We were delighted with the results of Bella Casa Properties’ new identity. To give you the full story, here’s a behind-the-brand look at the complete process of how the brand was envisioned.
ONE (1) | DISCOVERY
Since clients know their business best, they have a valuable role to play in the design process. The initial step includes the completion of a discovery consultation questionnaire, so we can get to know the business inside and out, before beginning the strategy and design development.
Bella Casa Properties Inc., reached out to us, recognizing the need for a professional image to grow their realtor business. They wanted to step out with a tailored brand identity to secure their dream clients and make a profound mark in the Greater Hamilton & Brant County Areas.
TWO (2) | DEVISE
Our branding approach is built by combining strategy + creativity. We listen first and then learn what makes our clients idiomatic, diving deeply into their industry, and studying the challenges and nuances of how companies in their sector grow. We learn about their competition and research what makes them ambitious and how we can build a strategy that stands out. In the end, we use all this information to curate and carefully blend together our client's strengths and what makes their business unique.
Next, we create a written brand strategy to define how we communicate the proposed vision. This forms the creative brief and guidelines to refer to when the concept design begins.
Together with our industry and competition research, these words informed the strategy for the new Bella Casa Properties brand.
Next, the mood board and colour palette (shown below) were curated to visually convey the feeling described in the brand strategy. The mood board sets the tone of the proposed brand identity and very importantly, ensures our thoughts run parallel with our client. We must be in agreement on visual direction before proceeding to the concept stage.
Bella Casa Properties was founded as a pathway for Ancaster-based real estate matchmaker, Carrie Van Dixhoorn to refresh her identity with a more emotionally engaging brand image, achieving notoriety among her ideal luxury listing clientele and setting herself on a trajectory for future growth.
In a hugely competitive, yet relatively undifferentiated market, Bella Casa Properties’ proposed brand positioning revolves around Carrie’s white-glove style of service. Rooted in the nature that buying and selling transactions are emotionally charged, the brand begins the journey to provide clients with a bold, caring and highly approachable experience. With patient, problem-solver Carrie at the helm, Bella Casa Properties is well-equipped to act as a genuine guide and client champion, every step of the way.
The ‘We're Here to Find YOUR Home,’ strategy centres around the brand’s reputation of delivering exceptional, personalized service. Bella Casa Properties exists to improve people’s lives by helping them make important and life-changing decisions about where they 'hang their hats and call home. Moreover, the brand offers guidance and support before and after the real estate transaction, presenting Bella Casa Properties as a valued expert and mentor to trust for honesty, tenacity and integrity.
At Bella Casa Properties, when it comes to YOUR HOME, it's ALWAYS PERSONAL.
The overall style direction places an emphasis on a complementary palette, curved shapes and reinforces a meticulous luxury with a contemporary vibe.
Symbols are extremely important to the effective entrenchment of a brand. Each represents a business' personality and contributes to brand recognition. The brand’s name is arguably its most powerful symbol.
The name Bella Casa Properties (meaning Beautiful Homes) was spearheaded by Carrie’s love of all things Spanish and her passion for helping people find a home to grow and make new memories.
Colour Theory is a set of rules that combines creativity and science and as such is a powerful business branding tool that can transform an identity into an emotional experience by instantly stimulating desire, instilling trust and making a connection with its market’s soul.
The proposed palette is a harmonious complement of navy and powder blue with cognac and hints of black and ivory. Paralleling the traditions of corporate design, the prominence of cool, neutral tones and clean lines convey a strong and bold aesthetic. Whereas the injection of a warm reddish-brown highlights Bella Casa Properties’ refinement and welcome-home attitude. The colours denote a luxurious essence with an underlying boost of trust, encouraging consistency and dependability, all central motivators of the brand.
An effortlessly cool colour that shows creativity and intelligence. The dark shade is associated with depth, expertise, and stability while being synonymous with loyalty, strength, wisdom and trust.
Associated with tranquillity, understanding, and softness, this highly saturated, bluish cyan helps to give the colour story sensitivity by catering to a more feminine aesthetic and balancing out the other bolder hues. As a highly versatile colour, powder blue has a calming, relaxed appearance that denotes freedom, intuition, imagination and inspiration.
Authoritative and powerful, black carries a professional and sophisticated vibe. It affects the mind by helping to boost confidence and increase the sense of potential and possibility. Black represents strength and elegance, a force to be reckoned with, directly linking to Bella Casa Properties’ drive and tenacity of providing a reliable and rewarding client experience.
Signifying simplicity and cleanliness, Ivory evokes feelings of comfort, humility and openness. With some of the warmth of brown and a lot of the coolness of white, Ivory is a calm, modern and fashionable colour. As a quiet and pleasant hue, this warm white is used to lighten darker colours, without the stark contrast of using pure white and acts as a modern and edgy accent colour. Combined with other neutrals, Ivory represents seriousness, reliability and earthy nature. Similar to the real estate exchange, the hue symbolizes a transformative fresh start.
When you imagine the colour palette of a regal home, cognac is likely one of the colours that come to mind. Cognac is a natural, earthy colour with reddish-brown hues. Its rich tone and association with the drink Brandy give this colour a feeling of prestige, maturity, and sophistication. The caramel colour also symbolizes wealth, reliability, luxury, power, and refinement.
Shapes also play an important role in the development of an identity. It's often the most innovative approaches that happen in the background that gives a brand its deeper, layered meaning.
