• BRAND LAUNCH: Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre

    integrative natutopathic medical centre

    Integrative is one of the most respected naturopathic medical centres in Vancouver.

    But you wouldn’t know if from their old brand, which looked just like every other brand in that sector. Generic, flat, boring. A little wishy-washy. A bit hard to take seriously.

    It certainly didn’t express the experience, ideas or warmth that set Integrative apart from the field.

    To be honest, it didn’t have to for a long time.

    Integrative had a strong base of loyal, referral-making clients based on its founders’ impeccable reputation. However, their reputation didn’t extend to the clinic as a whole, which was a problem for two reasons.

    1. Integrative is more than any one practitioner. Integrative is a team of diverse healing practitioners working together to unite as many healing methods as possible to care for their patients from all angles. As with health, it’s the whole, not the individual parts that define Integrative.

    2. Building a brand solely on the reputation of the people at the top is not sustainable. It’s like building a pyramid with a strong point but a weak foundation. It’s bound to crumble.  A sustainable brand is built to stand for the entire organization and what it believes in. Of course, reputation is essential to brand, but it must be the reputation of more than just its most well-known individual units.

    Our goal was to attract a new generation of patients to an Integrative brand that could rise above the fray and speak for the entire Integrative experience. We needed to create something that could sustain Integrative into the future.

    Brand Foundation
    Built upon the Integrative Model

    The new Integrative brand was built upon the Integrative Model – a healing philosophy that incorporates diverse healing methods to treat each interconnected aspects of health. Each asset was designed to connect together to support this healing philosophy.

    Brand Identity
    The Endless Knot

    Integrative’s new logo is an adaptation of their previous one. The endless knot is an ancient symbol and powerful visual metaphor of the interconnectedness of all things, which drives the Integrative Model. We would have been foolish to discard it, but it did need an upgrade to move the brand out of the spirituality camp and towards the medical authority camp that divides the alternative healing sector.

    We designed a modern aesthetic to communicate the medical expertise of Integrative’s practitioners that also injected the colour, joy and compassion found within the Integrative clinic. This aesthetic extended to the logo, icons, website and print materials.


    When you’re sick, do you call a doctor or an artist?

    The infusion of authority into the Integrative’s aesthetics also extended to its renaming.

    Even though they apply artistry in their care, Integrative’s practitioners are medical professionals, not artists. Therefore, we recommended that they change their name from ‘Integrative Healing Arts’ to Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre to attract serious patients.

    Real care, real people

    We replaced the stock images of smiling senior citizen models holding hands on the beach in white linens with photos by Gwenael Lewis of real people and practitioners in the Integrative clinic to show potential patients something real.

    integrative photography

    Website and Print Materials
    Designed to be a source of knowledge

    The new Integrative site is focused on eight health programs we helped Integrative structure based on the most common health concerns they receive. Bright colours and icons serve to differentiate these programs that bring together many healing practices to give patients full Integrative care.

    integrative programs rack cards

    We also did a lot of copywriting for the site in deep collaboration with the medical personnel to create a rich resource of information for Integrative’s patients.

    We learned a lot through this rebranding process and thank the entire Integrative team for sharing their knowledge with us. We welcome the new Integrative brand into the world and are excited to see it attract the next generation of Integrative patients.

    integrative website

  • 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.

  • Odd Society Launch

    In an intimate gathering of friends and family basked in the distorted reflections of gleaming copper stills, Odd Society Spirits opened its doors for business last night.

    Our longtime friends and clients, Odd Society operate a small-batch craft distillery in the heart of East Van. Fermenting and distilling through traditional methods in small batches and only using 100% BC agricultural products, Odd Society is part of a new era of craft distilling in Vancouver, much like the craft beer revolution we’re currently enjoying.

    Odd Society Industry Night

    Odd Society Distillery

    Our Work for Odd Society

    Cause+Affect’s scope of work for Odd Society was broad, as was our creative freedom, thanks to Odd Society founders Miriam Karp and Gordon Glanz. In brief, we were responsible for:

    Odd Society Brand—including name, brand story, logo, identity and website

    Distillery interiors—turning an old motorcycle garage into the physical personification of the Odd Society brand. A place that is unusual, yet welcoming.

    Product branding and packaging design—including naming and copywriting

    See the project page on our website for details.

    Odd Society Spirits

    Odd Society Spirits Bar

    East Van Vodka

    Odd Society’s debut product, East Van Vodka, is unlike any other vodka we’ve ever tasted. Made with 100% barley grown in Prince George and malted in Armstrong, it has actual flavours and depth to it as opposed to most intentionally neutral vodkas we’ve tried. And it goes great in Odd Society’s signature cocktails, the Sour Owl and Odd Aviation.

