Mondelez (Kraft Foods) approached Jacknife to help with the reimagining of their new office in Mississauga Ontario. Being given a blank slate can often seem daunting. The first question was, what would the employees of Mondelez need in their working space. ‘You’ll never know your future if you don’t know your past’.
We were given access to endless vintage packaging and pictures which we used to piece together the story. We wanted to not only exploit the past but in direct juxtaposition show where Mondelez was going. Having the past and present coincide on the walls in boardrooms nooks and crannies around the building leaving hidden gems for people to discover and rediscover over time.
From the minute you walk-in, you’re enveloped by the world of Mondelez. Pieces of product art is scattered all over, showing you the past and present day design. The sense of time shows you how invaluable these brands have become and the people who work behind them everyday.
Because the office exists far away from all the places where Mondelez products are found, we wanted to bring those places into the space. In the main lobby we had the façade of a real convenience store in Toronto photographed and printed in hyper-real resolution, giving the space a surreal feeling. On the second floor main cafeteria we installed another photorealistic scene of Christie subway station. The install is completed with a subway kiosk showing proudly displaying the Mondelez products we may encounter on a day-to-day basis.
Jacknife and Stoli commissioned a collection of short films for ORGNL.TV exploring the origins of true originals in the worlds of Art, Music, Fashion, Taste & Technology. Each film is a tongue-in-cheek recounting of a fictional moment of discovery told with the unique vision of our handpicked filmmakers: Julian van Mill, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Kadima, and Sean Wainsteim to create a counter mythology of the genesis of the seemingly banal ice cube, the musical genre of hair metal, the sport of radio tennis, and that perennial party favourite, the French exit.
The Origins series began with a Behind the Scenes look at the process and filming, to be followed by a new film released weekly on Orignl.tv, accompanied by an interview with the filmmakers.
The film for the week of November 25th is The Origin of Hair Metal, by director Hector Herrera.
After working with Kobo on previous tablets and e-readers, we were excited to not only develop the industrial design of the new Kobo Arc HD, but also collaborate on its technical construction from the ground up.
After presenting 3 rounds of ideas and concepts, Jacknife joined a 25-person team of engineers and designers in Taipei for a week long development session. Jacknife was instrumental in synthesizing the Arc’s engineering, manufacturing feasibility and component packaging all in support of the end user's experience. The result preserved Kobo’s slender hand feel while creating one of the most compact tablets currently on the market. The minimalistic front view displays nothing but a brilliant HD display and tonal logo, allowing for Kobo’s textural DNA to be maximized through asymmetrical facets on the back.
To distinguish itself in the market, the Arc tablet captures a unique identity through both subtle and dynamic textures. Remaining true to Kobo's etymology (an anagram for book), the Arc reading experience is calm and free from visually distracting noise.
We were there from the start, creating a unique identity and print campaign for the first season of the Canadian born DJ series "THRE3STYLE". Centred on celebrating the art of partying, DJs from around the world are challenged to show their skills by playing three genres of music in 15 minutes sets. They have one objective: Rock the Crowd. They are subsequently judged by a panel of industry icons on technique, track selection, crowd reaction and stage presence.
2013 was a big year for THRE3STYLE in Canada. Toronto will play host to the week-long Global Finals. Over 20 DJ’s from Croatia to Japan will tear the house down.
Jacknife delivered creative strategy and design, linking regional, national, and global campaigns with fresh visuals message. Beyond traditional poster and ad creative Jacknife built a global style guide, custom awards, album covers, felt penants, and a 20 foot info graphic (in collaboration with music writer Denise Benson) on the history of music in Toronto.
For anyone living outside of North America, football is as much the fabric of everyday life as death and taxes. But while it enjoys a long history of success globally, repeated attempts to bring “the world’s game” to North America had been unsuccessful.
In early 2006, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced their intention to bring a soccer franchise to Toronto. Later that year, we were asked to develop the team’s name, logo, positioning, identity system, a brand sell line and brand standards and to apply it across advertising materials (print, transit, radio, out-of-home), sales materials (website, season’s tickets package) event and promotional collateral and merchandise.
