This exercise involved producing a package of graphics including; a logo, letterhead, business card & newspaper advert for a Housing association. The Housing association had a specific aim/slant they wanted to be seen as “different from other local housing associations – more modern, more helpful…welcoming to young people”.
This gave me an focus or core to my designs, something to keep coming back to when looking at the work. Asking myself does this suit young people, is it still professional looking, does it look inviting?
One phrase from the brief stood out and ended up being pivotal to the logo design, “Chance Housing Association has been set up to try and help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder”.
My start point was researching local estate agents, trying to find some which appealed to a younger audience to see which had good ideas and which were examples of poor design for that audience.
I started by looking at the government help to buy scheme website, as this is aimed at helping young or first time home buyers. I found it was a very clean, minimal design, with fresh colours (turquoise blue/green) and very little adornments. It said professional to me more than it did welcoming (see link below):
A good local example is an estate agents called Payne Associates. Their site looks professional but has a sense of vibrancy. There’s a simple colour scheme, blue green, cream/white. But there’s moving graphics, text boxes and photos are in rounded rectangles, which gives a softer welcoming modern feel:
A bad local example (in my opinion) of a company’s design aimed a younger auidence, is ‘Pure Properties’. Their logo is okay, but a little predictable, a vector illustration of a house in two colours of blue. The font they use feels modern, rounded terminals, sans serif. But then they’ve added illustrations/cartoon versions of their estate agents to the site. It looks like something an 11 year old would find fun not a young couple or person making a serious attempt at home buying!:
Having looked at those examples I began to sketch some logo ideas for Chance Housing Association:
As you can see most of my design ideas focused around some form of ladder. I liked the idea of visually showing the company’s commitment to getting people onto the housing ladder, and it was a different feel to using a house image for a logo.
Below you can see my three initial versions in sketch form:
I then looked to add colour and text to these designs/shapes using Illustrator:
I decided not to use the logo using the shape of the clover, because although it reinforced the word chance, it also reinforced the idea of luck. Which to me seems too associated with risk rather than a sensible or adult decision. I also felt the green linked too heavily to bingo or casino’s or gambling.
I liked the 3d nature of the ladder and lettering combo, of the design above. I felt like having the ‘Housing Association’ in a typed font added a clean/professional look. But I also felt like the grey was perhaps a little too corporate or cold looking. So I began experimenting with different colour combinations:
I thought green and grey might work together, the green to represent good fortune or new things and the grey to look sophisticated, but it actually feels a bit messy.
I tried to make it more colourful in the logo below, I used yellow and purple as complementary colours. But it comes across more as a child friendly colour scheme. Probably more suited to a children’s party company than an estate agents!
I thought that a bright red against an aqua blue might have a strong enough contrast to appear bright and stand out without looking too child friendly. I think it worked better than expected. In the design below I left the letters ‘HA’ blue to try and provide a visual link to the ‘Housing Association’, but it actually then makes it read like a bit of a joke ‘funny’ reference which I don’t think looks reputable.
I experimented a little with added interest by highlighting the negative space between the rungs of the ladder in a lighter colour (see two designs below). But I wasn’t sure this worked, it seemed to draw the eye away from the word ‘chance’ rather than towards it.
I decided to revise version 6 of the logo so that all the word ‘chance’ was in red. I liked this design best as it popped enough to appeal to a young audience, certainly not colours normally associated with estate agents, but still looked clean/professional (with the typed font and clean beige line at the bottom).
It was fairly simple to rescale the elements and turn the logo into a business card (3 inch by 2 inch):
I then looked to create letterhead’s using version 9 of the logo and version 1 to see how these two compared:
I really struggled to come up with more imaginative/playful designs for the letter heads. I think partly I’d restricted myself by having a rectangle based logo, as this sits more solidly on a page than say rounded one. But also I’ll admit I needed to see examples of how other designers had addressed layout for letterheads. Something to come back to improve on!
I then moved onto trying to create a Newspaper advert. I really wasn’t sure how to approach this and looked at some examples of other students work for help. I found one students approach was a really strong example:
I decided to try and keep a sense of the house brand by using the same font for the body info as used in the letterhead, a font family called ‘Print Clearly’. But I did use a different font for the heading, as I felt it had a bit more of a modern/sophisticated feel.
Again I’m not so sure this is an effective newspaper ad, it doesn’t really say much about the company, visual clues all link to being modern/young but also perhaps isn’t clear enough language about what they do! Another part of the exercise to come back and improve on…