Artistic Branding: L.A. Based Design-Build Firm Merges Art & Design


In the hospitality industry, ambiance is everything, as it is a key component of the customer experience. Built Inc., an award winning design-build firm based in Los Angeles, knows how to create an atmosphere that fits with the identity of each client. Principal and founder John Sofio explains how his designs are influenced by artistic principles and how the firm designs with clients in mind. He also talks about entertainment in the hospitality industry and how the firm designs to make the best entertainment experience for all.



Form and function

When Sofio begins the design process, he often utilizes artistic influences. He states, “Built Inc. is an artistic endeavor. The pursuit of creativity at every level is our goal. The Bauhaus philosophy inspired Built Inc.’s formation as a creative entity in the hospitality space. Creating soulful spaces for the industry through the integration of art and architecture, and design and graphics, is our goal. We maintain total control over every element in the creative process from concept inception through the final completion of the build out and fabrication of the venues. We create the branding of the venues, including all collateral such as logo, iconography, matchbooks, signage, coasters, napkins, photo booth backdrops, etc. to coincide with the overall design concept and intent.”


Designing spaces for all

Since many of Built Inc.’s clients are Los Angeles hot spots, there is a mix of clientele, including celebrities. The firm takes each client into account during the design process. Sofio states, “Where the entertainment industry influences our design, is in the proposed use of the venues. If the space will be a social club for the A-list celebrities to feel at home and spend the evening with friends, like at The Nice Guy restaurant, we create a comfortable hideaway where they can relax and unwind. If the venue is conceived as a nightclub for celebrities to party and perform in, like at Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood, we respond with solutions that create high energy and social interaction throughout the night. Currently, we are creating a showcase venue for a major label to have artists break out new music. The lounge will serve the dual purpose of introducing music artist’s new work to the industry, as well as offering a social destination to A-listers.”


Creating identity

Another key component of design is brand identity. The theme of an establishment will always influence everything, from the decor to the menu. Sofio and Built Inc. help clients achieve their vision. “We develop the brand concept with the client from the start. Designing the logo and iconography from the beginning allows a truly seamless flow of the brand’s image and tightly aligns it with the design of the space. The venues and brands we create are unique and specific to the client’s concept, which differentiates our final products from the more pedestrian venues.”

Every small business should have a distinct identity. Built Inc. not only maintains its own identity as a premiere hospitality design firm, it also helps other business owners define their own brands. With a consistent process and a knowledge of the hospitality industry, it’s not surprising that the company’s clients are some of the most frequented venues in the city.



This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of for CBS Small Business Pulse.



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