Smith Tower

Seattle’s Smith Tower is one of those buildings. You know: iconic, architecturally stunning, and steeped in the type of mythology and lore that could fill books… or libraries. Over the years, the building had changed hands a number of times, and its tourist attraction, the Observatory Tower, lacked key features, and wasn’t profitable. The new owners, our good friends Unico Properties, approached us to help pour some love into it, restore it to its former glory, and develop a visitor experience that would attract new audiences and elevate Smith Tower’s standing in Seattle.


In Seattle’s downtown core, the site was previously the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

Asset Class

This office and hospitality building has a rich and storied past as one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.


Long-time client Unico Properties, LLC approached us to help develop a brand and visitor experience that would put Smith Tower back on the map.

Product and Brand Strategy

Product Strategy // Brand Positioning // Logo Design

The halls of Smith Tower echo with stories of the past, and distilling fact from fiction was no easy feat. We leaned into the incongruity to create a brand that reveled in mythology, while revealing the building’s true history in subtle and fascinating ways.

Business and Campaign Planning and Measurement

Business Plan // Program Plan // Campaign Plan

We set to work developing a campaign strategy that detailed all key goals and phases of the repositioning and outlined marketing goals, schedule, budget, tactics, and success metrics. Additionally, we created a business plan for the visitor experience including strategies to maximize effectiveness and efficiency of the gift shop, ticketing, and Observatory café.

Design and Content

New Website // New Videos // New Collateral // New Signage // New Exhibits // New Merchandise // New Observatory Menu

We infused the storied history of Smith Tower into all aspects of the project, forming strong collaborative partnerships with the architect, designers, and vendors to create a conceptually cohesive presence. Collateral is speckled with images of the building’s past, like rum-runner Roy Olmstead and Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, to remind people of a bygone era.

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