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our thinking

thinking / type notes: din

If you live in Thunder Bay, or have seen tourism advertisements for the city, then you have seen this typeface. You probably see it several times a day anyway because it’s a very popular typeface, but the reason we’re bringing to your attention as the first of our ‘type notes’ series is because it’s currently the typeface used by the Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay in any of its visual communications. It is called DIN. (more…)

3 Comments. Categorized as thinking, type-notes.

thinking: a brand is not something you can design.

You may be saying to yourself: “But we hear about branding all of the time. Lots of companies do branding.”

They might think they do, but they don’t. No one company can do branding, for themselves or for anyone else.

So if branding is not a service anyone can offer, but branding is indeed something applied to a company, then who does it?

To a degree, you do. Your friends do it, and everyone else in the world for that matter, each in their own way. We do it too, not as a company but rather as individuals just like you. We certainly wouldn’t dream of billing for it, that’s for sure. Here’s why: (more…)

12 Comments. Categorized as identity, thinking.

Caves of Commerce

June 7, 2010

thinking: “oh, look honey, another box store.”

Thunder Bay’s Intercity area is a commercial developer’s (and realtor’s) wet dream: dozens of flat, undeveloped acres sandwiched between two car-dependent city-regions. You couldn’t make that up. Naturally, this is where the box retailers are making their inevitable home.

Leon's Furniture

Leon's Furniture construction on Water Street.

For some, this development has been cause for concern, specifically as an economic (and social) drain on the downtown cores of Port Arthur and Fort William. We can’t really comment on that; we’re not economists. Our concern is more centered on how these buildings are so consciously removed from the cultural landscape of the region. (more…)

5 Comments. Categorized as thinking.

thinking: good design is doing good.

It’s often said that our consumer culture is shallow, that it puts too much importance on appearances and material wealth. We fully agree; too much emphasis is put on how things look instead of how things ‘are’, and when you peel away the layers of appearance you often find nothing substantial supporting those layers. But we would add this: avoiding false layers of mere appearance is only the first step: relevant and beautiful expression is still needed. Building up new ‘authentic’ layers based on something substantial and real – what we’re willing to call ‘beauty’ – is absolutely necessary for more than just the individual (or, in our line of work, the organization), but for the community as a whole.

Big words.

But smarter, more capable people than we have said the same, and in consideration of Thunder Bay’s protracted identity turmoil (yes, turmoil), we’d say that the consideration of community beauty is long overdue. (more…)

7 Comments. Categorized as thinking.