We conducted exhaustive research on the category and the consumer to understand how to best position a Toronto team and realized that unlike other cities in North America, bringing a franchise to Toronto posed a unique challenge as a result of the unusual fan base that exists.
Toronto soccer fans are one of the most ethnically diverse group of fans anywhere in the world, each bringing cultural predispositions to the game. Toronto fans also bring with them long-standing loyalty and allegiance to other teams, passed on to them from their parents and grandparents. The Toronto fan base is an incredibly informed one, with strong radar for anything presented to them that isn’t presented authentically.
It became clear that efforts would need to be both authentic and inclusive in their approach and as a result, we determined that we would appeal to this group’s universal love of the sport as a way to sell the Toronto team.
The first element that fell out of this approach was the “All for One” brand positioning and tagline, which acted as a rallying cry to set aside differences and unite in a collective love of soccer. “All for One” directed all areas of the launch - print, radio and transit advertising, website and event, season tickets and other collateral.
In season one, ticket sales exceeded projections by 25% with an average at home attendance reaching over 20,000 fans and demand for Toronto FC merchandise 3 times greater than anticipated. Additionally, Toronto FC won Strategy Magazine’s “Brand of the Year”.
Together with Scott Sports we have created and developed over 12 award winning products.
Filling sketchbooks, forging new ideas, late night prototypes, early morning coffees, watching, listening, learning, endless revisions, and constant vision have been applied to the skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and Motocross industries.
adidas needed global retail creative to promote the Spring and Fall lines of its brand Equipment. With its ambassador Andre Agassi, our job was to show the extensive breadth of the athletic and leisure line.
Shot in Vegas, where Andre Agassi resides, we captured a photo documentary of his daily life, shooting him working out, conducting business, visiting the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, even at home. The ultimate thrill, next to working with the tennis great, was witnessing a match between him and his wife, Steffi Graf, another tennis great.
Our fascination with wrist watches isn’t only about fashion & precision. Watches of the past hold a special place in our hearts, helping us navigate time while reflecting our personal taste. A person can almost feel naked without one.
As digital technology becomes embedded into our lifestyle traditional products often become redundant. The wrist watch is one such piece. It is constantly competing with displays, time management systems and smart technology.
We explored the evolution of the kinetic wrist watch from a dedicated timepiece and fashion accessory into “Anode” an energy harvesting wrist piece. The Anode concept will harvest enough energy from your natural movement to fully boost your cell phone when you need it most. The user can rotate the body inside of the bezel choosing to display the technology or hide it. A small analog time display faces the wearer as a nostalgic tip of the hat to the time pieces of the past.
We've had the pleasure of working on a whole bunch-o-boards over the years both in studio and with talented artists and designers... here are just a couple.
Its always nice when your client says "Let's see what you come up with". In this case we had 45 days to design and build a dynamic installation at SHOWCASE , Canada's premier snowboard shop at the base of Whistler MTN. Our driving forces were Bonfires brand tag "Built By Bonfire" with focus on “construction” and Bonfires simple approach to winter apparel "3 levels of dry". Using wood off-cuts as inspiration we developed an experience that introduced the Bonfire brand and presented product benefits simultaneously.
CoCo Lane began as a one-off piece at the Toronto International Film Festival and was so well-received it became an opportunity to launch a high-end jewellery brand with offices in Toronto and New York.
The brand's core draws from the jewellery itself. Dubbed soft geo, CoCo Lane pieces are characterized by simple geometric forms brought together into broader more organic compositions. It is this literal contradiction that mirrors the nature of a woman. Strong yet compassionate. Complex with simple needs.
Dark and rainy photography, where themes of danger and control collide, provides a moody backdrop for the brand's logo. The mark, an interlocking circle and square, is itself a contradiction tying two opposing shapes into one elegant form, again taking cues from the collection and reflecting the values of today's independent fashion-forward women.
