• FUEL profile in BC Business

    Jane and Steven sat down with Lucy Hsylop of BC Business to talk about their ambitions with FUEL, its early ticketing+collaboration system and why local businesses should care.

    “The couple says 15 per cent of tickets have been bought since the initiative launched last week, including small business packages by local group Fairware Promotional Products Ltd., which makes socially and environmentally responsible promotional goods, and by Chambar Restaurant.

    Read the full article in BC Business

  • Introducing our newest event initiative: FUEL

    Someone the other day asked us “what are you famous for?”

    We thought this was a weird question, but we had to be honest. Despite all the branding and design projects weʼve done for influential organizations over the years, we are most commonly known as the producers and hosts of PechaKucha Night Vancouver.

    Weʼre proud of this. PechaKucha Night has grown into a fun, city-shaping cultural event that has inspired thousands of people.

    But the Pechakucha 20×20 model was never ours. Yes, weʼve adapted it for Vancouverʼs unique culture and created one of the biggest versions of it on the planet, but its constraints – which make is so popular around the world – sometimes limits us in what we can do.

    We’re creators at heart so we have decided to launch our own initiative, one that can bring in big international speakers, more in-depth conversations and deeper audience participation.

    Donʼt worry, PechaKuchaʼs not going anywhere and weʼll continue to be its hosts and producers. If thereʼs anything weʼve learned over the years, itʼs that Vancouver is alway happy to welcome another event series.

    Allow us to introduce…FUEL – the Future of Urbanity, the Environment and our Lifestyle.

    FUEL Intro

    FUEL will inspire creativity, encourage local and global connections, plot our collective future and ignite the culture of our city.

    Think of FUEL as a future forum, a place for engaged citizens to talk about whatʼs next and imagine new ways to improve how we live, work and play. It will be an ongoing initiative, with the first event set for May 29-30 at The Vancouver Playhouse.

    The themes of the inaugural event will be design, technology, food and sustainability, but most importantly, FUEL is about the new ideas and innovative thinking that occur when these themes intersect and interact. We will explore these themes in large scale theatre presentations, interactive group sessions, free-flowing breaks and hands-on workshops. At night, weʼll gather together for the FUEL Dialogues, and after party.

    The FUEL Dialogues
    Unlike PechaKucha where we have a bunch of speakers up on stage by themselves for a short amount of time, we wanted to expand the conversation and invite two people up on stage with a moderator for more in-depth discussions and debates.

    For the FUEL Dialogues, one speaker will be a Vancouver expert in a particular field, the other will be an international speaker of renown. With the help of a moderator, we want them to work through two of the four themes of FUEL – design and sustainability, for example – to imagine our global future and to learn what Vancouver has to learn from the world and what the world can learn from us.

    After two of those, weʼll break for an after party curated with great food, music and conversation. Itʼll be a lot of fun.

    A new model for ticketing and participation
    Weʼre doing something a little bit different when it comes to ticket sales for FUEL. Weʼve decided to presell tickets to the May 29 FUEL Dialogues on a new platform called Picatic at a reduced rate to encourage the early adopters among you to support the event and, more importantly, help us build it.

    Weʼre still finalizing the details, narrowing down the programming, securing the speakers and lining up all the little things that will make this an event to remember.

    But we want to hear from you. What do you want to talk about? Who do you want to hear from? What can make this event unforgettable?

    As the pieces fall into place, youʼll be the first to know and will be the first to hear about other tickets and experiences related to FUEL. Weʼll also be going out to you for ideas, suggestions and approval every step of the way.

    Join us for May 29th and help make this event yours
    Purchase your tickets to the FUEL evening event on May 29 at The Vancouver Playhouse on our Picatic page
    Learn more about FUEL at and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

    We also would like to express a warm thank you to our friends at Odette Visual who helped us produce our video.

