Established in 2012, Housing is an online real estate platform in India, allowing users to rent, buy, or sell, well, housing. The company has grown from a small team in Mumbai to 1,500 employees across 45 cities in India and has been getting plenty of attention and millions of dollars from venture capital firms. This week, Housing introduced a new identity designed by Moving Brands.
In March 2014, we partnered with Moving Brands, one of the world’s leading creative agencies. Thus began workshop sessions and many conversations. The aim of this was to get to the heart of our company.The urge to become a part of people’s lives, not just a search button was evident. Slowly, the more we talked about ourselves, we realised the true ingredients of our identity. Be it our brand behaviours or values, the most exciting part was to distill it into a simple, memorable and powerful expression both for ourselves and our consumers. A simple answer resonated strongly with us and our creative partners — Look Up. Yeah. That’s us.
Look Up not only inspired our symbol but also its meaning. The sharp edges of our ‘Look Up’ symbol direct us towards the future and invite everyone to push human limits. The softer inside is a nurturing symbol of shelter — the most basic human need — reminding us every day of the importance of what we do. Our symbol is: future + nurture = a world full of optimism. A symbol of shelter. An arrow optimistic about future.
The previous logo was really odd but perhaps I am missing a cultural reference. What I see is a hotel key card hanging from a tiny clothes hanger with a ribbon. Or a car air freshener in the form of a house? I dunno. The typography was bland but not terrible. The new logo is still fairly abstract as an arrow pointing up but you definitely associate it with the roof of a house and upward mobility. It’s not until you see some of the applications like the illustrations directly below that you realize the triangle also represents the apex of a building when seen from below. It’s a cool reference point and gives the icon another dimension. The icon has a “softer inside” which is the last thing I would call it — especially to a roomful of blog commenters — that is like a decorative version of an ink trap. It’s a detail that makes the icon feel less generic than it being just a triangle.
The wordmark is pretty decent. The icon makes another appearance in the bottom of the “H”, a nice touch, although it makes the “H” feel more frail and light than the rest of the letters. The “S” and “G” have a cool slant to them that, again, like the notch in the icon make for a more customized feel.
In some of the applications, Moving Brands has gone in almost every possible visually festive direction: there is bright colors! There is patterns! There is monotone photographs! There is dinosaurs! There is stuff! It’s cool that they are giving a lot of materials to the Housing team to work with but at times it almost feels like it lacks focus.
In the more tame and grounded applications the logo works pretty well, particularly with candid photographs (there are some more to see throughout Housing.com and in their blog post linked in the quotes). The Holi-themed ideas are charming because colored powder photographs really well. The business card perhaps could use one more round of effort. Overall, the brand is definitely energetic and has a vibe that feels like it belongs in the cacophonous environment of India. Hinging everything on the “Look Up” premise adds cohesiveness and keeps the identity challenged to always be optimistic and never complacent.