Photography: Christopher Wadsworth
The Development Factory is a creative digital production shop focused on servicing the creative community. Through the evolution of the brand, the service model opened up a number of doors with top tier agencies from around the world and it was time to take a fresh look at the core assets to make the experience more representative of who they are and what they do. This brand identity job was an interesting one, beginning with a scouting phase helping to unearth insights about the team, their vision and the end clients they work with.
At first blush, the identity is bold yet clean. Behind it though, lies a custom cypher that sets a colour value and unique form value to aspects of the logo system (coloured lines), making the logo and elements of the identity a living thing that change based on the message inputted in the back end. The identity has been applied to stationary, website and ongoing communication tools that are a much better and more authentic representation of the team and their work.
Balance bikes are becoming more and more popular, but many lack personality to differentiate themselves from their competition. Price has become the most notable point of difference, not the quality or experience. We felt strongly that the visual tone of the brand was critical to getting people to notice this great little bike. With a bank of hundreds of shots, Early Rider was able to establish itself as a quality lifestyle brand, and not just another balance bike.
Our start with UK balance bike manufacturer, Early Rider started as an inquiry into product availability in Canada. The result was a working relationship that helped to define the brand across North America.
Modern parents are more concerned than ever with the types of toys their kids enjoy, especially those that are intended to develop skills. The concept of a balance bike is to familiarize kids with the feeling of being on a pedal bike at an early age, making the transition an easier one. But like all products, the type of bike says something about the user, and our intention was to make the brand personality as unique and interesting as the bike itself.
After assessing the consumer landscape and competitive set to better define the brand positioning for the North American market, we focused on redesigning the brand identity that impacted the bike graphics & components alongside the development of key communication tools such as the web experience, packaging, marketing collateral and trade show support.
Over the past decade we’ve created a Smörgåsbord of art projects. We’ve had the chance to flex our own creative muscles but have also had the pleasure of collaborating with a lot of talented visual artists. These are some of our favourites.
FOUND markets photographers and illustrators to art buyers through targeted marketing. But in a marketplace already populated with creative sourcebooks, this startup needed a brand to stand out amongst competitors, appeal to creatives, and showcase artists’ work beautifully. It also needed a look-book that would drive an art buyer online.
The concept of artist and art buyer “finding” each other through targeted, segment-specific marketing led us to conceive the name, FOUND, along with the tagline “matching artists + buyers.” The logo has an obscure letter N, and all book cover designs would play off the idea of finding or uncovering something.
Unlike its competitors, FOUND maximizes artists’ advertising spend with double-page spreads only, giving them high visual impact and ensuring they are never beside a competitor. Artists have over 15 layout templates from which to choose, with typography controlled to create a book of art, not a book of ads.
The brand language was made playful, forming a string of copy that referred to love, relationships and connections that was concocted from the tagline “matching artists + buyers”.
The global pet industry has exploded in recent years, however few newcomers have brought anything fresh to the sector. British start-up HOUNDWORTHY decided that this simply wasn't good enough. An ambitious, pioneering lifestyle brand in its own right, they required a flexible branding system which at all times would validate their core ethos - that HOUNDWORTHY will always strive to source, produce, and champion only worthwhile goods. The mark needed to communicate not just authenticity, but also represent the start of a narrative in which all discerning dog owners could easily participate. It had to invite people in. A bold yet simple monogram icon reinforces the brand's steadfast belief in quality-first thinking, providing a confident stamp of authority upon anything it appears. Introduction of a hefty, slab-serif typeface further substantiates the young company's highly traditional values. Intelligently insightful messaging combined with a dramatic, visually immersive approach to photography further elevates the brand experience beyond anything that has gone before. HOUNDWORTHY is demonstrating how a dog lifestyle brand can get into people's heads (and hearts)... and stay there.
Hlgrm, a new Polish sound design studio wanted a high-impact brand that felt as creative and unique as the sounds they make. After years of working in commercial studios in North America, Hlgrm wanted to get back to their creative roots by expanding outside of the typical media market, utilizing their skill and passion for musical composition. We created the core brand assets including the suite of illustrative marks that make up the visual identity. A hologram is something you can never really touch but you may believe it's a real object. We found a parallel in the world of mythological beasts - creatures you might believe in, but can never truly come in contact with.
