It’s All About the Details

The Idea Collective team produced some amazing work this past year. We’re glad someone noticed! We submitted work from three of our recent projects for the Ad Club of Western Massachusetts Creative Awards and proudly took home five awards. Here are some of our thoughts and behind the scenes insights on these projects.


Diplomat Prime
Integrated Branding Program, Silver

My favorite pieces from the Prime project were some of the smallest patterned details. Inspiration for the Prime pattern came from a piece of tile central to the old restaurant space. Thom thoughtfully worked it in to the backer paper in the custom stitched menu suite, the bar top presentation with debossed leather coasters, and the printed ties, bowties, and pocket squares for servers and bartenders. Our in-house bowtie specialist Maggie helped the bartenders get their bowties tied the evening Prime opened. Just another valuable service we offer here at Idea Collective.

We used Knotty Tie Co. out of Denver, Colorado for the ties, bowties and pocket squares. They print and manufacture their own textiles in the US and provide meaningful employment opportunities to resettled refugees. They were super nice people to work with- dealing with my craziness over color matching, and getting our expedited order to property ahead of schedule. If you’ve been looking for a custom tie vendor, (and really, who isn’t?!) I’d highly recommend them.  -Fran


Bristol’s Burgers
Integrated Branding Program, Bronze
Bristol’s Environment, Silver

The most interesting part of developing the Bristol’s brand was the opportunity to research The Diplomat’s star studded beginnings and learn about the history of the greater Hollywood, Florida area itself. It’s always a treat when, as a part of new branding projects, we’re able to ideate names. It really allows us to develop a very distinct, wholistic visual brand. We love having that kind of trust and unique opportunity bestowed upon us by a client.

Ultimately, through research and a peak into the Diplomat’s archives, we landed on the name Bristol’s. In the early hay day of the Diplomat Resort, there was another venue on property called Bristol’s. The original Bristol’s was a more upscale fine dining establishment, but we loved the name and wanted to honor a piece of Diplomat history. Our version of Bristol’s is a far more casual venue, though never skimping on the quality of food and atmosphere in which to enjoy it- it’s a place to grab a delicious burger and an inventive milkshake while you watch the game.

In the end, we felt like the brand and environment we developed for Bristol’s 2.0 is a little tip of the cap to founders of The Diplomat Resort. We wanted out of town guests and locals alike to find something special in a place we had such a great time developing from soup to nuts. In our case, brand to burgers. -Maggie


Portico Beer & Wine Garden
Integrated Branding Program, Silver
Environment Design, Silver

The most fascinating part of the Portico project was working on the collection of restored and branded vehicles. This outdoor venue was looking for ways to attract and engage visitors. We worked with a consultant to acquire, restore and brand two vehicles – a Karmann Ghia and a VW Bus. The vehicles were restored for the sole purpose of becoming a place to enjoy a drink or take a selfie. When we found them they were just raw hunks of metal that were once usable vehicles (see below). We really enjoyed watching the vehicle restoration company work these into their current, beautiful state. As well, instead of vinyl graphics, these pieces were hand painted with our brand and design direction. – Thom

VW Bus before being transformed into an integral part of the guest experience at Portico Beer & Wine Garden.
Before: VW Bus being transformed into an integral part of the guest experience at Portico Beer & Wine Garden.


After: Hand painted Portico VW Bus on the Intracoastal Waterway at Diplomat Landing in Hollywood, FL.
After: Hand painted Portico VW Bus on the Intracoastal Waterway at Diplomat Landing in Hollywood, FL.


Portico + Bristols
Integrated Branding Program AND Environment Design Awards

Designing a cohesive brand experience for a restaurant is essential, but usually works best as a collaboration with an interior design team. For these two projects, we tackled both of these roles, which required us to think comprehensively about the entire user experience from name to logo to materials to mood. Curating both unique guest experiences tapped into the skills, backgrounds and expertise of our entire team.

These projects were unique and exciting, every day presenting new challenges. One minute we were debating the curvature of the Bristol’s script “B” and the next we were discussing whether to spec light or dark grout on the subway tile in our construction documents. One minute we were thumbing through a pantone book to spec just the right green for Portico, and the next we were on the phone sharing our vision with vendors that produce reclaimed wood tabletops. The process of watching an entire brand experience unfold before our eyes was incredibly gratifying and helped reinforce the benefits of the wholistic branding approach we take here. – Thom