Sweet Hills Guesthouse is a newly renovated rentable living/work space in the remote outskirts of Columbia, MO. For one of my graphic design courses at Stephens College, one of our assignments were to come up with some branding for Sweet Hills Guesthouse. Amy and her husband Mike had the idea to create a space that was an ideal space for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of a city. It’s still located in Columbia – a college town – but far enough from the downtown area that it really feels like you’ve escaped somewhere else.


Amy definitely wanted to target business professionals, families, and anyone who loves to travel. Maybe it could be used as a company weekend retreat or for a family that was visiting but wanted a better and more personable alternative to a hotel. The guesthouse itself has a very eclectic, rustic feel. They renovated the entire place so it’s completely state-of-the-art utilities and has a modern look. They were looking for a logo that was able to emphasize the beautiful expanse of land it sits on and the whole experience of staying there. They also offer unique workshops and maple sugaring during the late winter months.

My vision and idea for the branding I proposed was the usage of simplicity with bright colors. I immediately thought of using a slab serif font since it offers a friendliness and cleanliness (a perfect combination between sans serif and serif in my opinion). For the mood board, I was thinking of a young, professional woman who loves to travel. She loves drinking wine with her friends and celebrating all the joys life has to offer. She is someone that wants to feel relaxed when she’s at home and when traveling, she wants to stay somewhere that feels like a home. Amy also mentioned she wanted to maybe incorporate the phrase “a rural retreat” in the logo somehow. I tried some variations that included the phrasing and also without. She also mentioned she wanted to have a sub logo that would be appropriate to use for social media and I came up with some badge options as well.

Sweet Hills Guesthouse Mood Board.jpg

I presented and defended my designs to the class and to Amy herself. It was really fun to see everyone else’s takes on the information that she told everyone and how they were able to translate it into digital art. I enjoyed this project due to Amy’s openness and how creative we were able to get. She did not end up choosing my design, but I still really appreciate the work that I produced and like to share it with people still today.