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.

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.

What to do

• Research other housing associations’ and estate agents’ styles. Look at other publications designed for a similar audience. This information should help you identify as much what you don’t want to do as what you do.

• If this was a real job you would need to visit the housing association’s offices and website, if it has one, to see how many decisions they have already made – for example they may have painted their sign silver and dark blue and used a particular font. As the designer you may want to continue with and develop those decisions or change them.

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 discernable?

• Show your designs to your friends and family. What is their feedback?

• If you need to, go back and adjust your artwork. If all is well make up a presentation pack to show the client – in this instance your tutor.

Keep all your work and record the process in your learning log.

Logos from Housing Associations:

I examined these and divided them into those that were created only of Typography.










and then those that had something else added to the logo.
















I need to concentrate on the Typography only examples. Interestingly none of these has tried to make an image out of any letter. They are just fairly straightforward. Two have circles with letters inside. Two use script typefaces which I think look amateurish. I like EQUITY best. I think it looks clean and youthful and modern. I’ll think along these lines for my sketches.

I love this quote:

If you can’t draw it from memory, you should at least think twice about it.(1)

I looked up typographic only logos in mono colour to get some inspiration before I start my sketches.
















It is really interesting to examine these to see how typography has been used to create really memorable logos. I’m thinking ‘vimeo’,’ Mail Chimp’ and ‘YouTube. The other interesting thing is how letters are used for example ‘NCAD’ (National College of Art and Design) and ARC design. Some logos are framed e.g. FRAME, The Bartlett School of Arcitecturea and Vitra Design Museum. How the letters are placed as in O/R is interesting but sometimes just a simple block capital name like STRIPE works really well.

With this review I set about sketching some logos for the “Chance Housing Association”

Within these sketches there are some ideas I worked on. I was drawn to the idea of using a ladder to express the idea of “getting on the ladder”. On the other hand I wanted my logo to be clean and simple. So I worked on these two ideas and asked a graphic Designer friend to take a look at these attempts. She came up with several suggestions which I will enumerate after I present them:

The Graphic designer felt legibility was a problem. She liked the ladder idea but felt the “H” of the word ‘chance’ was lost. She also felt that the ‘A’ might look better slightly smaller. In addition she liked the pink background of the newspaper ad and suggested this might work better as the logo. For the Newspaper ad she suggested the question in the top left hand corner would look better on a darker strip at the bottom of the ad. I did not show her my business card mock up.

For my second design I chose more clean lines. I preferred this design myself.

Deirdre liked this design also but felt the spacing could be tighter. She also suggested the underline to be aligned with the end letters.For the advertisement she also suggested I play around with the positioning of the elements to get a better visual presentation. She stressed trying to improve the diagonal perspective.

With all of the above suggestions I set to work to improve these two designs and to present my client portfolio, giving the client the choice between two quite different logos.

The results are as follows:

1.1 LOGO


1.2 Letterhead

1.3 Newspaper Advrtisement

1.4 Business Card


I think it is better than my first effort but I am still a little wary of the pink. I think it might be too feminine. Also there is the issue of the black on the advertisement which, if not a true black, might ‘bleed’ on the newspaper. However I could not work out how to get a CMYK 100% black when I saved the image as a JPEG.

2.1 LOGO





I like this set and think it is clean and uncluttered. I think it fits in with the modern trend among your people to return to Bauhaus type design. The red ‘A’ resembles a house but not too graphically. However I wonder if the newspaper ad is eye-catching enough given that it will be printed on a very absorbent off white paper.



– the discussions around legibility are very pertinent.

  • – Conceptually your steps/ladder feels the strongest image however the final logo is the cleanest and most balanced and an attractive piece of competently produced design.
  • – The problems that remain to be resolved surround the triangle erring towards looking like a wigwam and needing to be more overlty rooflike.
  • – The triangle seems to read most positively if considered as an arrow or a direction – could this be a thing to explore further? (in reflection perhaps rather than any extended re-working).

Because the second logo was so simple I wanted to have some indication therein that it was concerned with housing. Hence I decided to use the triangle/wigwam symbol. In my discussion with my tutor she indicated that this might be interpreted as ‘temporary’ accommodation. However I think the wigwam is accepted more as a symbol for a roof over one’s head or protection than any form of temporary accommodation. I also feel that in the Newspaper advertisement the houses in a ladder form help to solidify the design as a permanent housing association.

I also asked myself if a non solid ‘A’ would better indicate ‘permanent housing.

But I do not think so. I think it looks too like a traffic cone!!!

I also tried a ‘flat’ topped A but this did not look good.

So my conclusion is that the clean logo using a solid red ‘A’ to indicate a house is the best of what I have produced.


  1. Creative Market. 2017. 20 Rebranding Disasters You Can Learn From ~ Creative Market Blog. [ONLINE] Available at: https://creativemarket.com/blog/20-rebranding-disasters-you-can-learn-from?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=CM+Social+Share&utm_campaign=Blog+Post+Social+Share&utm_content=20+Rebranding+Disasters+You+Can+Learn+From. [Accessed 11 July 2017].