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A Giant-er Space

Posted August 8, 2016

Following four years of steady growth, Toronto strategy and creative shop Giants & Gentlemen (G&G) has moved out of its cozy office on Queen St. East and settled into more generous digs just a few blocks away. The Gents now occupy a 5,400 sq. ft. space on the top floor of the historic Gendron Building at 411 Richmond St. East.

With more people filling its ranks, G&G wanted to make sure to use its new space to the fullest, so the agency tapped Architects Luc Bouliane, the firm behind the recent Relmar Houses project in posh Forest Hill, to make the most of it. “The Gendron was built in 1895 by Walter Massey,” Mr. Bouliane explained. “It’s a fine example of brick and beam design, so we wanted to retain as much of the original decor as possible and create a modern workspace around it with mid-century modern furniture and industrial accents.”

For G&G, it was important that its new space be informal and make a statement all while also being inviting. It was also important that the G&G brand be reflected throughout, both in the colour scheme (red, white, grey) and the overall environment (classic and contemporary). Architects Luc Bouliane accomplished it all, creating a look for the space that’s akin to a contemporary take on a gentlemen’s club. G&G’s new digs now offers its growing staff a work environment that’s not only bright and welcoming, but also inspires creativity.

Read more and see more pics.

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Pluvio Art Umbrellas

Posted February 10, 2016

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Jonathan Bonder, who is from Toronto but is now Vancouver-based and a former film and TV sound designer, has launched a passion project, Pluvio Umbrella. Having visiting Vancouver on many occasions, I totally understand why.

Bonder noticed a real lack of stylish and well-made umbrellas in the marketplace, so he decided to start his own line and online store. Pluvio, pluvioumbrella.com, launched earlier this month and features seven high-quality limited edition umbrellas designed by prominent artists.

“I wanted to create a product that’s more than just an umbrella.” said Jonathan Bonder, founder and CEO. “It’s a new platform for showcasing amazing contemporary art. Pluvio’s are equal parts design and function. Umbrellas are mostly mundane and I wanted to make them cool. People have to settle for product that lacks style and I want to change that by creating really cool umbrellas.”

Artist Lev Yilmaz created the video, “A Pluvio Umbrella Tale,” which is posted above.

Read more.

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Brands of Santa

Posted December 22, 2015

Back in the 1930s, a classic cola brand popularized Santa’s look. What if other brands got there first?

For the holidays, kbs+ Toronto has rebranded Santa. With the help of gifted Canadian artist Sharif Tearaway, they have created a series of 12 Rockwell/Sundblom-style illustrations of the jolly ol man. Sharif, who looks a bit like Santa himself, is also the showcased in a short film to promote the project (posted below). The film is directed by Jon + Torey of OPC.

See more at BrandsOfSanta.com
Full credits.

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Porcelain Paper Dolls

Posted August 11, 2015

I just stumbled across the works of Barcelona-based artist and illustrator Sonia Pulido on The Jealous Curator and I immediately want to fill a summer house in the country with her blue ceramics. Note: must get house in the country.

Posted here are “paper dolls” made of porcelain and some of her tableware. See more of my favs here.

You can see more on of her work on her My Work board on Pinterest and in her illustrated ceramics store, UHAALA!

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Lucky Iron Fish

Posted June 25, 2015

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This little iron fish won the Product Design Grand Prix in Cannes last night.

As the case study above shows, Geometry Global in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, approached the problem of iron deficiency in Cambodians by trying to find ways to more iron into their diet. One way, they found, was to simply put a piece of iron into skillets and pans while cooking. But Cambodians were not keen to do this, until they made the piece of iron into the shape of a fish. Great stuff.

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Smokin’ Business Card

Posted June 18, 2015

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a short trip back to March 2012 and this project I frequently refer to as “little card, big PR.” It got a lot of traction.

Bos, Toronto (now DentsuBos) made a business card that you can roll up and smoke. Toronto-based Head2Head wanted to produce a value-added product for their clients that wouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg. Combining this with the desire to rebrand, Bos, Toronto created a business card that served a dual purpose. Not only does it provide a functional benefit (given that each card contained 5 perforated filters), but it also adds a stickiness factor because the card would be something you’d hold onto and refer to, as frequently as you smoked. See more images.

Creative Director/Writer: Gary Watson
Art Director: Jennifer Saunders

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The Gum Thief

Posted May 28, 2015

We’re doing our first Throwback Thursday at Glossy – hoping to make this a regular thing.

Today I’m throwing back to October 2007 and this great series of spots that Toronto-based Crush (now known as Smith) created for Douglas Coupland for his novel The Gum Thief.

No ad agency was involved in these spots, the work came directly to Crush from Coupland’s publisher, Random House Canada. The project picked up a number of awards, including Best of Show at The Bessies. Coupland himself did the the narration. Great stuff.

In total 9 spots were created and you can watch them all here.

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Red Lion’s Digital World

Posted May 12, 2015

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Toronto-based creative agency Red Lion has launched an in-housed designed and devoted website that’s explorable in much the same way as one navigates through Google Maps or Street View. A key differentiating factor for the website is the way it’s been optimized for mobile, with users able to navigate the digital cities by tilting and moving their mobile devices in different directions.

The new website represents another step in the continuation of the Red Lion rebrand, which began with the unveiling of the agency’s new word mark, an ambigram representing Red Lion’s philosophical emphasis on the unity between left and right brain, which allows people to experience the logo with either the “business” side or the “creative” side of their brain.

Read more.

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Choose Happy

Posted May 6, 2015

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Ah, happiness. Who doesn’t like being happy?! Koodo Mobile has launched its new brand platform and integrated campaign, “Choose Happy,” created by Toronto-based Camp Jefferson. It’s vibrant, fun and bursting with happiness. There’s so much to make you smile. In fact, I’ve watched the popsicle vid (above) about 5 times today. It puts big smile on my face.

The Canadian telco’s new direction stems from a key insight at the heart of the brand’s business: Koodo customers are happy. The new platform is currently being brought to life, colourfully and exuberantly, across a ton of touch points. Koodo worked with a diverse network of illustrators, animators, designers, artists and directors to create a massive convergence of eclectic, creative, inspirational content, akin to the creativity of the Internet, and geared towards making people happy. The content includes things like an animated loop of a robot slipping on a banana peel, images of smiling popsicles, and dogs that turn into bunnies. It’s often accompanied by cheerful observations, like “happiness is no hidden fees,” and “happiness is perfect parallel parking when everyone’s watching.”

Read more and see more happiness.

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Fall in Love With F5

Posted May 4, 2015

Fall in LOVE with Opening Sequence for this year’s F5 Fest

Intense, deep, dewey-eyed and bittersweet, love is experienced in a variety of ways, just like F5, a creativity festival held  April 17-18 at Terminal 5 in New York City.

The theme for the 2015 incarnation of F5 was simply, “love.” That single word was also the entirety of the creative brief given to Block & Tackle by F5’s director, Ventura Castro, for the opening titles. The only other rule: no one on the F5 team was to see the titles until the day of the event.

Founded by creative directors Adam Gault and Ted Kotsaftis, Block & Tackle is a production company that is focused on visual storytelling. From animation to live action to stop motion, Block & Tackle overcomes design challenges by any means necessary, and the team pulled out all the stops for the opening sequence.

Read more.

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