Naming and branding a historic hotel to emulate the pulse of ingenuity and invention embedded in the history of Dayton, Ohio.

First Hospitality Group

Hotel Ardent: Naming & Branding


Bringing New Life to History

At the corner of First and Main lies a 10-story building whose brick walls have painted the Dayton, Ohio skyline since the 1920s. Many years of history established the foundation of the Barclay building, and in 2018, First Hospitality Group saw an opportunity to bring that history directly to the community.

To succeed, they needed AOR’s branding and marketing expertise. First Hospitality Group’s plans were to transform the space into a boutique hotel and they knew that in order to bring in visitors, the historic building needed to stand out — and so we got started on a strong branding strategy and messaging platform.

“Stay[ing] Passionate”

With so much emphasis on history, AOR knew we needed to stay true to Dayton, Ohio’s roots in innovation.

The only problem? Everyone was doing it.

It was hard to walk anywhere in the city without running into a brand leveraging the “Birthplace of Aviation” and the city’s connection to the Wright Brothers — we needed to get creative.

“Stay[ing] Clever”

Innovation doesn’t stop at aviation. Starting as early as when the Barclay building was built, the city is credited with having more patents per capita than any other city in America. The inspiration for the new brand was endless and so we decided to capitalize on the innate spirit of deep innovation that was naturally woven into the fabric of the city.

A Collaborative Desire

AOR wanted to ensure the building would stand as a monolith of the past and a monument to the future — the perfect mixture of the city’s rich history of invention and drive for future achievement.

And we did it all by collaborating with expert interior designers, architects, and a property management company whom we worked with from Discovery, on.


“Stay[ing] Smart”

How do you bring the inspiration behind a brand and the brand itself and give it a platform to express itself in one easily recognizable way?

You give it a name and a logo.

Giving Innovation Words to Live By

Ardent means warmth, intense enthusiasm, and a passion to support. The word perfectly embraces past and future innovation and the continual pursuit and passion Dayton has to create, tinker, and achieve.

We reflected the same enthusiasm for innovation and a nod to history throughout the brand messaging as well, focusing on rooting its many words in this simple tagline: Stay Passionate. Stay Clever. Stay Smart.

Giving Innovation a Whole New Look

The concept behind this mark continues to trace back to innovation. It represents the tools inventors and creators used to move their ideas from their imagination to paper — specifically the unique, yet simple, compass tool. The compass was a vital element in the geometry behind blueprint designs and was essential in developing and designing just about every invention, even the foundation of the Barclay building.

Patterns and graphics were created to support the brand and were inspired by graph paper, blueprint designs, rough textures, and other geometric shapes related to invention and creation.


Allowing History To Repeat Itself
(In a Good Way)

AOR became involved in this project all the way back in 2019, and we’ve been waiting in anticipation to see our work in the wild (the pandemic derailed the building’s development schedule). Hotel Ardent is set to open its doors (finally!) in the fall of 2023, and we couldn’t be more excited.

It will be a place of innovation and ingenuity at its finest and crafted for modern comfort, but most importantly, it brings to life the inventions buried deep in the history of Dayton. It’s been years in the making and we are so proud to see our work come to life.