Uppercase’s playful identity for Propely reflects the character and competency of their practice
Oslo-based design studio Uppercase have sought to disrupt the visual language and aesthetic tropes of property management in their refreshing identity for Propely – the Norwegian capital city’s eminent provider of property services and digital management tools. Embodying Propely’s evolution within the industry, Uppercase’s lively and unapologetically playful identity embraces their core values of responsibility, trust, experience and inclusivity, as well as the character of their employees.
Much of this frivolity manifests in Catherine Potvin’s illustrations, which were crafted to epitomise Propely’s personality whilst visualising the practical intricacies and processes behind property management. “Her art is surprising and playful, and a smidge abstract,” Lead Designer Emil Karlsson tells us, discussing the inclusion of the Montreal-based illustrator. “We felt that aligned really nicely with Propely,” Karlsson adds, harnessing the modernity of Potvin’s mark-making in tandem with the brand’s elegant application of type.
Once again reflecting Propely’s management style and attitude, Uppercase developed a custom typeface for the brand, basing the construction on a workhorse sans serif originally crafted by Alfredo Marco Pradil. “The original typeface that is the foundation for Propely Sans already reflected the personality we visually wanted to communicate,” Karlsson remarks, “a highly functional, effective grotesk with a round approachable personality,” modifying the letterform set with the inclusion of custom ligatures.
The ligatures in question directly relate to the curvaceous wordmark at the identity’s core, providing a playful moment of graphic tension between the fluid forms of the wordmark’s ‘ely’ ligature and the pragmatic construction its former letters. Contrast is therefore crafted across the wordmark, conceptually addressing Propely’s manoeuvre away from the traditional property management industry. This notion, alongside supporting and striking graphic motifs, is harmonised by the charismatic colour palette; specifically developed to entice an audience broader than traditional expectations through inviting, unexpected hues – once again denoting the sensitivity and sincerity of the company.