Not Very Professional

Being a Graphic Designer, I always take an interest when I come across an updated identity for a well known local brand. Usually this change is an improvement, the mark may have been in use for over a decade or more and needs to keep up with the aesthetics of the time, the company might have grown or been bought by someone new who wants to update the image to meet with their business criteria – in any case, what the business would hope for is a new mark that is at least as effective as the old one if not a vast improvement. Then you come across something like the new logo for The Professionals Real Estate and you wonder what the hell they are trying to achieve.

Their old logo (as such) was made up from a serviceable use of san serif type and those 1970s modernist parallel colour bars prevalent in the design of those times, so there was no doubt that an update was justified. What they have ended up with looks like they got the receptionist to knock it up in her lunch break (my apologies to any receptionists out there who have forsaken a career in graphic design to work front of office).

I can excuse a small business knocking up their own logo out of Publisher on their home computer to stick on a sandwich board outside their shop (well I can’t really, in fact I usually think they’d be better off if they hadn’t of bothered), but The Professionals are a large national real estate firm, They even call themselves The Professionals with a mark that says they are ‘anything but’.

First off, is that friggin’ Comic Sans that they’ve used for the typeface on the mark? I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually, they’ve only managed to discover a similar typeface that is even uglier. Lots of designers use a handwritten style in logos to denote a personable, approachable personality to the mark, I guess it’s like when you receive a handwritten letter, it’s saying ‘this is just for you’. So that approach is probably not so bad when you’re trying to sell someone something as personal as a home. A computer ‘handwritten style’ font isn’t going to do that, the whole idea is negated by the fact that it’s characters are exact duplicates, for example, in Professionals you have three ‘s’ that look exactly the same – you don’t get the different nuances you would if they had actually bothered to pick up a writing implement and handwritten it.

Secondly, let’s make this logo really difficult and expensive to reproduce by making it work only in five colours for the hundred odd offices around the country who will need to be able to reproduce it in one colour newspaper real estate listings, making sure that when they do it will be even uglier.

I assume that smudge at the top is a star (signifying?) – either that or their colour printers ink cartridge has leaked.

I’d be very surprised (and embarrassed) if a dedicated design firm produced this – I’m assuming the Managing Director’s 8 year old son brought it home from art class and hung it on the fridge just when daddy was looking for a new identity for his firm. If this was produced by a designer, then they must have the biggest balls imaginable to get this through, either that or it’s meant as irony (I just can’t tell anymore).

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