A few refreshments and
napkin scribbles later they
decided to do stuff together
Whether a one-off project or a long term partnership, we’ve had the privilege of working with many respected brands and businesses of all sizes in the 20 years DID has been around.
The approach we take with our partnerships involves listening to your needs, collaborating on concepts, and delivering stunning results on time and on budget.
Serving industries throughout North and Central America, Pace Solutions Corp. (Canada) and Pace49 Inc. (US/Central America–branded as Pace Plant Health Advocates) are manufacturers and distributors of water treatment, horticulture, and energy efficiency products.
We worked closely with stakeholders from each division to create a brand and website that reflects their unique needs in a uniform voice. The strategy included a far-reaching marketing and PR strategy focused on essential products and brand awareness.
Pace needed a brand design that reflected its two diverse companies and the many divisions within each. The logo had to carry a uniform look, and aesthetically appeal to customers in each unique industry Pace serves. The multicoloured plus sign logo mark not-only depicts each division but also visually brings to life the company’s mission of helping customers achieve their conservation and environmental sustainability goals.
Attending several trade shows per year (pre-Covid), engaging in a relationship-driven sales strategy, and serving dozens of distributors sees Pace Solutions distribute a fair amount of hardcopy collateral throughout the year both internally and to its client and customer base. Designed for both print and digital, these pieces are created to be concise, versatile, visually appealing, and platform agnostic.
The Pace Solutions websites were built to stand out in their industry by presenting visitors with stunning design and solid information while ushering them through a consistent brand journey. From the curated dropdown menus to mini case studies for every service and product, each element is unique and deliberate; aimed at enhancing customer discovery and encouraging contact.
Our SEO efforts allow Pace to analyze how its users interact with their websites, then tailor their marketing efforts based on this data. Through ongoing site optimization efforts we are also able to ensure the code behind the websites is always healthy and up to date.
Music producer Graham How is How Sound. What started with his own love of music, audio production, and everything related to sound eventually evolved into recording and producing his own music on his own label, How Sound Music. How Sound is a passion project for us, and DID is handling every aspect of the branding.
The How Sound logo is a wordmark featuring the typeface HowSound, which was created by DID especially for this brand. The wordmark appears both with and without the box, which is shown here at its minimum sizing in relation to the wordmark. The box is variable and can be sized according to context/placement.
There is a considerable print component to the How Sound brand. The album covers for vinyl and CD releases are Jamie’s work and are based on photography by Graham.
Additional assets include promotional material such as one sheets for broadcast and festival submissions, press kits, QR code cards for How Sound’s LinkTree, embroidered patches, stickers, gig posters, etc.
The website acts as the main portal everything How Sound related. Visitors can find links to all the streaming and purchasing platforms on which How Sound is available, and information on the latest release right from the home page. Once more music is released, this page will also act as a discography.
The News & Events page will feature write-ups about performances, music releases, etc. In the Gallery, visitors can find images and videos. The site also offers the ability to download the How Sound one sheet, and request a press kit (EPK).
There are two main goals for the site. The first is to expose visitors to the music so those who enjoy it can easily stream or make a purchase. The second is to offer information and links to booking agencies for shows and festivals, streaming platforms, broadcast, etc.
The Dudley Inn was built in Bala in the Muskoka area of Ontario in the ‘80s as Dudley’s Inn. Balanced nostalgia and modern amenities define this six room boutique motel made from Poplar trees harvested on the property. This creates a rustic feel inside and out of the comfy rooms.
The new owners bought and renovated in 2022 and decided to keep the name and tradition alive with a rename to The Dudley Inn. This of course required a refresh of the brand.
Inspired by a number of different Canadian brands, it was decided a traditional looking script typeface would be the order of the day for The Dudley Inn‘s logo. This logo will appear on apparel in the near future, in addition to the print applications mentioned here. An informative, single-page brand guide was also provided to ensure brand consistency.
There were a number of different print assets that went into the initial branding for The Dudley Inn. On the client side, there are business cards and the brand guide. The customer facing assets consisted of presentation folders, and desk tents with a QR code linking to information about how to get the most out of your stay. The stationery is for both customer and client.
The Dudley Inn website takes site visitors on a tour of the rooms, a gallery of photos of the inn and the Muskoka area, News & Events, and more. The handsome website was integrated with a third-party booking system hosted separately.
The next step Steve Forsythe after owning Vancouver’s beloved Railway Club, was Off The Rail Brewing Co. – hence the play on the name (nice one Steve!). A proud supporter of local artists in all their forms, Steve regularly brings different ones in to exhibit in their tasting room, and to design their packaging. DID was fortunate to be chosen to design the autumn seasonal labels for two years running in 2017 and 2018.