TASTY HEALTHY & FAST.
From the beginning, IQ Food Co. was about healthy food. With the prevalence of pseudo ‘fresh’ and ‘healthy’ fast food options, IQ thought they could do a better job of bringing fresh, healthy and in many cases local options to Toronto’s financial district. Needless-to-say, we were happy to be part of such a noble cause. From brand ID to consulting on store concept and brand rollout communications, our partnership with IQ Food Co. is a successful example of the power of an authentic brand whose product lives up to its communications.
eReader and tablet devices have been gaining popularity since their inception. Providing new ways for people to access and interact with content in a multitude of experiences.
Kobo entered into the hardware business in 2009 shortly after we began a collaborative relationship that has expanded year over year. Design projects span tablet, eReader, and accessories design, to colour collections, finishes, art direction, and packaging design. Throughout this collaboration Kobo’s sales have increased sevenfold. In 2012 alone they attracted 4 million new customers and nearly doubled device sales.
Our design approach is simple: user-centered, enhancing the relationship between people, devices, accessories and content. A complete experience that starts with front end strategy and research to position Kobo against a sea of business oriented and generically crafted competitors.
Through physical touch points, inviting textures and intuitive interfaces, Kobo has carved an approachable presence in the tech market and households across the globe.
In 2011, we were contracted to develop a new audio brand from the ground up. Kostal was focused around quality sound, sustainably produced materials, and a clean design sensibility for youthful, urban consumers. Naming, identity, product design, and technical detailing were approached in a holistic fashion, co-developing ideas instead of following the traditional linear approach to design. If you wear headphones a lot you may notice the left and right side size adjustments are not always equal. The Kostal headphones have an equalizing gear allowing one touch to equally balanced both sides of the headset.
Working with Level Gloves over the past 5 years Jacknife has developed numerous pieces of hand wear. The Bliss collection was targeted to address the specific needs of women skiers and snowboarders. The resulting designs are low in bulk and high in warmth. Strategically placed tension bands create a secure fit, allowing users to slip gloves on and off without the use of clunky hardware or velcro.
Meal Exchange is a national, student-founded, youth-driven charity organized to address local hunger by mobilizing the talent and passion of students. They asked Oxygen to design posters they could use in Canadian colleges and universities to help them recruit entrepreneurial volunteers who could offer their time, expertise and energy. With a small budget, we shot simple food-related objects ourselves and wrote copy to attract the socially motivated, including the double-entendre slogan "It’s Your Time.”
Working with their highly visible brand colour, bright orange, we designed attention-getting narrow posters to fit the often crowded community wall space in schools. Tear-off tabs made it easy for interested students to take contact information. Both sides of the posters featured different designs to save on paper and to work on glass doors and windows.
Turning an old hardware store in Toronto's Little Italy into a vintage scooter lifestyle store was a work of love for the entire studio. Getting the opportunity to work with one of the world’s iconic brands, Vespa, was a dream come true.
Motoretta, meaning “little engine” in Italian, was designed to appeal to a broad base of scooter riders and lovers. A Vespa history installation spanned the length of refurbished scooters so customers could learn about the icon’s roots and see how its design evolved and played a role in pop culture across the decades. An espresso bar invited people to stay and chat in the vintage-Vespa paint colour-inspired environment. Scooter apparel, accessories and paraphernalia, a parts zone, and a repairs garage offered a complete scooter experience.
The store and visual identity were given elements of vintage charm and modernity in order to appeal to a diverse audience. From European ex-pats who grew up with Vespa, to mods who are avid scooter club members, to fashionistas who just love the cool factor, we knew not one particular graphic, photo or illustration would suit all. So, we created an eclectic series of custom illustrations that could be used for many applications, and offered an interesting brand image. Postage stamps of the illustrations served to create collector-quality business cards, and doubled as stickers for use on gift certificates, retail bags and letterhead, ultimately giving the brand visual flexibility and fresh appeal.
