Witnessing the trends in the design of property marketing has been interesting. There was a time when a brochure for a boutique development in South Yarra looked pretty much the same to the one marketing that new building in Collingwood.
There’s usually a spiel about the location and how close it is to transport and amenities, a good chunk of text about the developer, the architects, and pages upon pages on their previous projects. There’d be an aerial with arrows of how close it is to the city, and the finished product would usually be A4 landscape – maybe with a bit of gloss; maybe with a sprinkle of foil here and there.
In the last 5 or so years, creative agencies – particularly in Melbourne – have stepped up their game and we’re now seeing unique creative angles and amazing print finishes with property material – whether they’re for a multi-level development in the CBD or a silo/ TV studio/ publishing house-come-apartments.
We’re seeing beautiful lifestyle images carefully directed by creative agencies; a massive leap from cheesy, framed shots of really happy, orgasmically-elated people riding bikes through leafy parks and sipping cold lattes. We’ve started seeing linear stories throughout these books, with minimal, sharp copy and interesting layouts. And what’s been the most exciting evolution – for me, at least – has been the development of branding for these developments.
We’re seeing design agencies create brand designs that are strong and incredibly analysed. And furthermore, we’re seeing all of these printed on stock that once were deemed too ‘cheap’ – newspaper stock, understated uncoated paper, with fold-out butcher-paper poster inserts, custom finished sizes, subtle blind embosses. I think property marketing has taken a gigantic lunge from ‘make my logo bigger’, and ‘can you put the starting price in big, red starbursts?’, to a more customised execution. We are seeing more of a focus on the strengths of the development, and a unique delivery of the offering in a more measured, subtle approach.
It’s been very interesting to witness this evolving area in design take more of a ‘less is more’ approach. It still takes me by surprise when a property client asks, ‘Do you think the logo is a little too big on that page?’ It’s music to my eyes.