The idea here was to create an autumn motif, but to stay away from clichéd imagery of leaves and trees and pumpkins and scarves and… you get the idea. DID and Off The Rail landed on certain keywords, which translated to imagery and symbols invoking darkness and timelessness. These images, combined with contemporary typography treatments in warm, autumnal colours looked as natural as could be on the shelves at local retailers through October and November 2017.
Shown above are the labels for the 650ml bomber bottles. Designs were also produced for a 473ml ‘tall boy’ can.
2018 saw a shift in the direction of the fall seasonal beer labels. The idea was to maintain the dark theme from 2017, but to get a bit more playful both in the naming of the brews and the label designs. DID and Off The Rail decided on explicit palette and symbol-driven imagery.
Shown above are the labels for the 650ml bomber bottles. Designs were also produced for a 473ml ‘tall boy’ can.
Previously Platinum Renovations and Contracting, when it came time for the newly renamed Platinum Contracting to “brand up,” they chose to work with us. We’re happy they DID (cue rimshot).
The rebranding included messaging that let’s their target market know Platinum can handle everything from a simple bathroom reno to a full house build. They set themselves apart by dealing with clients directly – the decision makers are answering the phones – and offering top customer service.
Platinum Contracting already had a logo. We just gave it a bit of tightening up and offered a horizontally formatted version for them.
Platinum Contracting already had a document offering a bit of insight into what to expect when working with them, and some helpful information about material suppliers. They wanted a visually compelling way of presenting the document itself, and offer their clients a way to keep all hardcopy documentation together during the course of the project. We agreed that doing so in a branded piece would be a good idea, so we produced a presentation folder, into which we placed the redesigned, and renamed General Information Guide.
When we started discussing the new Platinum Contracting website, it was apparent these guys wanted to set themselves apart from others in the field within the digital realm, just as they have with the work they’ve done for their clients.
When one first lands on the home page, scroll-dependent content creates an engaging experience that immediately invokes a sophisticated impression. The site doesn’t revolve around the company, but also acts as an informative resource for those thinking about renovation and construction.
Alwynds Property Management wanted to try something new in their sector. They had an idea that a boutique property management business model would allow for more attention to property owners and tenants’ needs. We wanted to capture that with this new brand. The main goal was to be informative without seeming corporate.
When asked about the things Amanda and Frank wanted to incorporate into the visual side of their brand the key concepts were ‘looking forward,’ and ‘stability/security.’ Early on it was decided we’d use the logo mark (or icon) to represent the first concept, and the logotype (or word mark) to represent the second.
The logo mark is made up of a ‘sun’ as the backdrop, and a winding road that symbolizes the way forward. The road is also an abstracted smaller case ‘a’ to represent Alwynds. The logotype is a custom typeface with solid, upright, upper case letterforms that offer a rigid–stable–contrast to the more flowing logo mark.
Nothing on a screen can capture the impact of a well produced print piece. These cards are no exception. The final printed product uses a gold foil where the yellow logo mark appears, and the grey versions aren’t actually grey, but rather indicate where only a glossy spot gloss was applied. The varnish catches the light and adds a sense of depth to these cards.
We don’t generally get too ‘American Psycho‘ over business cards, but DID really enjoys the work involved in their production.
The design style of the new Alwynds website captures the culture and lifestyle of Western Canada; both important elements in property management considerations. Simplicity was the core concept on which the site was design. Users are ushered through an experience that quickly directs them to the information they desire. Visitors are presented with critical property listing data, informative articles, various resources, and a clear explanation of its services.
Since 1997, Pinnacle Pursuits has been organizing award winning experiential leadership programs and large-scale team building events and adventures for fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and charities. Serving 11 countries, the company needed a clean and modern responsive website that provided visitors with easy access to information and its extensive catalogue of activities and events.
The goal was to improve the user experience, provide clear messaging, and organize the program catalogue. The landing page builds excitement, shows critical partnerships, and easily directs visitors to core programs. The positive energy at the heart of the company’s culture is retained throughout. Visitors enjoy simple navigation with no hard-stop pages and a clear call to action from any point. Forms and programs are easy to find from desktop to tablet to mobile. With a modular backend, pages are easy to update and change.
After launch, Pinnacle reported a drastic reduction in drop rate and an increase in pages per visit.
The big challenges were the booking system and making viable remote programs for educators and participants. It became quickly apparent that these elements needed to be customized to the unique needs of Pinnacle. The easy-to-use system successfully accepted and tracked deposits, charged balances, provided automated confirmation, and communicated with participants.
