A couple of years ago, cancer fundraiser, Nick Locke talked with the Signals team about the branding needs of a fledging Canadian not-for-profit with a big goal: to help reduce the cancer burden in resource-challenged countries and reduce the suffering of people with cancer in these countries.
Over the past few years, Signals has done lots of work in cancer control in Canada and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made. But the reality is that three quarters of the world’s cancer burden remains in the developing world. So our interest was piqued.
Headed by Canadian cancer expert, Simon Sutcliffe and supported entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, this not-for-profit is the Canadian branch of a group called the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)… a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or connect with the intended audience: donors.
Through the Signals Brand DNA process we renamed the organization: Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, which reflects the fact that there are currently two worlds in cancer control — one with resources and one without. A visual brand, fundraising materials and a website followed. The new site, which recently launched, features the work of yet another volunteer, photographer, Chuck Russell who created a series of photo essays that communicate the desperate need.
We continue to support Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration and encourage you to find out more about the organization.
Click here to find out how you can donate or get involved with Two Worlds.
Canadian rowers are expected to be serious contenders at the 2012 Olympic Games. And the Signals team has captured their power and discipline in Canada’s London 2012 Olympic Games Stamp.
Designed by Kosta and Mike, the stamp features an illustration of a double-scull boat, created by Signals associate, Keith Martin. Kosta says, “We were aiming for a highly stylized, hyper realistic approach to convey the strength and determination of our Olympic athletes.”
The stamp shows a double-scull boat, gliding over a sheet of water that creates its own wake as it moves. The bow of the boat pushes out over the blue edge as if it is crossing the finish line, with an iconic red maple leaf underscoring our Olympic effort. Printed with a seven-colour process, metallic ink was used to enhance the ripples so the water seems to move as light plays across the surface of the stamp.
Canada Post will issue the stamp on June 27th, 2012 in First Day Cover, postcard and booklet formats. This is Signals’ third Olympic assignment: we also created Sports of the 2010 Winter Games, a series of five stamps, and the two-stamp 2010 Winter Games Commemorative series.
Recognized globally, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people and organizations around the world to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It’s an important day for Signals because for more than 20 years we’ve worked hand-in-hand with a number of incredible organizations and initiatives that are deeply involved in Canada’s response to HIV and AIDS. Today we reflect on some of that work…
In the early 90’s, near the beginning of the Canadian response to HIV, we branded the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the Canadian HIV Trials Network. In 1996, we did the conference branding and were the Agency of Record at the XI International Conference on AIDS in Vancouver. This conference brand featured the work of local artist, advocate, and Signals’ friend, Joe Average.
We branded the Canadian Association for HIV Research 2000 and in 2009 we helped them roll into the digital age with a website and new look and feel. We continue to work with them every year in a support capacity to help display the work and presentations coming out of annual CAHR Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS.
In 2006, we developed conference branding, a communications and marketing strategy, website and all conference publications at the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm held that year in Vancouver.
And in 2007, we branded the Canada-Africa Prevention Trials (CAPT) Network, a network formed in partnership with HIV researchers and governments in Uganda and South Africa to expand life-saving HIV clinical trial activities beyond Canada.
Today as we reflect on the work we’ve done in this field, we also take a moment to remember our close friends who we’ve lost to this disease, and continue to honour our friends, clients and colleagues working collectively towards an HIV and AIDS free world.
Sometimes I think Canadians do get the importance of “science branding” better than Americans. Here’s a very good blog post on the subject in the US. “When laypeople don’t know or care enough about what scientists are doing with that money, they don’t notice or care when scientists are suddenly prevented from doing it.” Amen.
The PROOF Centre relies on Signals for ongoing strategic advice about their communications. This year, instead of a printed annual report, Signals recommended taking the report online. We made this recommendation because of the PROOF Cente’s very Internet-saavy audience base, spread all over the world. We also knew we could track analytics on page views and video plays to gather some hard statistics about who the report was reaching.
The other great thing about this online strategy was that it allowed the PROOF Centre to offer several levels of information, giving their readers the opportunity to engage with the report according to their interests. Unlike a traditional print report, this unique online version allowed us to incorporate a variety of engaging content including custom illustrations, video messages from key stakeholders and a scrollable timeline to detail their history. The result was an interactive, friendly and shareable annual report that highlights the PROOF Centre’s achievements to date and sets the stage for the year ahead.
What’s our quality of life in Metro Vancouver? Where are we doing well? What needs improving? These are questions we can all relate to.The Vancouver Foundation’s Vital Signs for Metro Vancouver – a print and online report – was the perfect project for Signals. And the process of bringing the research and statistics to life turned out to be a truly collaborative experience – as well as a lot of fun! It seems that our friends at the Vancouver Foundation feel the same way about the project and the results. Check out what they have to say about Signals on their blog.
The Cesarean Task Force of BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre engaged Signals last Christmas to create a campaign to provide up-to-date birthing resources for pregnant women and their families in British Columbia (BC). The campaign was created in response to the increasing trend towards cesarean births. BC’s current cesarean birth rate of about 30% is at an all-time high, and it’s higher than many experts consider an optimal rate.
Signals used its branding process, including a facilitated Discovery Session, to develop the campaign’s name, key messages and sharpen its goals and objectives. The name, “Power to Push” was the most controversial on Signals’ shortlist, but the client realized it would allow us all to tell a story about pushing for the best birth, which is not a cesarean birth in many cases.
Using the in-house illustration talent of Creative Director, John Belisle, we created a rich visual brand for the campaign to connect with this younger, female audience.
The centre of the campaign is a comprehensive website which was created to help pregnant women understand the options available to them in BC. A collection of brochures (nine, in various languages) and posters are being distributed to health care providers across the province. A social media roll out will follow to help spread the word. Misconceptions among women passed on by the news media (think celebrity c-sections!) were a huge part of this design and communication challenge — check out the top 10 birthing misconceptions, they might surprise you!
Our goals are to educate women about alternatives to cesareans, to let them know about the Best Birth Clinic, and ultimately to help women have the best possible birth and to return to optimal cesarean section rates at BC Women’s and across BC.
We are excited and honoured to be part of this important work that will be good for moms and babies all over BC.
Genome British Columbia’s new booth was a standout at BIO International – a huge biotechnology conference held in Chicago, May 3 – 6, and attended by industry leaders from 65 countries.
The 10 x 10 exhibit was just one component of our on-going brand renewal for Genome BC. The organization, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is well known in the scientific community, but needs to reach a wider audience. Over the past year, Signals has been refreshing the Genome BC brand, with a view to making its work more accessible and relevant – in BC, Canada and internationally.
We designed the booth, marketing materials, newsletter and a new website to demonstrate that Genome BC-funded research has the potential to offer solutions for global challenges in healthcare, food supply, energy and the environment. In all communications, clear messaging is supported by strong, appealing visuals that represent the areas where Genome BC’s work can have an impact.
The new website, which also launched in May, has been getting rave reviews; check it out at www.genomebc.ca