  • 5 of BC’s Best Designers and their Definitive Works

    A few months ago, a design publication asked us for our five favourite BC designers and a list of their definitive works. Either they didn’t use the piece or we forgot to submit it in time – we forget which, making us believe the latter is more likely.

    Anyway, their loss is our blog’s gain. If you’ve got deep pockets you could consider this a last minute holiday gift list. Or, like the rest of us, you can just marvel and appreciate at the talent that comes from our province.

    Marian Bantjes – Pretty Pictures

    Marian Bantjes - Pretty Pictures
    Marian Bantjes
    ‘ monograph of her work over the last ten years is a dense, raw exploration of the creative processes behind one of our greatest graphic artists. Organized chronologically, Pretty Pictures, includes images, sketches, rejected concepts and finished works along with deep commentary and anecdotes. This is not a book you flip through and put back on your coffee table. It is a book you wade into and study.

    Brent Comber – Shattered Sphere

    Brent Comber - Shattered Sphere - Alex HaywardPhoto by Alex Hayward

    While a perfect sphere is a symbol of order and unity, the chaos of the shattered sphere shows the fragility of that order. Made of western red cedar, it defies how we typically consider shaping wood and our living environment. The light that seeps through the cracks makes it feel as if it’s coming to life and in the right environment, this piece is otherworldly.

    Shattered Spheres was the moment Brent Comber moved from sculptor to designer. He now wears other personas with comfort.

    Omer Arbel – Bocci 28.280

    Bocci 28.280 underneathPhoto by Nick Barr

    As Omer Arbel’s reputation grows, so do the ambitions of his projects and 28.280, which debuted in the Victoria & Albert Museum during the London Design Festival could almost be considered audacious. Descending 30 metres from the top of the building to the main atrium through an empty shaft, it fills every floor with its physical and luminary presence. 280 of Bocci’s 28 glass lights in a multitude of colours plunge from copper wires in a chaotic yet beautiful array following the same principles of exploring process and systems that go into the design and creation of the individual 28s themselves, which are hand blown in the same vertically-integrated building they were designed in. The logistics, ingenuity, engineering and hard work that went into pulling off this achievement is staggering.

    Marie Khouri – Wearable sculptures

    Wearable SculpturesPhoto by Alaina Hase of Alaina Michelle Photography

    Like the 28.280 and the Shattered Sphere, Marie Khouri’s wearable sculptures defy traditional forms and are the result of a more organic process, yet are still created by intentional human design. They celebrate the beauty of the material – onyx, bronze, copper and gold – in its pure form as well as the interaction of shaping it.

    Patkau Architects – Agosta House

    Agosta House By Patkau Architects-Photographs© James DowPatkau Architects-01
    Photo by James Dow

    Choosing one definitive Patkau project is difficult, but the Agosta House represents an evolution of west coast modern to a level of complexity that few have achieved in both spatial arrangement with the natural surroundings and sophisticated use of simple materials like exposed heavy timber, concrete and steel. This is architecture unique and emblematic to British Columbia.

  • What’s in a Name? 
Cause+Affect’s Top Ten Naming Tips

    company naming by causeandaffect

    Naming a client’s organization or product is one of the most significant services we provide and we’ve been entrusted with this responsibility with many memorable clients including EPIC, Fuse, jorg&olif, Modo and Odd Society Spirits.

    In the past few weeks we’ve found ourselves doing more naming than ever. This work has helped us cement a fairly rigid process from something that was once a bit more organic. Meanwhile, we’ve been reading countless articles about the best practices for picking a good name. Some were good. Others were terrible.

    And so, as to not be left off your holiday reading list, here are Cause+Affect’s Top 10 Naming Tips.

    1. Don’t tell us what you do.

    The purpose of a name is NOT to tell people what you do. Your name will never appear in a vacuum – there will always be other supporting information around it to fill in your story, whether in print, on the web or just in conversation.

    The purpose of your name is to begin a larger story and anchor the relationship that it forms with your audience.