After booking 3 successful summer camps with dozens of paying participants, Pinnacle was extremely happy with the functionality and user experience of the customized tool.
Fusion Fight Gear is “Where the worlds of Fitness/BJJ (Brazilian Ju Jitsu) apparel and your favourite officially licensed pop-culture brands meet.”
In creating a rash guard design for Fusion, our resident artist was thrilled to be working with fully licensed Warner Bros. artwork, but overwhelmed with the possibilities. A theme based on 2003’s Batman Hush storyline, featuring the artwork of Jim Lee was eventually chosen.
It’s a Batman motif so obviously the good guy has to go on the front. Combining two different shots of The Dark Knight allowed the artwork chosen to fit the natural shapes formed by the male chest.
The Joker was chosen to represent the bad guy on the back of the rash guard. Fusion Fight Gear branding is also featured here.
Like the front and the back, each sleeve is dedicated to the hero and the villian. The left sleeve features the FG icon from the Fusion Fight Gear logo, and the famous ‘Bat Signal’ icon appears at the cuff of both.
The DID team has 50+ years of experience between us in helping B2B clients in a wide variety of industries. Through this experience we’ve developed processes that allow us to produce solid brand strategies and great looking designs – all within your budget of course – to help your brand stand out.
In a general sense, here’s what we do, and how we do it.
Our Three Steps To Success
There is no cookie-cutter process here. We work closely with you and your team, diving deep into your company, competition, and industry to produce sustainable short-term and long-term strategies.
We offer innovative design, technical expertise, and a keen comprehension of the media landscape to build a solid brand strategy that improves upon your current success and supports your future goals.
Brand development goes way beyond just designing a beautiful logo, it involves capturing the company culture and embedding the brand image into the societal consciousness with a look and voice that reflects the values and goals of your business.
From complete company rebrands to single product and service lines, we develop a brand ethos (the kids call it a ‘vibe’) that aligns with the marketplace and stands out amongst the competition.
Your success is our success. We recognize early what is already working and that becomes the point from which we build.
When we do our company assessment we first listen to your needs, then we want to know about prior pitfalls. This information, combined with our experience, allows us to produce a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that show real world results. Needless to say, this data proves invaluable for future campaigns.
Graphic, Interactive, & Packaging Design
Web & Application Development
Public Relations & Marketing Communication
Social Media Campaigns
Together we can design and develop beautiful new brands, refresh existing brands, plan and implement targeted strategies, and track your success.
We’d be happy to hear from you and we do our best to respond within 24 hours.
Everyone involved with DID is a music fan. If you’ve ever heard music (we highly recommend it), it’s worth noting some of the most successful popular artists have been power trios; think Rush, Tony Williams Lifetime, The Police, ZZ Top, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more. Well, below is the power trio that makes up DID, and those others who contribute to our work.
Jamie has been a creative person since he discovered at a young age crayons were more than just a delicious snack.
A graduate of Vancouver Film School, he spent his early years in design with agencies both local and remote. He started DID as Donkey Ink Design in 1999, and in the time since he’s worked with a diverse range of clients including Pace Solutions, Vancouver Canucks, Nero AG, Hewlett Packard and a host of others.
Jamie’s interests are design, drums, dogs, vans, hoodies, and cookies. That’s it. Nothing else interests him in the slightest. The Rubik’s Cube held his attention for a while, but once solved he was over it.
Derek is career student and a business journeyman.
Before falling in love with design, Derek co-owned three award-winning businesses; two restaurants and a social start-up. Although commonly known as a front-end developer, he has developed proprietary systems that power daily operations for industry leaders from film to education. He enjoys learning about the business intricacies and design challenges that shape our everyday lives.
Derek’s loves adventure travelling. He’s backpacked to across China to Tibet, slept from table to table in Filipino slums, and been a vagabond in Japan. He has stories from these travels that make us wonder why we let him hang out with us.
After writing television commercials for CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, as well as ad campaigns for major clients from pharmaceutical companies to sports franchises, Jeremy moved into public relations and marketing communications for the digital space.
Working with B2B clients on a North American and global scale, he produces targeted web content, delightful copy, and ghost-writes articles. The goal is to shape a brand’s narrative, build industry authority, and bring clarity to complicated technical concepts.
Oddly, despite having worked with Comedy Central, Jeremy still doesn’t know the difference between being laughed with and being laughed at.
Almost all musical acts have those pieces of work requiring additional elements that involve calling in a few session players. Our work is no different.