My work with Haseko began with a request for a simple 11x17 leasing brochure for an early concept retail development just west of ‘Ewa Beach, O’ahu. The site location, a less-than-convenient 40 minutes from downtown Honolulu, posed special concern for the client who hoped to emphasize the alluring Hawaiian heritage and natural splendor on “the other side of the island.”
Having prepared a similar brochure before with little success, Haseko approached our team looking for new ideas. To interpret the conceptual site in a way that felt organic, exploratory, and respectful of the living legacy of the site, I drew inspiration from an antique field journal – aiming for a finished product that felt raw and personal, more like a found object than a glossy marketing brochure.
To leverage the rich experience of flipping through a field scientist's journal I styled each page to look handmade, as if crafted by a turn of the century botanist charting ancient exotic territory. Carefully selected stock photos appear taped in. Bespoke vector maps look one hundred years old and charts are drawn and inked. Navigational icons take inspiration from wax seals, and notes on local flora and fauna are hand-scrawled in the margins. This, and a suite of custom botanical illustrations, transport the viewer to a magical bygone place—spotlighting the rich heritage of the site on ‘Ewa Beach.
By selecting toothy, off-white papers, calligraphic fonts and a delicate blind deboss for the cover, I distilled a massive project down to human scale. Fitting comfortably in the hands of the prospective tenant, the journal shifts the focus from the technical details of construction planning to the living story of the place.
To conclude the journal project, I designed a complementary suite of printed stationery, including business cards, letterhead, envelopes and mailing labels for the client’s use in pursuing tenant leads. By honing the ethos of the place with every deliverable, a simple leasing brochure grew into a preliminary definition of the Wai Kai brand.
With the marketing suite printed, I was asked to extend the vision to Wai Kai’s ICSC event booth. To compete for attention in the sea of exhibits at the conference, I translated the intentionally limited journal palette into a vibrant and dynamic environmental experience, leveraging site and botanical illustrations, graphic elements and copy from the journal on every surface of the space.