The success of Motoretta was profound. The owner went on to secure Vespa distribution rights for Canada, opening more stores. Scooters have since become fixtures on the streets of many Canadian cities.
Munich Reinsurance Company Canada services the industry’s leading insurance companies. It has produced a biennial Individual Insurance Survey for the past 15 years, compiling information and views from Canada’s individual life and critical illness insurers and translating them into usable data. It then shares that information with its clients and industry leaders in the form of a comprehensive survey.
This survey had two principal goals beyond reporting the results through charts and graphs. It needed to introduce Munich Re’s new global rebrand and adhere to its new guidelines, and it needed to assert Munich Re as the global leader in the reinsurance industry.
Given a very strict set of brand guidelines, we were determined to push the limit of the brand book and tell the newly “RE” focused brand story in a compelling way. To capture the excitement and energy of the rebrand, we created an eight-step lenticular cover that transitions the new Munich Re logo into the word “FORESIGHT,” on which Munich Re’s new outlook and brand positioning are now focused. We built on the brand name by leveraging the inherent energy in words containing “RE”. Throughout the piece these words are typographically woven with photography to create a bold statement, while offering a visual break from the data-based graphics.
Product is King. Without a vision, quality design and craftsmanship, a brand is building stories with no foundation to rest them on. With MyPakage the product is solid, comfortable, and form fitting with patented features and technical fabrics. Ask anyone who has owned a pair, It’s a pleasure to pull them on every morning. Whether you’re hanging out with friends or being active, the support is enjoyed all day long. We are changing the way men think and talk about underwear.
Lifestyle photography, identity design, retail displays, trade catalogues, web design, colour forecasting and packaging. We have been with MyPakage from the start. The initial order was 30,000 pairs to start, it has grown to 500,000 3 years later.
Nike was born from one man’s obsession with making athletes faster, so it was no doubt surprising when they began to see a growing consumer movement towards buying Nike as active lifestyle fashion. In an effort to capture their fair share of this growing segment, Nike approached us to create a Toronto event that would immerse a select group of social and cultural influencers from the areas of fashion, design, art, music and film in a unique “Speed” experience designed to heighten their interest and connection to the Nike brand. A one-night, 400-guest event, designed to showcase talent in these areas was executed in an empty warehouse in the city. The evening’s entertainment included a live graffiti mural, performances by world renowned DJ Dopey, screenings from international film artists that captured their unique interpretations of Speed, a historic Nike product museum display, a commissioned art display and the creation of a line of 4 limited shirts that were given to guests at the end of the evening.
Onondaga Camp is one of Canada’s oldest, privately owned residential camps and has earned a reputation for being a tier one co-educational camp. In 2008, we were asked to help Onondaga with its branding, including provision of a ground-up brand positioning, a brand identity system as well as design application to virtually all of their key communication tools – website, recruitment package, print advertising and trade show booth design. Design efforts began with a facilitated session which helped uncover several rich category, consumer and brand insights.
We also conducted an exhaustive competitive audit, all of which uncovered an important macro trend affecting consumerism in general that we felt Onondaga could take advantage of – the shift away from coveting/consuming “things” towards collecting/consuming unique experiences and stories in appreciation of the value they bring to personal growth and development. All work developed delivered against positioning Onondaga as the camp that specializes in championing personal growth. Creative took advantage both of rich visual assets the camp already had (primary brand colour, iconic tree image) as well as experiential photography we recommended be core to all recruitment materials for the important role it can play in helping kids imagine themselves there.
Working with a veteran in the textiles industry and a new entrepreneur, our client had a vision to create the ultimate pair of 'gitch' that answers every man's concerns, and looked good while feeling great. 'Otis' is our inner dude. He's our Brother, Uncle, Father, Son and Grandpa. He's easy to be around and a comfort to see. Otis was created using the best milled egyptian cotton, the most durable and flexible elastic support and stitch work that is truly seamless. Crafted to be a bespoke brand, our client sold his product (successfully) in some of the finest men's shops in Canada. The only challenge was getting your girlfriend's hands off of it.
