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Help Us Update the Brand Identity of PFRE

Published: 30/11/2018
By: Brandon

Since 2003, the Photography for Real Estate blog has been built by the input, feedback, and collaboration of the readers along with a relentless commitment from Larry to "help make real estate photographers successful." When I acquired PFRE back in January 2018, I made a promise to Larry and the community to continue moving forward in that same spirit. There are plenty of things happening behind the scenes right now but one of the main priorities is creating an updated logo/brand for the blog. With that said, we would love for you to click the link below and provide some candid and constructive feedback on a few preliminary logo concepts. Thank you for being so involved and engaged in the PFRE community and we look forward to reaching out for your input in the future.

Please click the link and share your thoughts!

PFRE logo concepts.

24 comments on “Help Us Update the Brand Identity of PFRE”

  1. One of my first jobs was as a Graphic Designer for the Australian Government Publishing Service.

    Most design jobs had to have several submissions which were almost always reviewed by a selection committee.

    Well everyone knows about the horse that was designed by a committee...

    It taught me very early on that it was the absolute worst way to approach commissioning a design, only just seconded by running a competition to select the best design.

    There are a few good prospects in the above link but for a site that wishes to advance the professionalism of RE photography, I think it would be nice to show the same respect to the design profession by commissioning an appropriate designer and limit the number of people of people selecting the final design.

  2. @Charles

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I appreciate where you are coming from and it was certainly not my intention to disrespect a professional group. That said, I also want to assure you that the path to creating a design that you've suggested, is one that I've already gone down multiple times over the past ten months. In short, I've invested thousands of dollars with private/independent designers, all of whom have produced concepts that I thought were unsatisfactory. It was only then that I decided to use 99designs (choosing its most expensive package), which uses design talents from around the world. Since going this route, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of viable designs that I’ve received.

    Regarding this particular poll, for me, it is a way of continuing to promote the spirit of inclusiveness and collaboration which has always been at the core of PFRE since its inception 15 years ago. I am deeply committed to giving our community an opportunity to offer input and constructive feedback. However, as the owner of PFRE, I am responsible for the brand and, as such, the final decision on marketing direction rests with me.

    In any case, I do understand your concerns and can appreciate your respect for your former profession. Please know that I’m not trying to cut corners or take an easy way out. PFRE is committed to helping real estate photographers be successful, and I will do whatever it takes to further that goal. Thanks again for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

  3. I am just going to be direct, I hope my comments are helpful.

    First, I would eliminate any logo that has a camera, house or aperture in it. I mean cmon, seriously.

    I would have taken the existing square logo and updated/modified it, and used the same colors. For example, Mcdonald's isn't going to go from yellow and red to blue and green. That would be insane.

  4. Thank you for including us in the process.

    I am also impressed with 99designs.

    My only feedback is that I hope you choose a design that also includes the spelling out of the acronym. Nothing more irritating to me then seeing logo acronyms and not knowing what they stand for.

  5. To be honest, I don't like any of them. IMO you need a logo with more color. These are all predominantly B/W. (Full disclosure I do not have any design in my background.) Hope that helps.

  6. you are not being professional by asking for opinions

    Well, I came across this once and it seems to fit here “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one but they think each others stink.”

  7. If I had to pick one it would be #348. I like logos and brands to be as clean and quickly read as possible. But I think they are all good. But why? I am also of the tradition of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" and from my point of view, things as they are now are just fine. Simple, easy to use. I don't need fancy branding for an exchange forum/blog like this. No bells and whistles please. But if anything, I would like to see more inclusion of RE Video since that is where so much is going with the high use of the internet for RE marketing. It will never take the place of stills but needs to be addressed on how to have video work in conjunction with stills and the various marketing platforms either supplied by RE photographers and/or used by the new breed of realtors coming down the pike. Actually even some the middle aged to older clients of mine are jumping on board as well often urged forward by their younger associates in the office. But there are a lot of opinions out there backed up mainly by theory or personal experience. But little fact based assessments like how long should a property video be? Lots of discussion there because it depends on market, usage, platform etc. But good fodder for discussion. Its only been touched on here, not really dive'd into in depth.

    I have learned almost everything I know about applying professional photography to the RE market here for which I am eternally grateful to Larry. But I have had to go elsewhere, like Grant Johnston's great How to Learn to Shoot Better RE Video that is advertised here. He is currently reformatting his courses by the way and using his Face Book Group as part of that. I would like to experience a much wider range of videographer's experiences from which to draw my own learning from. It is such a new field for the majority of us and the equipment and software is changing too damn fast.

    So thank you for the question and putting it out there for us to comment on. I apologize if my comment, typically, is much too long.

