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Merchant Hotel

Situated on one of Belfast’s oldest streets (where all milestones out of Belfast were once measured), The Merchant Hotel occupies one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful landmark buildings.

The site was originally acquired in 1836 by two Bank Directors Robert Grimshaw and James Heron who had the ambition to build an elegant, substantial and prosperous building for headquarters of the Ulster Bank.

After serving it’s purpose for almost 120 years the bank finally closed its doors and the building it once occupied was left empty and sat in a state of dereliction until 2001 when it was bought by Bill Wolsey, Managing Director of Beannchor Limited. He had the ambition to develop the now derelict Ulster Bank Building into a luxury hotel.

Paperjam became involved at the very earliest of planning stages and were charged with developing a Brand Identity that was fresh and forward-looking while remaining sympathetic the hotel’s incredible 1860 sandstone building. 

Paperjam took inspiration from the area around the building - once deemed the heart of Belfast's mercantile and commercial centre.
 

When consulted about the name of the new hotel Paperjam took inspiration from the area around the building - once deemed the heart of Belfast's mercantile and commercial centre. In fact Waring Street derives its name from a successful local merchant, William Waring, and so The Merchant Hotel was born. 

The impressive building on Waring Street has long been admired for its distinctive architectural style and the brand mark for the hotel had to incorporate some decorative flourishes taken from original ironwork on the building’s façade. The Merchant’s brand was made up of two distinct elements, the ‘M’ mark – taken from the buildings original iron railings and ‘The Merchant’ text which was drawn to look weathered - emulating the sandstone building’s elaborate sculpted frieze. 

 


Any new business requires a comprehensive suite of stationery, but a new hotel requires a whole lot more. Paperjam helped the Merchant create room cards, menus, signage, brochures, letterheads and compliments slips to name just a few examples.

Our work for The Merchant has been featured in numerous global design books from publishers as far away as Milan, Tokyo and London, firmly cementing the Merchant bar and Paperjam design as industry leaders.


Such a unique building deserved a unique headline typeface so Paperjam created an original alphabet, ‘Début’. The typeface was based on the columns at the front of the building and an existing typeface designed for book covers.And has been used for all advertising, print and marketing, giving all The Merchant’s marketing campaigns a unique and recognisable touch.

For nearly a decade Paperjam were the sole designers for The Merchant and managed the delivery and production of all graphic design requirements across dining, bar, accommodation, corporate and events for this 5 star hotel. To date, Paperjam have completed over 500 jobs for The Merchant, ranging from small to large-scale projects like the branding and promotion for the £16million extension to The Merchant completed in the Summer of 2010. 

Our work for The Merchant has been featured in numerous global design books from publishers as far away as Milan, Tokyo and London, firmly cementing the Merchant bar and Paperjam design as industry leaders. The Merchant’s Cocktail book has been awarded ‘World’s Best Cocktail Menu’ for two years running. And we have had the hotels brand included in Taschen’s ‘Logo Design 2’ book, with Paperjam being the only company from Northern Ireland to be featured.

Paperjam have been pivotal in the establishment of The Merchant as Belfast’s most salubrious five star hotel in the powerful branding created and creative ideas that helped to drive the business forward.

Paperjam were pivotal in the establishment of The Merchant as Belfast’s most salubrious five star hotel in the powerful branding they created. With a relaxed yet professional attitude to the task at hand they have always been a pleasure to deal with.
Gillian Adams - Executive Associate, Beannchor Limited