When Red Bull athlete and Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dion Phaneuf sets to marry Elisha Cuthbert you send a gift, preferably a memorable one. This particular gift was about taking a moment, a moment to reflect on the days past and the future ahead over a 1974 bottle of Dom Perignon. The set was cased in a hand made wooden box, weaving wood species native to their homes, Douglas Fir from Calgary for Elisha and Mountain Ash from Edmonton representing Dion. The flute insert can be removed afterwards to form a keepsake box. The effort must have been memorable as Dion also took a moment on his wedding day to make a call for a personal “Thank You”.
For Canadians who grew up in the 70’s, heading to The Pop Shoppe was a big deal. It was akin to camping in the back yard or staying up past 8. Unfortunately, The Pop Shoppe fell prey to global competitors and consumer trends towards private label sodas.
Nearly 20 years later, a Canadian entrepreneur made it his mission to bring back the brand he had loved as a kid, buying the rights to the name and reformulating some of its more famous flavours.
In 2004, when our efforts began to re-launch The Pop Shoppe, consumer research revealed some deep-seated feelings adults still held for the brand and the role it played in bringing simple joy to their childhood. The brand strategy we developed was predicated on having The Pop Shoppe play the role of safeguarding the fun and irreverence of simply being a kid.
Over the years our work with the brand has covered packaging, advertising, websites, in-store materials, new product development, event and tradeshow exhibits and vehicles. Annual sales have grown from just under $23,000 in year one into the millions, enjoying the highest sales growth in the premium carbonated soft drink category. We like to think we’ve had something to do with that.
For Canadians who grew up in the 70’s, heading to The Pop Shoppe was a big deal. It was akin to camping in the back yard or staying up past 8. Unfortunately, The Pop Shoppe fell prey to global competitors and consumer trends towards private label sodas. Nearly 20 years later, a Canadian entrepreneur made it his mission to bring the brand back, which was re-launched in 2004.
Our objective in creating thepopshoppe.com was to create an online experience to help improve awareness of the brand and absorb viewers in the irreverent, weird, immature and fun world of The Pop Shoppe. We simplified our objective to the lofty goal of getting an average user experience to last at least three minutes. We achieved an average of over four.
As with any web project, the biggest challenge is to cut through the clutter that is the internet and find a way to get someone to want to spend their time on your site vs any of the millions of sites available. The project has achieved results beyond our expectations and even earned a coveted 2010 Webby Award for Best Use of Animation (the internet equivalent of the Oscar's or Grammy's), creating a massive spike in international site traffic.
Red Bull is a polarizing brand, innovative and non-conformist, you either love them or hate them. Athletes on the Red Bull roster are among the highest regarded in the world. Although many people view the words “Red Bull” & “Athletes” as a powerful combination most of these athletes still are not household names. We were asked to deliver an identity program to help promote their personal DNA and brand sponsorship.
Red Bull approached Jacknife to create some key pieces for the Joyride event at Whistler - Crankworks. Our idea was to build a story around the roots of the legendary BC freeride scene. “Split-Cedar” pays tribute to the trailbuilders, woodland characters and freeride pioneers who laid the foundation for history to be made by athletes like Darren Barrecloth and Brandon Semenuk. The limited edition kit of 3 custom illustrated Fox-Carbon helmets was accompanied by a hand painted and lazer etched Basecamp X axe.
The goal of Tour Bus was to bring emerging artists to unique locations wrapped in a “one of a kind” Red Bull experience. We kicked the project off with a trip to the chop shop. Not your typical garage...engineers, cranes, craftsmen and skilled mechanics were testing their patience by splicing a 1970’s GMC Transit bus onto a 2013 freightliner chassis. Packed inside the bus was a green room with couches, a pop-up stage, and stacks of speakers. To finish off the build we created custom interior details and exterior graphics all tying back to the 70’s transit theme. In addition to the physical experience, Jacknife developed a graphic identity and typeface along with a full visual media campaign from gig posters to media ads.
