Brown Harris Stevens is a leading luxury residential real estate brokerage firm, specializing in high-end properties in New York City, the Hamptons and South Florida. With roots that go back to 1873, the company is one of the most esteemed in its industry, with a reputation for depth of knowledge and exemplary service. Pentagram has designed a new brand identity for BHS that highlights this culture of excellence and helps position the company for the future. The strong, modern and distinctive identity pairs clean typography with three words that capture the spirit of the firm and its agents: bold, honest and smart.
During the research phase, the designers noticed everyone began by talking about the firm’s agents. BHS is known for having the best brokers, agents who are highly knowledgeable and average more than 20 years of experience in residential real estate, by far the highest in the industry. Attributes like integrity, intelligence, and fearlessness were repeatedly mentioned, and as the designers began playing with word associations, they discovered that these three traits―being bold, honest and smart―miraculously aligned with the three initials of the firm’s name: BHS.
The new logo stacks the name in an architectural three-line configuration and pairs it with a “BHS” symbol. The arrangement is echoed in the “Bold Honest Smart” tagline, which is always typeset stacked in the contemporary sans serif Cádiz (designed by Luzi Type). The identity is accompanied by a fresh color palette that includes deep orange, white and shades of grey. (Used for accents, the orange happens to match a color in the New York City flag.)
The simplicity of the logo extends to an identity system to support the firm’s agents and provide the best possible service for clients. As part of the project, the team restyled the Brown Harris Stevens website with a design that is easy to navigate and makes the most of great photography, a key element of the new branding. Comprehensive guidelines were created for the consistent application of the identity across everything from display advertising, brochures, fact sheets and other promotional materials, to digital marketing and social media, to signage for properties and environmental graphics for the BHS offices.