    But in my small market, stills remain the back bone of my income stream. So by offering drone and video as well, my clients find it easy to add these as wanted and needed. How to make it all work in concert is my continuing learning curve. So I would like to see this blog expanded more to include these issues. Not all RE still photographers want to be bothered to add video or have any need to do so. But then I don't use flash on any shoots either so we will never have just the subject matter we may find most compelling. Plus there will always be a need to revisit basic elements of RE photography for those new to the field either as new photographers or experienced ones wanting to understand the particulars of RE photography.

    So I wish you the best of luck with all of this. But I don't honestly think investing in a new Brand will make a jot of difference. Just keep "the meat", as a famous ad once said but posed as a question, and build on it.

  8. Hi Brandon,

    I was full-time graphic designer for 13 years and started my photography business while still working as a designer. I have designed many logos during this time and the number one rule I always followed was keep it simple. Try to come up with a timeless design so you're not looking dated 10 years down the track. Also make sure it's legible at postage stamp size and looks good on the side of a bus. Minimal colours (spot colours) is best too as printing costs are kept low this way. I agree the site needs a brand update and overall freshening up but I wouldn't go too crazy as people might get lost that aren't the best with finding their way around. A lot of the stuff on the home page can definitely be categorized in tabs etc. I'm sure you know what you're doing on that front though.

    I like a mix between 353 and 348. I like 348 because it spells out the company. I think 353 could become dated looking over time.

    I completely love 99designs too. As a designer we each have our own taste and style, not unlike photographers. With 99 designs you are getting professionals working on the project and the best part is you're reaching a lot of them! PFRE is not McDonalds or a large corporation so paying 20K for a logo doesn't make sense at all. I get what you're doing Brandon, just take each comment for what it is....opinions. Cheers

  9. I initially like #348 too, but the orange and triangle are ultimately arbitrary...? I hate thoughtless design. I agree with Charles. The only one of these that sticks, IMHO, is #208 with the house in the negative space of P. Otherwise, what's with all the cheesy "futuristic" fonts in most of these?

  10. Thank you, Brandon, for making this an inclusive process, but I am sorry to hear that the graphic design industry professionals you approached were unable to create anything compelling: I actually read other people's comments here first and was interested to see the support for 348 : when I checked out the link, it stood out far and away the clearest and most elegant for me. Orange against a middle grey (subliminal photographic reference?!) always works well. That said, I also like the grey line which runs in part around 33 : it has connotations of an inclusive network... kind of appropriate for much of PFRE's ethos.

  11. Hi Brandon,

    Thank you for your hard work on PFRE and willingness to keeping it moving forward. I was a graphic designer for over 25 years. Designing a great logo is a long, hard process, which is why it can be expensive.

    A logo has to be able to be viewed in b/w and color (if color is used). The final logo needs to be in b/w, RGB for computer, and CMYK for print. If you use a spot color that becomes the 5th color, and that only works on a printing press.

    People liked #348 because it had the name spelled out. Would they like it if it was just the logo? I don't care for it, the orange triangle has no purpose.

    A good graphic designer will have designed the logo with and without the name spelled out. That is, the logo can stand by itself and also with the name. It should be in several versions, vertical with the name below it and horizontal with the name to the left or right of it. So if you have one or more you like, feel free to go back to the designer and have the name added as an option. If you go through another round of designs have them offer the designs as the logo by itself and also with the name.

    Thanks for asking our opinion, although it's kind of a no-win situation, as you can tell by the responses. For the sake of transparency, you needed to do that. It looks like you're going through the right steps.
    Good luck!

  12. @Bruce Willits, You hit some of the difficulties with working with a service like 99. The artists only get a minimal brief and then it could be made problematic by the service to work with the artist directly on a design that is pretty close but needs some tweaks. Since PFRE is an online resource, there isn't much of a need for print and when there is, it's not as critical to need spot color and professional separations. B/W is also something that is a throw back to printing and a need to have a logo that can be reproduced on a copier. Getting past some of those issues would be pretty easy to source from the PFRE community. Somebody is going to be able to modify the rendering. It is to be hoped that as a group, we constitute a fairly comprehensive art department. Creative graphic design is not something I'm that good at, but I can change a color or convert something to B/W, no problem.

    I like the name spelled out. The stylized "PFRE" acronym has enough creativity to be used as a logo when the full spelling is too cumbersome in a document. Nothing says that it can't morph in the future as the site grows. Even big corporations refresh their artwork every so often so it doesn't take on an antiquated look.

  13. I'm curious if there are any logo designers within this community that you can tap into? It's good to support Indian children on 99 designs...but wouldn't it be AWESOME to have someone in our community create the logo?

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