    Read about our first sip of East Van Vodka on our blog

    We designed the East Van Vodka label around ‘Cornelius’ – original artwork we sourced from local artist Shwa Keirstead who we also asked to paint a phantasmagorical imagining of the Odd Society stills that dominates the tasting bar.

    Odd Society Spirits

    Upcoming Spirits

    The next spirits from Odd Society will be a small batch of Creme de Cassis made in collaboration with Hervé Martin, the former chef to the Late King of Belgium; Wallflower Gin made with coastal botanicals, and an unaged barley spirit that we call Mongrel.

    Last but not least, Odd Society’s first batch of whiskey is maturing in barrels as we speak. We hope to share a sip or two with you when it’s ready in less than three years.

    Odd Society Artwork

    The Where, When and How

    Odd Society’s doors are now open for free tastings, tours and sales. Find them at 1725 Powell Street at the foot of Commercial. Open Thurs – Sun 1:00 – 7:00. They’ll be giving complimentary tours Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm.

    Find batch #2 of East Van Vodka (batch #1 is sold out) in several new liquor stores and restaurants including Pacific Spirits Liquor Store, East Side Liquor Store, Crosstown Liquor Store, and Chambar Restaurant with more coming on board every day. Ask for it by name!

  • Odd Society bottles batch #1 of East Van Vodka

    Yesterday was a good day. Our friends at Odd Society Spirits celebrated the bottling of their very first batch of their very first product – East Van Vodka – and we were lucky enough to be among the first to taste it.

    Odd Society SpiritsAfter over a year of debating names, designing labels, logos and website, writing stories, getting permits, withstanding inspections, installing the stills, building the tasting lounge and experimenting with various distilling techniques and ingredients, the moment of truth had arrived.

    We gathered with Gordon and Miriam, the Odd Society Founders, in their almost complete tasting bar. Above the bar stood a massive phantasmagorical rendition of the glistening stills we could see through the floor-to-ceiling windows to our left. Painted by local East Van artist, Shwa Keirstead, the piece imagines the copper pot and column stills as a mish-mash of various beasts and spirits. Tentacles, feathers, scales, disembodied eyeballs, wispy spirits, fish and fowl make it look like the stills are the result of a fiendish experiment by Dr. Moreau. Definitely Odd.

    Odd Society Artwork

    Gordon, the distiller, poured the vodka from one of the one thousand bottles of batch #1, noted in his handwriting at the base of the label we designed, also featuring artwork by Shwa, this time of a mustachioed owl sporting a pipe and naval uniform going by the name ‘Cornelius’.

    We brought the glasses to our noses. It smelled floral and a bit sweet. There was none of the raw, burning alcohol sensation you normally get with vodka.

    Eastvan Vodka

    Odd Society Bar

    We sipped. And it was good. Unlike any vodka we’ve ever had, East Van Vodka tasted smooth and buttery. Made from 100% malted barley, it comes from real substance. Gordon joked that it should be called single malt vodka.

    Naturally, we have a considerable bias here, let alone a vested interest in this being good, but none of us had ever encountered a vodka that you could sip like this before.

    East Van Vodka’s quality is assuring because it’s just the first of many spirits to come from the Odd Society, including Wallflower Gin, a yet-to-be-named whiskey that will be ready in two years and 11 months (it went into oak barrels a month ago), a Creme de Cassis and the Mongrel, an unaged spirit that we can’t legally call whiskey because it won’t spend anytime aging in a barrel, but contains all the locally-grown malted barley and rye that will remind you of it. It may also remind you of moonshine.

    Odd Society Barrels

    Working in our digital age, it’s rare for people in our line of work to see real physical products that you can experience like this come to reality. We have been working with Odd Society’s brand for quite some time now and are immensely proud to now hold something tangible in our hands and feel what was once just an idea now glide across our tongues and down our throats. It feels good.

    Odd Society’s tasting room and distillery on Powell Street – designed by us, built by them – is coming along steadily and will be a beautiful atmosphere to taste and learn about Odd Society’s family of spirits with new licensing laws in place to make these types of rooms more conducive to lingering and learning.

    Odd Society Distillery

    Odd Society expects to open their doors to the public in late October, but look for (and ask for) East Van Vodka at local bars and liquor stores until then.