    2. Be emotional to be memorable.

    Names that are descriptive of a service or benefit tend to register with the analytical left side of your brain. Meanwhile, names that lead with feeling activate the right side of your brain, which connects to a deeper, more emotional response that tends to be much more memorable. Compare ABC Window Cleaners to ‘Clear Skies’ Windows.

    3. Name yourself, not your sector.

    Stay away from names that describe your sector. You want to isolate what sets you apart, not what makes you the same. Tying your name to the larger industry gets you membership in a crowded club, not an individual brand. Again, it’s about standing out.

    4. Don’t be scared off by the negative.

    One of the most common tendencies in a naming process is to point out all the potential negative connotations associated with a word. But if you rule out every name that could be twisted into a negative, you are left with the bland and banal. The first thing to recognize is that your brand story will give the name a new meaning when used in your context.

    Consider this – when you think of Virgin, do you think inexperienced? Do you think of malaria when you order from Amazon? Does the brand Caterpillar make you think of squishy garden pests?

    5. Tell a story.

    Your name should be the first step in a larger story. This story doesn’t have to be the core story of your brand, but it needs to be an integral and unique aspect of who you are. Having a story connected to your name imbues meaning in everything you do. It gives you an opening for an elevator pitch and its allows your audience to advocate on your behalf.

    A good name and brand will make its audience proud to tell your story. All you have to do is give them the tools to do it.

    6. Be wary of simply making it up.

    Choose carefully when inventing words. Make sure people will pronounce it consistently. Keep it simple: people can remember short weird ones (Modo), but long ones end up lost or garbled in translation.

    And whenever possible, try to put some meaning behind your made up name, even if it’s a few steps reserved: Skype is a mashup of “sky” and “peer-to-peer.”

    7. Don’t sweat the URL.

    Don’t decide on a name solely based on URL availability. The days of a perfect, one-word URL are over for most of us. And that’s fine – when’s the last time you typed in a complete URL to access a site? We’re much more likely to follow a link or just google something to find a site now.

    8. Your name can’t do everything.

    Names are important, but don’t ask your name to do more than it can or should. It can’t possibly represent all your unique brand attributes or tell your entire story. It’s just one word. But a good brand will surround its name with other touchpoints to create a complete brand experience.

    9. Ensure you can own it.

    Don’t fall in love with a name until you have done your homework. Check URL availability and trademarks online. Get to know all the other groups out there that share your name or parts of it. Research any possible regional and cultural sensitivities regarding your name: the last thing you need is to find out your name means something terrible in another language.

    And lastly, protect your name through hiring an intellectual property attorney and go through the correct ownership procedures.

    10. Stop dropping your vowels.

    This is just lazy. And annoying. We’re looking at you, app developers.


  • Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 30

    PechaKucha Night Vol. 30

    We’ve uploaded each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 30 to our Vimeo page for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy and share.


    J. B. MacKinnon
    Author of the ‘100 Mile Diet’ and ‘The Once and Future World’
    Watch Presentation 

    Zoe Pawlak
    Contemporary artist working with private clients, interior designers and select brands.
    Watch Presentation

    Lyndon Cormack
    Co-Founder of Herschel Supply Co.
    Watch Presentation

    Alexandra T. Greenhill
    Co-Founder and CEO of My Best Helper
    Watch Presentation

    Paul Dincer
    Founder and Chocolatier at Koko Monk Chocolates by Levni
    Watch Presentation

    Alicia Medina Laddaga
    Founder and Director of LOHA Vancouver
    Watch Presentation

    Jonathan Tippett
    Artist and Engineer of Prosthesis: The Anti-Robot
    Watch Presentation

    Leah Costello
    Chief Ideas Curator of the Bon Mot Book Club
    Watch Presentation

    Wes Regan
    Executive Director of the Hastings Crossing BIA
    Watch Presentation

    Sarah Dickinson
    Director of THNK
    Watch Presentation

    David Gunawan
    Head Chef and Owner of Farmer’s Apprentice
    Watch Presentation