Insignia Hotel

Sarnia's historic hotel reimagined

A ground up renovation of this classic tudor hotel prompted the need for a new brand to go along with its new name, 'Insignia'.

Originally built in the 1960s, the Drawbridge Inn was considered the premiere hotel spot in Sarnia-Lambton. Fast forward years later and it was in dire need of an update. In 2018, an ownership changed launched the historic tudor hotel into a $23 million renovation. With this major upgrade, the boutique hotel was in need of a luxurious brand that represented the values and experience of the hotel. As designer at Storyboard Solutions, I worked alongside the creative leadership to develop a brand and website design that would help to give the hotel the reputation that it deserved.


Insignia Hotel




Brand Identity
Web Design


May 2018


Storyboard Solutions


Joshua McDonald

Kevin McGlade

Daniel Slade
Creative Director

Nathan Colquhoun
Project Lead

Laying the Foundation

We started our journey with the fundamentals — workshopping the brand pillars. Brand pillars are the foundation for what an organization represents and how they are perceived. We worked with the leadership at Insignia to uncover their values as modern, organic and effortless. Everything we built from here out had to align with those values.

The Brand Identity

Organic. Effortless.

The meaning of the brand name literally means ‘a mark or emblem’ — which posed a bit of a challenge as we developed the visual identity. We had to dig deeper and uncover what the hotel truly represented. What did they want their customers to feel when they interacted with the brand?

One phrase that was often repeated in our discovery meeting was ‘a meeting place’. Insignia wanted to be known as a place for coming together and re-connecting. The logomark we created, referred to as the ’Bloom’ speaks to the hotel's blooming presence as a hub, meeting point and place of renewal at the heart of the downtown district. The 'Insignia' typeface reflects attributes of strength, tradition and trustworthiness while remaining modern and clean. Both of these elements work harmoniously together to create a brand identity that represents sophistication, hospitality and effortlessness.

Insignia Website

The brand's first touchpoint

The new Insignia Hotel website was our first opportunity to showcase the visual identity and tone of voice of the brand. Utilizing the brands bespoke typography and colour selection, we crafted a web experience that truly felt boutique and inviting. It was important for Insignia to keep the site minimal and focus on the experience and details of the services they offer.

Project Reflection

As a Sarnia resident myself, seeing their brand on the sign during my commute every morning was a highlight for me. I was very proud of the work our team produced for Insignia and truly felt we provided a valuable brand experience. After an ownership change in 2021, the hotel was once again re-branded to match the new parent company. I learned through this experience that it is (most of the time) not in my control what happens to the brand after it leaves my hands. The best I can do is ensure my clients have all of the tools they need to be successful after hand-off. That said, it is a beautiful hotel, and if you ever find yourself in Sarnia, I would highly suggest you enjoy a stay at Insignia.