  • Modo adapts brand to celebrate Vancouver Pride

    If we’ve done our job right, the brand identities we build with our clients should represent their values and personality and encourage long lasting relationships with their audiences.

    One of the biggest challenges for our clients in deepening those relationships is maintaining the integrity of their brand as it evolves over time. We talk to our clients about being consistent with their brand both in message and aesthetic. At the same time, we are thrilled when our clients are able to evolve their brands on their own in a way that keeps true to their original values and personality.

    Strong brands are adaptable. They can adopt or work alongside other brands without losing their identity because a great brand is more than just its symbols and colour palette. A brand comes to stand for the beliefs of the organization behind it.

    Modo, the car co-op’s rainbow pride t-shirts are a beautiful example of this.

    pride shirts

    By incorporating the rainbow into their visual identity, Modo didn’t dilute its brand; it enhanced it by being true to its values. Modo is fun, local, passionate, supportive and inclusive and it showed it proudly by embracing pride.

    Plus, these t-shirts look awesome. Get your limited edition t-shirt by emailing

    Just in time for the Pride Parade this Sunday. Have fun, Vancouver!


    Photos courtesy of Modo, the Car Co-op

  • Jane Cox among ten winners of the Globe and Mail’s Catalyst search for creative Canadians


    The Globe and Mail has named our very own Jane Cox among the top ten winners of its Catalyst talent search for creative Canadians.

    We’re all a little bit blown away at the moment, but feeling honoured and proud to be among such a talented, creative group. Reading about all of the other winners and nominees just reminds us of how diverse and compelling the Canadian creative community is.

    Excerpts below from the Globe and Mail feature by Deirdre Kelly

    Why she’s a Catalyst

    She initiated the popular Vancouver arts and culture series Movers and Shapers and founded the Vancouver edition of PechaKucha Night, billed as an evening of ideas, images and inspired conversation.

    Our judges say

    “Jane has connected people through her creativity and her branding, and most of all other cultures and communities”
    David Lee

    About the selection process

    The Catalyst judges – Hudson Bay president Bonnie Brooks, award-winning chef David Lee, Arts&Crafts president Jeffrey Remedios and the Globe’s Life & Arts editor Gabe Gonda – spent two months poring over almost 500 nominees from the worlds of arts and culture, food and drink, and style and design.

    See the full list of winners at the Globe and Mail

    Read the initial feature on Jane in the March 19 Globe and Mail

    Watch a short video feature (with glimpses of our new office) here

  • The Rebrand of Equilibrium


    An example of making the good, cool

    Equilibrium was a perfect example of a company doing incredible work without the proper recognition because of a weak brand.

    Prior to our rebrand of Equilibrium, the casual observer (or potential client) wouldn’t easily understand that they are among the top structural engineers in the country or that they’re a world authority on wood construction.

    The new Equilibrium brand communicates this expertise and confidence through a simple and forthright logotype, a visual aesthetic that celebrates not only the finished project, but also the creative process behind it, and a proud tone of voice.

    The rebrand started with a Brand Audit to identify Equilibrium’s audience and how to best connect with them. With this understanding, we moved on to brand design work that included logo design and the creation of a visual identity, web and print design and copywriting.

    Equilibrium has an impressive portfolio of work that is only going to grow over the years. Visit the new Equilibrium website and see how they may be responsible for some of your favourite buildings in Vancouver, in British Columbia, in Canada and beyond.


  • Oil Sands Reality Check

    The Oil Sands Reality Check campaign illustrates the challenge of communicating both a difficult topic and incredibly detailed, well-researched information. The result was a website and publication that optimized the 25 most significant facts about the impacts of the oil sands into easy to understand and share illustrations.

    Oil Sands Reality Check is the result of collaboration between the Tar Sands Solutions Network, eight of their partner organizations as well as internationally-renowned academics, scientists and economists.

    The launch of the Oil Sands Reality Check has been covered by CTV News, Vancouver Observer, Financial Post, the Tyee, Huffington Post, and an AP story that went worldwide to at least 100 major sources in the US and around the world.

    Our work was also used  to illustrate this short video, which is already garnering significant views.

  • Proud to be the newest LOCO BC members


    Cause+Affect joins LOCO BC

    We are proud to be the newest members of LOCO BC – a growing alliance of local companies working to strengthen our communities, grow the local economy and build strong, sustainable businesses.

    We’re also proud of the work we did to develop their brand and some of the communication assets that helped them recruit so many city-defining members.

    Whether you’re a consumer who wants to support great local businesses or you’re a business that wants to join a community of great local companies, check out the LOCO BC site for more.