The Durham Region consists of 8 municipalities, just east of Toronto Ontario. It houses a variety of cities, towns, hamlets and with that a vast array of culture, dining, arts, and tourism opportunities.
The Regional Municipality of Durham asked me to work with them to create a brand for a new initiative that would encapsulate all of their sport details housed within a tourism initiative to achieve the goal of identifying themselves as a premier sport destination.
I began looking deeply at the sports offering, and was equally impressed with the award-winning fully accessible facilities Durham offers, in addition to the general sports activities arenas, fields and other venues. It became clear that while in communication materials we can discuss the specifics of our facilities and offerings, on a masterbrand level, we should focus on a direct message that envelops everyone.
Finding a universal, human truth that communicates the message of sport, communicates the message of participation and activity, that does so without segregating based on “ability” as commonly defined by society.
The idea for the brand became centered in "play".
Referencing Indiana University's Collaborative project with the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), the ability to create an equal playing field (pun intended), allowed our core brand identity to become something more than shots of basketball or hockey.
The idea; Through play, people grow and develop individually and with others (and as a larger part of the community). Builds self-esteem and worth. Develops friendships and relationships. Strengthens families. Revitalizes, energizes, stimulates, relaxes.
Play spans multiple domains;
- Physical: fine and gross motor skills, strength, flexibility and co-ordination.
- Emotional: Self esteem, self concept, expression of feelings, happiness.
- Mental: Develops and strengthens functional skills, allows for insightful problem solving skill development.
- Social: Community, connection, confidence, determination.
To emulate the concept of play (sport, activity); we use sweeping lines, loosely design objects that speak to motion, and clustered in various forms.
This approach also nods towards free-flowing art and music - keeping in the context of tourism, that while people will come to Durham Region for sports, they will explore the municipalities when they are here, and we can begin to focus on arts and culture.
With a combination of colour, we speak on a high level to diversity and culture. As this develops in other areas of marketing materials, we introduce a grouping of forms, and the notion of team and community becomes present.
With international visitors to Durham, the brand identity itself needed to lend for ease of translation, while still maintaining its integrity.
The creation of the figure within the identity, was an intentional brand extension. Each flowing line element could speak to a variety of other sports or activities, and encompass an accessible platform.
Extensions then carried through to other facets of promotion.
The branding has begun to extend itself into the social space, while we develop other digital methods of communication including a responsive mobile site, and integrate with other levels of regional tourism.
Agency: Wilfred Kirby
Role: Strategy, Concept, Creative Direction, Art Direction, Design
Production: Jason Chesebrough