Exercise: Chance Housing Association

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.

The brief goes on to establish the tone of voice they want to use in the new brand assets, they want to appear as a modern, helpful and welcoming to young people.


I looked at other housing associations and their brand image such as logos and colour palette. There was a lot of blue and green, blue seemed like a good strong colour, dependable and secure. Some of the examples I found used bright almost fluorescent colours, this made it look fun but also cheapened them a little, I think the balance of fun and modern needs to be even with helpful and dependable, this is the customers future so it needs to be serious too.

Choosing type

I looked at some type, I did an all caps and a sentence case version of 10, this may have been too much choice. I was looking for distinct shapes and styles, and trying to spot patterns and relationships that may give me a shape of one of the elements I found on my spider diagram, such as a key, or a house shape.

I created a spider diagram and explored some loose sketches, in the end I decided it might be easier to actually play with these ideas in some software such as adobe Illustrator, I can manipulate the actual typefaces and take advantage of the shapes, I was looking to come up with three to present to the client for further development. I worked in black and white. I didn’t want colour to affect my judgements as these would need to also work in black and white. I also wanted to integrate images and copy, or at least thats how I read the brief when it asked “using just typography sketch up some ideas” it did feel like a more challenging way to approach this exercise and I was sure to learn a lot from this disciplined approach, it would be very easy to place a house icon above the type. I did try to make a half way effort though, by using an acronym. the C, A and H made a house with a sun above it, I didn’t feel this was quite what I was being asked to do so stopped developing that idea.

I ended up with three different designs.

I think my favourite was the key, the key has a distinct shape, it also has some extra meaning, a key to your future or a way to unlock possibilities. it was also the clearest at a smaller size. The House wasn’t too bad but felt a little too similar to soem of the examples i had seen, the brick work was the most unique but again didn’t really display at. small sizes.

Letterhead & Business Card

I settled on partnering the blue with a “house brick pink” I felt this was sensible and reserved with a sense of service and purpose. The logo at a small size was just about small enough to read as a key, any smaller and it would be lost, or mistook for a banjo or a frying pan. The dark blue made a nice base for the warmer pink/red to sit on, I felt it drew the eye to the address quite nicely. In hind site maybe the Hierarchy here is a little off, I don’t suppose the most important information is the address but it also frames the name and number too, so I started to look at it a different way, the highest contrasting items being the most important, I think that helped make my mind up, When I added the logo in the pink it didn’t look as striking so I kept this as below.

The letterhead I kept contrasty and dark as possible, I thought if this was the lighter and it got photocopied then the logo would be quite a lot lighter and get lost. I looked at a few letter heads but the centre aligned one seemed to feel more modern, less formal.


I was worried that it wasn’t fun enough, so I showed it to a few people, they said given the context it fit well enough and they could tell it was a key. So I was happy to proceed as is. I think if I hadn’t incorporated the imagery into the type this would have been easier, the examples I found above seemed to integrate an image and type a little less directly as my efforts did. This resulted in an even more challenging space to work with.

Presentation Pack and stationary

I put together a small set of brand guidelines, nothing too detailed just enough to start to build a brand identity to present to the client. Overall I was happy with what I learnt from this exercise, it offered some good problem solving and made me consider what sort of tone the brand needed.

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