The Project: In 2004, a group of entrepreneurs and academics came together with a plan to make Eastern Ontario a hub of bio-business innovation. They formed elorin, the Eastern Lake Ontario Regional Innovation Network, to bring people together and take exciting ideas to the marketplace. The group hired Boom Strategy’s Theresa MacBeth to raise their profile. MacBeth, in turn, hired BmDodo Strategic Design to give elorin a visual presence.
The Challenge: “Elorin’s job is to be a leader in establishing an innovation strategy for the region,” MacBeth explains. “Their job is to be a network and bring other innovation groups together. The problem was that no one knew who they were. We needed to establish the brand.”
To complicate matters further, the design had to represent all of elorin’s stakeholder groups. “It had to resonate with everyone,” says BmDodo partner Brian Dodo, “but at the same time, it had to be simple, memorable and reproducible.”
The Solution: Brian and partner Jen Cameron found their inspiration in the group’s slogan, All Together Possible. They adopted an inclusive approach and designed a logo around the concept of bringing diverse partners together. “It had to represent so many industries,” says Jen, “so it was important not to be too literal and representational.”
The Result: MacBeth describes the logo as “delightfully odd”. “It’s very simple and very clean,” she says, “it’s unusual and it totally stands out. It looks great on business cards.” The design features four interwoven fibres, representing the four natural elements, pointing skyward in a gesture of optimism. “The fibres are separate, but they’re intertwined,” MacBeth explains, “and they’re coming together to form something greater than the sum of their parts. It really is a metaphor for working together as a network.”
The Outcome: Brian and Jen introduced the elorin logo at a public meeting at the Kingston Regional Cancer Centre. “It was a great event,” says MacBeth. “The logo generated a lot of excitement among the elorin people. It took an intangible, amorphous organization and it made it look real and substantial.”” The partners were particularly gratified by the way elorin members embraced the design. “Everyone who saw it recognized a part of themselves in it,” says Jen.
The elorin members weren’t the only ones who were impressed. In late 2006, The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario gave the logo its seal
of approval when they included it in their annual calendar showcasing the year’s top commercial designs.
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