At 25 Pete Mcleod is the youngest pilot and first Canadian invited to the Red Bull Air Race. Being over two decades younger than the average pilot in World Competitions, Pete is turning heads. Red Bull asked us to build a graphic identity in support of their athlete program. Pete's request was to embody his “max power” approach to life but respect the traditions of the aviation world and his northern Ontario roots. To finish off Pete's new logo we also developed a poster, event binoculars, and a new graphic for his Edge 540 aeronautical airplane.
RGD, in partnership with the Rotman School of Management asked Jacknife for a fresh design approach to their Inaugural DesignThinker of the Year Award. The award honours an outstanding corporate leader who has driven business success by utilizing sustained design thinking to problem solve, communicate, and ultimately innovate.
The RGD DesignThinker of the Year Award was created using a collaborative process that engaged 20 multi-disciplinary designers at Jacknife. The team spent 3 weeks exploring the central theme of "visually representing the design thinking process". The resulting idea reinterpreted a traditional thinking icon, the human skull.
One would typically argue a great idea forms independently in your head with an "Ah-ha" moment, but design thinking is all about building ideas upon ideas. Rather than create a skull from one surface, it is made from hundreds of polygons representing the complex, non-linear relationship ideas have during the collaborative process of design thinking.
Congratulations to David Labistour from MEC, recipient of the first RGD DesignThinker of the Year Award.
DesignThinkers is an annual, two-day design conference hosted by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD Ontario). Attracting over 1,000 participants, it’s Canada’s largest, most important graphic design event and provides a forum for professionals from several areas of the marketing and creative mix to listen, learn and interact with peers from across the country. We were asked to design the look for the 2008 DesignThinkers conference and to apply it to all conference materials – from invitation and marketing materials through to conference program, signage, AV presentation and even merchandise.
Built on the idea that you can tell a lot about someone by the kind of shoes they wear, our work showcased all the kinds of design industry professionals/enthusiasts there are, represented through the different shoe types that exist.
Aesthetically, this project favoured a more human, analog, lo-fi approach over ultra-digital or ultra-slick, incorporating hand-drawn elements in pencil with slick, vibrant, almost abrasive, computer-made imagery.
To further emphasize the organic, we selected raw, uncoated, pulpy paper stocks. When it came to the film component of the project, we shot everything on 8mm film. This lo-fi film was then given an ambient audio track and vivid graphic overlays and typography. It became sort of a marriage between analog and digital.
Artist & star of the Discovery Channel’s “Oddities”, Ryan Matthew Cohn needed a visual identity for his personal brand. A silversmith, leathersmith, osteologist, Ryan's evolving career was in gaining serious momentum. Ryan worked with us to create something timeless which would work in any required medium. This is our first collaboration with Ryan Matthew Cohn and Amy Miranda of Lunch.
Salomon is known as the leader in snowboard boot fit. Their boots are comfortable out of the box, but have a history of lacing hardware issues. They approached us to recharge their product line with two new lacing systems. The project would require systemic thinking, manufacturing expertise, and a progressive styling.
After hand building several proof of concept models, we produced complete engineering drawings and prototypes. The new systems resulted in 3 patents and redefined the Salomon lacing experience.
We collaborated very closely with Scott Sports to build and distil a pool of pro-ahtlete input and key MX stakeholder wisdom. After absorbing the research phase we defined key design opportunities addressing new technologies and users from Pro’s to weekend warrior’s. While working through months of technical details with Scotts engineering team we also art directed and produced creative applications for illustration and branding. The result was “The Tyrant” a goggle designed to deliver quality vision and protection in the most gruelling of motorsport conditions.
Here is a small sampling of some of the marks we've created for our clients over the years. We've had the pleasure of working with a really diverse group of individuals and organizations from DJs to plastic surgeons and everything in between.
Shift Disturbers is a one day annual event, a mash-up of visionary speakers from the worlds of advertising, art and design. For the 2010 event we created all communications including video content, environmental graphics and print and online advertising. We were creatively inspired by the way advertising, art and design "groupies" often idolize the speakers at these sorts of events. We created a character who takes it a few steps too far and worships the speakers as prophets.