The circles, ovals and crescents project optimism, comfort and united energy. Whereas the arched motifs pay homage to the curved doorways of Spanish architecture. Often seen as welcoming, transitional and providing choice, the simplistic incorporation of this shape parallels Bella Casa Properties’ approachable brand ethos.
Typography also impacts the development of a brand’s identity, similarly to colour and shape theory.
Drawing inspiration from luxury fashion brands, the typography is elegant, graceful, and timeless. The typography merges traditional cues such as bold serif typefaces and extending ligatures used to signify Bella Casa Properties' luxurious aesthetic, imparting notions of friendly femininity. Moreover, the serifs are based on vintage letterforms from the '60s and '70s, contrasting, clean lines and curved terminals to give a sleek, polished look. Whereas the combination of a meticulously crafted modern monogram and the contemporary sans serif presented elicits trust and dependability.
The photography style is inspired by the notion of “home” and “relationships,” from what makes memories to the human-centric aspects, the joyfulness of family and domestic life. This strategy is supported by a personal and approachable tone of voice. The use of enlarged quote marks references the idea of a ‘dialogue’ and the clear, concise communication that is synonymous with Bella Casa Properties' brand. Collectively the visual messaging creates engaging, cheeky and confident anecdotes, such as, 'The only thing to worry about is where to put the sofa!'
Looking to the future, this proposed direction supports Bella Casa Properties’ launch as a client-focused aspirational brand that connects with aesthetically-minded individuals who appreciate a down-to-earth, personalized real estate approach.
The strategy, deeply interwoven with colour theory and bold typography, will drive the brand to differentiate from the competition, connecting with its ideal clients; higher-end luxury professionals -- who place value in consistency, compassion and continuity.
Furthermore, the existence of a co-branded lockup will garner shareholders' flexibility to market themselves independently with the support of Bella Casa Properties' solid branding, while making the business’ identity open for continued growth.
THREE (3) | DESIGN
After defining the visual brand direction, it was time to begin developing the logo concepts – our favourite part of the process! Our strengths lie in creating brand identities that translate our clients’ vision and bring their message to life in a visual way.
The greatest challenge of creating a brand identity is incorporating several aspects into the design while still keeping it simple.
We had several considerations in mind during this stage, including:
Keeping the design versatile and functional
Developing a multi-layered strategy, deeply interwoven with symbolism in order to connect with its audience on a deeper level
Tailoring the appeal to garner access, support and build a fierce tribe to foster a like-minded community of engaged individuals
As always we start by using pencil and paper to brainstorm visual ideas. From there the ideas with the most potential are refined. Since design is subjective, we provide clients with a choice, by presenting two (2) different concepts that we confidently believe answer the directive.
However, an identity is more than just a logo; it’s a complete visual system that should add depth and personality to the brand. This structure gives our clients the confidence to implement and grow.
As part of the concept presentation, we also deliver a brand storyboard that includes the other design elements needed to develop the visual identity — secondary logo, submark, colour palette, typography, patterns and social signatures. In addition, digital in-use renderings are illustrated to showcase how each concept could appear in real-life applications.
For both concepts, the subjective elements have been extracted to showcase the systematic approach used to create the logomark, with the aim to connect with the audience on a deeper level.
This design represents Bella Casa Properties' luxurious essence with an underlying boost of trust, encouraging consistency and dependability, with the predominantly blue hues and hints of cognac. The incorporated monogram of the ‘B’ in circling the ‘C,’ in the wordmark suggests warmth, friendliness, and completeness that links back to the mission, 'when it comes to your home, it's always personal'. Moreover, the arched motifs pay homage to the curved doorways of Spanish architecture that are often seen as welcoming, transitional and providing choice. The bold yet simplistic graphical use of this shape parallels Bella Casa Properties’ approachable and personalized brand ethos.
This design represents Bella Casa Properties' dedication to their clients, symbolically by the linking of the B to the C in the primary logomark. The B's extended ligature denotes the helpful and patient approach that will become synonymous with the brand’s mission of ‘going above and beyond to find home’. The feelings of prestige, maturity, and sophistication, exclude this concept with its predominant use of rich cognac that symbolizes reliability, luxury and refinement. The typography pairing gives the wordmark a versatile, timeless and classic feel, while the incorporation of arched motifs pull the ideas of home together in an abstract way.
Both concepts were meaningful branding options. After some deliberation, the team indicated adoring both choices, however ultimately they chose Concept 1.
FOUR (4) | DEVELOP
Next, we built out the content and digital required. To put it simply, this is the process of designing all the other items that will be needed to communicate and launch the brand identity.
For this new identity we created the following collateral:
Brand Style Guide
Landing Page Website
On Site Signage
Social Media Strategy
FIVE (5) | DELIVER
Altogether, this process took 8 weeks. The client launch package always includes a plethora of logo files for both print and web use; including all the brand elements, colour palette, patterns and typography (font files).
Thanks to the brand style guide, The Bella Casa Properties’ team understands how to utilize the new brand identity going forward. We also provide a step-by-step web tutorial to assist clients with making simple updates whenever needed.
For all our brand identity clients, we offer ongoing design services to ensure that future projects align with the new branding.
THE TAKEAWAY When you invest in your brand, you're building a level of confidence both within yourself, your business and your clients or customers.
The Bella Casa Properties’ rebrand fully communicates a level of professionalism, confidence and sophistication that will inevitably having Carrie’s clients trusting her on a whole new level.