Getting Started in the 6ix is a project conceived by the Office of Social Innovation at the Ryerson University in partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and 6 Degrees. I had the pleasure of art directing this first ever issue of the publication, showcasing new Canadians' social ventures and youth entrepreneurship.
I needed to establish a fresh and distinguished visual identity for this project, while taking into consideration the multiple stakeholders and their existing brand guidelines. Also, since the startups that are highlighted in this publication are up-and-coming, there wasn't a lot of established imagery, which meant it would require photo sourcing and a way to make everything appear cohesive when looked as a whole. Furthermore, the clients requested that the overall visual identity speaks to the targeted audience, which was to be primarily youths. Lastly, I needed to work with a cover illustration that was done independently outside of my purview.
After considering each of the stakeholders' brand guidelines, I began with a general research into current trends in editorial design and taking stock of what could be applicable to this project. I also worked closely with the writer of the magazine who was in constant contact with each of the entrepreneurs so I could get a better sense of what their initiatives are about and how to convey them visually. After presenting a couple of options to the stakeholders, I decided to go with a bold, typographic treatment. Later in the process after a number of iterations, I added additional elements to make the design more dynamic and appeal to the target audience.
Taking a cue from 6 Degrees' existing brand guideline, which I felt most closely rang true for the younger demographic, I chose the yellow and fuchsia out of their brand kit to use as primary colours. I incorporated hand-drawn shapes and lines to create a sense of dynamism, as well as connect the visual themes back to the illustrated cover. With oversized typography and abstract patterns weaving across the spreads, the result is an energetic yet whimsical representation of youth, new ideas, and optimism.