With the non-profit marketplace aggressively battling for attention, causes don’t just put out campaigns anymore, they “own” calendar months. SickKids wanted to own one in the GTA too - for children’s health. The strategy? Create and implement a yearly, fully integrated and scalable fundraising education and awareness campaign in the month of May that galvanizes and rallies the GTA communities in support of children – by creating a happy movement.
We created a campaign that is aligned with the positivity of the SickKids brand, one that can rally public, sponsor and cause marketing participation. By asking Toronto to “Do The Happy” for SickKids the goal is to start a movement that will ultimately bring kids’ health issues to the foreground. The activation is designed to allow everyone to participate. Traffic is directed to the dothehappy.com microsite, where people can upload their “happy”, follow SickKids, share or make a donation.
With past successes in the US market, craft distillery Stillwaters set out to launch a premium brand of whiskies headlined by Canada's second-ever single malt whisky.
Strategically, Stillwaters had a huge advantage in transparency of process and quality of product. Naming exercises concentrated on the holistic grain-to-glass approach employed at the distillery. Similarly, a simple visual language stripped of the embellishments typical to the category developed from the distillation process itself. Hand-painted black barrel ends and overlaid arching stencil type illustrate the major difference between a small artisanal distiller like Stillwaters and the mass-market offerings of major producers: this is a whisky made by hand and made for whisky drinkers.
TV Day is an annual conference developed by the Television Bureau of Canada. The conference is designed to bring Canadian media & marketing professionals together to celebrate the power of TV, discuss research and current statistics about TV's ability to reach consumers and most importantly, discuss how TV and social media co-exist.
The TVB hired us to develop the new identity for the conference that was extended to all supporting materials including development of the tag line, banners, program guide, invites, swag and collateral. In addition, a signature artist signed series of screen printed posters were developed and distributed prior to the conference to get the invitees excited about the day and promote ongoing discussion about the power of TV. The fun social nature of TV watching and it's natural extension to social media was the inspiration for the design execution and overall positioning. It had to be bold and fun, inspiring and intriguing. The vibrant colour treatment and sharp contrast combined with the overall simplicity of the approach generated the interest it deserved.
The launch of WIND Mobile marked the beginning of fundamental change within the Canadian wireless landscape. Built on actual conversations happening among Canadians who are passionate about improving the level of wireless service in this country, WIND provides voice, text and data services to their customers and engages with them directly to jointly create a better mobile experience in Canada.
We worked with the WIND team for over a year and had the opportunity to create the brand’s visual voice from the ground up. Our goal was to bring it to life across every possible dimension, defining what the brand experience would be on virtually every level - retail and office space, car fleet, uniforms, packaging, call center, top-up cards, magazine, stationery and all administrative and sales tools. In creating this brand, design efforts focused on exploring the ways in which we could express the brand’s core idea – the power of conversation. We knew WIND needed to look and feel democratic and approachable in nature so we spent time thinking through the ways in which we could convey the power of individuals in conversation collaborating to create something great, something new and different. Speech bubbles, vibrant colours and dingbats were some of the key elements we used.
Not only was it a fun challenge, it was successful. Within the first year WIND Mobile added more new subscribers than any other provider. In the first quarter after launch, WIND added 39,000 new subscribers claiming 30 per cent of the subscriber growth in the quarter nationally. This quickly accelerated to 100,000 subscribers by the end of the second quarter post launch and it continues to grow.
In creating this brand, design efforts focused on exploring the ways in which we could express the brand’s core idea – the power of conversation. We knew WIND needed to look and feel democratic and approachable in nature so we spent time thinking through the ways in which we could convey the power of individuals in conversation, collaborating to create something great, something new and different. To this end the photographic direction was about real people set in real, vibrant, colourful environments representing the diversity of all the Canadians that would be conversing on WIND's network. We worked with photographer and good friend Richard Sibbald to make it all happen.
More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. We teamed up with John St Advertising & WWF for the 2012 initiative creating illustrated posters to promote the day and help draw action to this very important cause.