Get To Know Your Neighbour Campaign

Branded graphic design campaign featuring Sure North Road Copy Center

When I joined the Burnaby North Road BIA team, one of my first initiatives was to create a way to humanize the businesses. Consumers prefer to buy from people who they know. I wanted to use graphic design to help put faces to the businesses so that customers would automatically feel as if they knew the owners. I pitched “Get To Know Your Neighbour” to the Executive Director and she loved the idea.

I created a list of questions that we sent out to all of the association’s members. We wanted to get to know the people behind the brands. The questions ranged from personal history to what makes the business special. I also included questions related to the area. Since the organization is focused on promoting local businesses, I wanted to know which local businesses were used by the featured owners.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The graphic design concept comes from the existing logo for the BIA. The logo is comprised of the name in a deep blue, varsity font next to a olive green, stylized tree . I believe that branding is important. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, but it was a priority for me to create a design that was cohesive and matched the existing brand.

The layout of each of the graphics was modified slightly to help differentiate each version, but the core design elements remained consistent. Unique icons were chosen to highlight the questions and answers of the featured owner. I also tried to include a unique or quirky fact that would make the owner more relatable.

Since the design of each “Get To Know Your Neighbour” graphic was meant to be featured on a blog, it wasn’t automatically converted for social media. Quotes from the graphics were made into their own images to share on social media channels, linking back to the original graphic.

Getting Back Into Podcasts with Gimlet Media

startup-podcastThere’s nothing quite like a good podcast. Whether it’s a long commute every morning, cooking dinner at night, or just a simple walk around a park, podcasts are a great way to expand your mind and keep you entertained. I first boarded the podcast train, along with millions of others, when Serial was released last year. Since then I have indulged in several other podcasts, as well as discovering the joy of audio books.

Somehow, podcasts and I drifted apart. That is until StartUp found me. I mean it when I say that it found me. I wasn’t actively looking for a new podcast, but I was open to the idea. Just as I was thinking to myself that I should really get back into listening to something new, a friend posted on my Facebook wall the link to a Vancity Buzz article about binge-worthy podcasts.

The first one on the list was StartUp. A podcast about entrepreneurs and their new businesses. What caught my eye immediately was the fact that they had recently done an episode about Vancouver company Pirate Joe’s. While I haven’t made it out to Kitsilano to see the shop for myself; as a Canadian, Trader Joe loving, marketing graduate, I have always held a soft spot for the company. I love hearing about the elaborate lengths the owner goes to in order to keep his business running.

The podcast did not disappoint. Although I have one burning question for Pirate Joe:

Why are you giving away all of your secrets?

I love the idea of costume changes during cross-border grocery missions. I highly recommend at least checking out this episode of StartUp. If only to learn some of the creative schemes that the Pirate Joe team uses to keep going. I’m optimistic that they haven’t just given away all of their greatest tricks on a medium that could be easily consumed by their adversaries.

The Pirate Joe’s episode was an easy sell for me. The next episode would be the real test. I decided to dive into the unknown waters of the first season. The set up for the first season is a bit different than the episodes in the third. Instead of focusing on a different story every episode, the podcast goes into detail about the process of starting up their start-up: Gimlet Media. You get to listen to Alex Blumberg fumble his way through his first investor meeting and try to figure the perfect name for his new venture.

With so much focus being on the name of this new media empire, I am disappointed in the final decision. I enjoyed the first name: American Podcast Corporation. I liked the old-school throwback that it reflected. Gimlet Media is kind of a meh name to me. Probably because I’d never heard of a gimlet until I started this podcast. I guess I don’t drink enough gin.

Verdict: If you love This American Life or have a passing interest in the mindset of an entrepreneur, then you should check out StartUp.