The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, one of the most recognizable, refined and respected hotel brands in the world is sharpening their image. The company announced today a newly designed logo and brand voice. This marks the first-ever alterations to the lion and crown that has stood as an iconic symbol for the luxury hotels since its inception 32 years ago.

“Today we celebrate a defining moment in the legacy of The Ritz-Carlton with an updated brand logo, and a new blue” said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. and one of the brand’s founders.

The revered lion and crown looks largely the same, though has been streamlined with a cleaner, sharper look. The font in which “The Ritz-Carlton” is displayed under the image also changed, incorporating a thick, weightier feel to the letters.

The most immediately noticeable addition is the field of light blue in which the logo now rests (or becomes the color of the logo outlines and font when on a black background). Ritz-Carlton calls it “memorable” blue, and puts behind it the brand’s constant promise of quality and luxury.

The color is based on the blue windows that became a status symbol among wealthy homeowners in Boston in the 1920s, when glass imported from Europe took on a pale blue hue when exposed to the city’s air.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s voice promises to be more forward-thinking and help drive the brand into and through the future. “We believe as an iconic brand that it is our responsibility to provide thought-leadership to drive change in the luxury and hospitality arena,” said Humler.

Ed French, chief sales and marketing officer added, “As a brand that aims to lead the way for luxury, we didn’t wait for emphatic data to tell us there was a problem to fix. Instead, we took a leadership point of view and conducted global studies, not on where luxury has been, but where it is going – to shine a light for the others to follow.”

The new logo will soon appear on room keycards, door hangers, stationary and other items, though there’s no word on whether the iconic gold logos on the exteriors of the hotels will be changed.