The Chance Housing Association has been set up to try and help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder and they want you to develop a brand image for their stationery. It is important to them that the Association is seen as being different from the other local housing associations – more modern, more helpful and definitely welcoming to young people wanting to buy a house. They want to use their logo on their letterheads and office stationery and it will also be used somewhere on the sheets that hold the property details. It also needs to be reproducible in the local newspaper and professional trade magazines.
Using just typography sketch up some designs. You want to come up with at least three initial ideas to show the client. In this instance you can decide which one you think works best to further develop.
Mock up a letterhead and business card using the logo and house brand. Look in
you local newspaper and mock up an advertisement to fit in the paper. Measure the space carefully remembering to leave sufficient margins so your text isn’t cramped.
Photocopy in black and white onto cheap paper – does your logo still work? Have any fine lines got lost? Are the differences between colours still discernible?
Housing Association Logos
Estate Agent Logos
Most of the logos that I looked at for Housing Associations and Estate Agents used the name of the organisation as the logo. The housing associations occasionally also used a small icon but estate agents rarely did. Green and blue were predominant colours for the housing association, presumably for their calming and honest connotations. Estate Agents often used quite strong and eye-catching colours.
I decided I would follow the same style of using the ‘Chance’ name as the logo and use the colour green in the logo.
I then considered the requirements for the logo and made sure I was clear exactly what a housing association did. The brief states that the Chance organisation aims to help first time buyers get on the housing ladder, so I felt that it was aimed less at supporting the vulnerable in society and had more of a commercial feel.
I started by thinking generally about what the Chance organisation stood for and words, ideas and concepts that reflected their business and ethos.
I then began sketching ideas for the logo, exploring how to convey a sense of a ‘helping hand’, a ‘new start’ or a ‘home’ into the typography.
Having spent a considerable amount of time on formulating ideas, reviewing them with my husband and even drawing up my three selected candidates – I then went back and read the brief and realised that my logo was meant to only use typography!!
I went back to my sketchbook and tried our some more design ideas.
After another review, I drew up the following three logo designs using Adobe Illustrator:
This logo uses a modern, simple sans serif font. The ‘C’ overlapping the ‘H’ is intended to suggest security and safety. The ‘A’ represents a house and the hand-drawn quality is intended to look relaxed, friendly and welcoming. Similarly the handwriting style of the words ‘Housing Association’ are intended to give a less formal and welcoming feel.
The outline of steps in this logo is intended to suggest ‘moving up’ and making progress.
Again the ‘C’ in this logo is wrapping around the other letters to suggest security. The overall effect also hints at a house key. This is a simple, modern and minimalist style.
I decided to use the final logo as the one to develop further.
I created a letter head, business card and local paper advert using the selected logo:
Business Card Front:
Business Card Back:
I also photocopied the newspaper advert in black and white:
I though the logo looked reasonable in black and white (despite my poor quality printer) but I did think the small ‘Housing Association’ writing was getting a bit lost in black and white.
I tried some different font weights for the words ‘Housing Association’ and photocopied them in black and white:
I decided that the green writing in a bold font looked better in black and white, so I reworked the logo:
I also reworked the letterhead, business card and advert to inlcude the revised logo:
Business Card Front:
Thoughts On This Exercise
The most important lesson learnt during this exercise is to read the brief properly before starting! I spent a lot of time designing and digitally creating three logos before realising that I was only meant to be using typography. It was very frustrating having to start again!! As it was, I found the process of generating ideas for the logo quite a challenge, given that I could only use type and I was trying to avoid the obvious option of depicting a house.
This exercise was also very useful for highlighting that it is worth testing the logo in its different formats as early as possible. I only checked the black and white photocopy version near the end of the design process, and again found myself reworking everything with a revised logo. Also I was lucky that the contrast between the green and dark grey worked well in black and white as I had not specifically considered this when I started the design process.
Finally, I found that I only got a real idea of what a document looked like when I printed it. It is difficult to judge on a computer screen how documents will appear when printed in their actual size. I printed and reworked the letterhead three times before I was happy with the relative sizes of the logo, type and footer.