Our campaign for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario launched this week!

This week we helped launch a new campaign for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. HEQCO is third party education analytics organization in Toronto that works with higher education institutions, the government, and other stakeholders to improve higher education in Ontario.

The research initiative, called ‘The Graduating Student Survey on Learning and Work,’ is part of a provincial research study that includes online surveys of students and faculty at 14 Ontario postsecondary institutions.

HEQCO needed materials that would explain the initiative and promote it to graduating students. An online portal was designed (learnandwork.ca), along with a kit for each participating postsecondary institution which included posters, banners and print ads, in both English and French.

HEQCO project website and poster

Having worked on the pilot project, we understood that our greatest challenge in the design process would likely be the necessity to appeal to a very large group of stakeholders, including representatives from each participating postsecondary institution, as well as student body groups.

The client had previously requested that we directly participate in a series of conference calls with all representatives in order to get an idea of what was required for the creative – imagine 20 people trying to get across their own personal agendas! This proved to be less constructive than the client had hoped as too many voices meant little direction could be ascertained. We plugged away at the time, but the pilot proved to have been a good lesson in how to approach the launch of the campaign.

This time around, I suggested we bypass the conference calls and look to a smaller group of decision makers from which we would develop the direction and a brief. All representatives could approach the lead group, however, final decisions would come from this cohesive voice. This structure allowed an efficient process and more stakeholders seemed to be satisfied with the end result.

As we approached the launch date, all parties approved of the creative, and our client was very happy with final results. The campaign is ongoing and we hope to see some positive results emerging over the coming months!

Special Report on climate change adaptation for the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

A Special Report on climate change adaptation for the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario was released today. We were delighted to be involved in the project, designing both the report and the posters for ECO.

ECO Adaptation Report

The following, taken from the ECO website, gives an outline of what Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is responsible for:

“The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario is the province’s independent environmental watchdog. Appointed by the Legislative Assembly, the ECO is tasked with monitoring and reporting on compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights, and the government’s success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in achieving greater energy conservation in Ontario.”

We’ve worked with ECO in the past, and they called us in to design the report which required sensitive treatment of a topic of significant importance.

The commissioner’s office, though independent and non-partisan, must play a political game to make sure it gets the most out of its opportunities to inform the public on how the provincial government is performing on environmental issues. There is a give and take in terms of when it is best to be critical of the ministries and when praise is appropriate.

The original report was a scathing 85 page illustration on how the province was largely negligent in their obligations to prepare infrastructure for the potential disruptions brought on by climate change. However, just prior to its release, the Ministry of the Environment proposed a plan which eased ECO concerns on future preparedness. With this new initiative, the commissioner’s office moved quickly to praise the strategy in a revised report, however the sudden shift left little time before the scheduled release.

With a pressing deadline, ECO handed the project to us to turn around. Always up to the challenge, we were all hands on deck to produce the report on time and on budget. We crafted an even-handed look that set the tone for Gord Miller’s thoughts on the new initiative. ePUB versions and posters compliment the release of the report. Download the report here.

Case Study No. 3
University of Toronto IEP

International English Programs
The Challenge

The University of Toronto is host to several International Programs that are specifically designed for foreign students, one of which is the International English Programs. We were asked to create a brand around the program that would appeal to Asian, Latin and Middle Eastern Markets in order to revive the program.

International English Program work

The Solution

The design strategy was to appeal to students by conveying a sense of excitement, while expressing the tradition of one of the most prestigious universities in Canada. It was important that the visual elements would also work seamlessly with the established U of T brand.

The Outcome

Over the years we’ve worked on the program, it has continued to build and grow. We have been praised by the university executive for our leadership in ushering in a refreshed look for the program. Success here has opened opportunity to be involved in several new programs at the University of Toronto.