort in question has launched, and doing so requires a different approach. In this case, all of QUO’s departments were involved in the creation of the initial site map, integrating strategy, design, content and digital to create a fully immersive user experience that 'recreates' the guest journey at The Nautilus. Based on the key experiences offered by the resort, its whimsical tone lays the groundwork for the full website, to be launched before The Nautilus opens in November 2018. From the outset, we all agreed it would be more like an art book or coffee table book, made more portable for distribution at ITB. The 32-page book was Chinese-bound, providing more flexibility with printing, and allowing us to add a twine binding around the outside of the cover, in keeping with the bohemian style of the visual identity.

To see The Nautilus visual indentity and collateral, visit our blog.