This exercise focuses on developing a brand image for a housing association company. I need to develop a typographical logo that can be used on letterheads, a business card and a newspaper advertisement.
The keywords that I can identify from the brief are:
- First time buyers
- Brand image
- Young people
A brand needs to tell the audience who the company are, what they do and what they want to achieve. The visual branding will help create a company identity and will represent the values that they stand for. From reading the brief I would think that the ‘Chance Housing Association’ would want to represent ideas of enthusiasm, opportunity, a positive future, achievement, friendliness and engagement.
I did some research into local housing associations in my area to see what sort of style their branding and corporate identity takes
Overall, I felt that a lot of the logos here could be seen to be slightly ambiguous as to what service the companies provide. Without the typography only two of the logos communicate a connection to housing at all. I like the colour scheme of the Raven Housing Trust and overall their logo is well balanced. Circle housing is a good example of the effectiveness of simplicity – I like the look of the logo but feel it has little connection to housing. I was disappointed by the Ability Housing branding. Neither of their logos really worked for me. The first doesn’t communicate that it is a housing association at all and the second contains far too many elements which are all competing for attention. The Home Group logo has very limited visual interest but the typeface is clear and legible. Epsom and Ewell Housing Association strike a good visual balance and there is a nice contrast between the lower and upper case letters.
These logos for Southern Housing Group are a really useful example of how a design can be adapted for and used across several platforms. It is really beneficial for a logo to have versatility and the simplicity of the design here seems to facilitate that very effectively.
www.99designs.co.uk is a website which offers people comprehensive branding packages and design solutions for their business. While browsing their site I found a useful trick for focussing the mind to which associations/emotions/values are important to each design. I developed my own sliding scale to rate which characteristics were most relevant to the logo for this brief.
I think the key element in the brief with regards the branding is that the company wish to appear modern and appealing to a younger generation of home buyers. I think the more emotional values of being helpful and welcoming is something that I can explore through my colour choices but I need to think about how to develop a design style that is fresh and current. I made some notes on possible design elements which would help with this:
- A simplified, pared back look can often have modern associations
- Using mosaic or geometric patterns and abstract shapes can create a fresh and edgy look and can represent concepts such as ‘multi-culturalism’ and ‘youthfullness’.
- Incorporating web design styles including app icons into a logo can move the modern digital influence into print and branding and feel modern and youthful.
- Using incomplete typography or illustrations with missing links can give a sophisticated look as can visual illusions.
- Using basic shapes and simple silhouettes can form a stylish and striking visual identity.
- A modern looking handcrafted typographical logo can be very sharp, fresh and eye-catching. Using script style letters or more abstract strokes generates a contemporary feel.
- Kinetic logos where there is variation between print materials and web-based animated GIFS incorporating moving elements gives a company a dynamic and modern edge and utilises the developments of the digital world.
Drawing on the research I carried out when exploring colour associations in Part 3 of the course I will probably experiment with the following:
Yellow – to create a feeling of accessibility, friendliness, affordability and youthfulness.
Black – can often be the basis for a slick and modern colour scheme
White – A youthful colour with economical associations.
Blue – A colour often associated with professionalism, trustworthiness and honesty.
Purple – Can generate a feeling of wisdom and being cutting-edge.
I think I will try and avoid bright red as while it is definitely quite modern it could lack the seriousness and maturity associated with house-buying. I also think I will avoid a colour which is too masculine or too feminine as the brand needs to appeal to both sexes.
I started my sketching on pen and paper and then produced my four favourite ideas in Illustrator.
I really liked the font choice (Vermin Vibes 2 Nightclub) for the first three as I think it looks very modern and sophisticated but when I stood across the room and viewed the designs from a distance I realised that is was less readable than the fourth. I liked the simplicity of the first design but feel the detail could potentially be lost at a smaller size. The web app icon was probably my favourite of the top three designs but the C surrounding the circle wasn’t as clear as I would have liked. This might have worked better with different colours but I was conscious of the logo being reproduced in black and white newspapers. I tried experimenting with some geometric shapes in the third design but it perhaps looses the benefits of simplicity somewhat.
I chose the fourth design to develop further as overall I felt it had the best balance for the qualities I was trying to represent. The typeface I have used is ‘ElegantAgege’ and I think strikes an effective middle ground between fresh and youthful and professionalism and seriousness. The use of the simple geometric shapes surrounding the letter ’n’ communicates what the company is about. It works well in both small and large sizes and is visible and legible in both black and white and colour.
I experimented with different colours and different typefaces for the ‘Housing Association’ letters as well as adding more geometric shapes and lines.
The final logo design is:
I then used my logo to mock up some designs for a letterhead, business card and newspaper advertisement for the company.
The feedback I received was very positive overall for the double sided business card which my friends felt had a better overall balance than the single sided version. There was concern that the font used for my name on the card didn’t work so well for smaller standard text. Opinion was split between versions of the letterhead but generally the preference was for the designs which had all the company information at the top of the page rather than separated. The feedback for the coloured versions of the newspaper article was interesting as it reminded me of how important it is to design with the intended purpose and audience in mind. Visually my preference was for the version with the blue background as I felt the yellow border jarred a but one of my friends pointed out that the yellow would make the advert stand out in a page among other text and images and attract attention. The advert and the logo work well when transferred into black and white as I have used block colours and the contrast of white text against a darker background.
The final designs that I would submit to the client are: