Putting a photograph in a logo is never a good idea. An even worse idea is putting a photograph of a face in a logo, unless you’re particularly attractive, and even then it’s gonna cause you reproduction grief. Yes, even the blonde at Remax..

Touring around town on my scooter I’ve noticed what I consider an alarming trend – namely real estate agents who insist on using photographs of themselves in their logos.

No people. No.

Many of these folks aren’t – how do I put this delicately – the most, ahm, attractive people around, and I’m not sure of the advantages of crowbarring a visage into a logo. In fact, I’d opine that most real estate logos I came across on my travels, suck.

Making things personal.

One of the higher visibility agent’s logo (I won’t name him, you can’t make me) features his huge toothy melon and his recent bus shelter poster campaign has been the regular target of graffiti artists who keep drawing in voice balloons with phrases like ‘can I touch your children?’ and worse.

Creepy. And certainly not good for the image.

Some plaster their smiling mugs on the side of their mini-vans while others feature posed ‘glamour shot’ photos on massive billboards and sides of buses. Folks. I get it. You’re personable. You’re happy. You’re homesy. But here’s the deal – if I was hiring a real estate agent based on their physical attributes I wouldn’t hire any of you (well, except for that shapely blonde who apparently works for Remax).

A logo with built-in obsolescence?

Putting your smiling mug in any real estate logo is NOT a good idea. You’re one haircut away from rendering the logo irrelevant. Maybe you want to grow a beard (not the blonde!) And age will almost certainly make your logo obsolete in a few years (sparing a few visits to the plastic surgeon or botox center.) Isn’t it better to develop a nice corporate image and if you must, use your photograph – sparingly – in collateral material? Photographs don’t repro well in low-resolution, black and white low-contrast images (newspapers and free real estate journals) look crap, and there’s a slight egomaniac quality to slapping your mug on everything that some (okay, me) might find disturbing.

Just a few random thoughts and free advice on this Wednesday morning…