Celebrating Red & White with an American Package Design Award

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Last year, patriotism ran high across Canada with the celebration of the country's 150th anniversary of Confederation. But the celebrations have continued into 2018 for our client M&Ms, who claimed an American Package Design Award from GDUSA for the limited edition "Oh Canada" packaging. 

The American Package Design Awards celebrates the "power of design to forge an emotional link with the buyer at the moment of truth." This year, more than 2,000 entries were submitted and a highly selective 15% were selected as winners. 

Congratulations to our client on this win! You can view the full gallery online here

A Visit From Denmark

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What really goes on behind the scenes at a branding and design agency?

Amanda and Lærke had never been to Canada before – but in March, Roskilde International Business College sent these two students across the Atlantic to visit our agencies and get a closer look at the creative process in action.

During their week in our studio, the students got a full overview of our processes and departments, and even got to sit in on some design briefs and client presentations.

At the end of the week, we asked what they thought of the experience. “The most interesting parts to us were the ones we don’t learn at school: interacting with clients and presenting,” said Lærke.

Both students agreed that collaboration and respect were important for a creative, happy work environment. “It’s amazing how much team work goes on,” Amanda reflected. “You can see how that is a key to building a successful company.”

Although the students spent a short amount of time at our agencies, they agreed that seeing the day-to-day working of creative teams really brought all their education to life. And they even snuck in a Raptor’s Game and a visit to the CN Tower before heading back to Denmark!

Bottle Shop Wins At HOW International Design Awards

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Radical Road's bottle shop won its fifth design award at the HOW International Design Awards

Founded in 1985, the HOW brand began its life as a print magazine. Today, the brand has grown to encompass a host of products and events including several design competitions. HOW's editorial and design team evaluated more than 1,400 entries in this year's competition. 

The bottle shop has also received awards from Pentawards, Mobius, GDUSA and Creativity International for its unique and distinct design.

See the bottle shop in the winner's gallery on HOW's website. You can read more about the microbrewery in our Work section, and read about the project to brand this craft beer portfolio on Packaging of the World

Snakmandoo Brings Home the Gold

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As athletes from around the world returned home this week, Snakmandoo picked up its own gold at the 2018 PAC Global Leadership Awards. Snakmandoo also received a Best in Class distinction for the New Brand – Food & Beverage category.

Hosted in Bonita Springs, Florida, the PAC Global Leadership Awards Gala took place at this year’s BXP Live Conference. The PAC Awards are the longest running all container inclusive competition in North America.

This is Snakmandoo’s third international award. Congratulations to our client for these wins! You can see Snakmandoo in the winner’s gallery here.

Schick Launches New Innovation, Branded by Bridgemark

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Beauty bloggers rejoice: the world’s first bi-directional razor is here.

Shaving is seen by many as a tedious chore, with Mintel reporting skin irritation and razor burn as two of the biggest frustrations for consumers*. For others, the time-consuming nature of shaving can hinder the joy of self-care – not to mention the necessary shower-yoga to get a close shave.

Schick Intuition f.a.b. shaves forwards and backwards, making this particular routine more effortless, painless and more fulfilling.

As brand steward for over 14 years, Bridgemark created the look to introduce this innovation to the world. With the goal to communicate the revolutionary nature of this razor, Schick Intution f.a.b. also needed to harmonize with the whole Schick family.

Our revitalization for Schick’s portfolio of razors for women launched across North America and Europe last year. Taking inspiration from the minimalist sophistication of the Health & Beauty category, it illuminates the tactile nature of Schick’s brand essence. The soft-touch matte finish, embossed details and spot gloss varnish combine for a premium feel that stands out with clarity.

With its bold energy and bright colors, Schick Intution f.a.b. is another example of how Schick helps you free your skin.


*Mintel, Shaving and Hair Removal, US – April 2017

Radical Road Recognized by the Mobius Awards

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The Radical Road bottle shop won another award, receiving a Mobius Award Certificate for Outstanding Creativity in the 2017 competition.

As one of the oldest independent international advertising competitions, the Mobius Awards celebrate outstanding work from design professionals. The entrants are judged on their effectiveness and creativity. This year’s competition saw entries from 17 countries.

Congratulations to our client! You can see the bottle shop in the Winner’s Gallery, here

GDG Secret Santas Collect Toys for Local Charity

What toys were on your list for Santa? Did you dream of unwrapping an Etch A Sketch® on Christmas morning? Were your thoughts lit up by the excitement of a Lite-Brite®? Or did a love of storytelling provide an endless amount of book ideas for Jolly Old Saint Nick?  

Every year, our agencies participate in a holiday giving program to benefit those in need in our local communities. This year, we were inspired by our own childhood wishes as we collected toys to donate to Toy Mountain. Everyone was tasked to pick an age range (4-7, 8-11, 12-15) and identify the toy they themselves wanted at that age before setting out to purchase a gift.

We celebrated with a grand “unwrapping” event across agencies before donating all the toys.  Take a look at some of the gifts our GDG Secret Santas picked up in the gallery below! 

Snakmandoo, Great Value and Radical Road Recognized by GDUSA

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The American Graphic Design Awards by GDUSA recognize outstanding design and the increasing importance of graphic design to shape business and society, products and services, commerce and culture. This year, three of our clients were featured among the winners:

  • Snakmandoo (Bellisio Foods)
  • Great Value Cola – Canada 150 Limited Edition (Walmart)
  • Bottle Shop (Radical Road)

Congratulations to our clients for these wins. You can view each project in the online gallery here

Making Our 2017 Holiday Card

 “I HAVE LONG ADMIRED STEINWAY PIANOS FOR THEIR QUALITIES OF TONE, CLARITY, PITCH, CONSISTENCY, TOUCH RESPONSIVENESS, AND SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP”

The way Billy Joel feels about Steinways is how we feel about great design. When all elements of a project come together – from the beginnings of the concept, all the way through to the printing – that is where the craft flourishes.

This year’s holiday card is an ode to craftsmanship. Celebrating the art of letterpress, we worked with Ink Petals Press, a letterpress studio owned & operated by one of our Production Managers, Nadia Puntillo.

Another fun fact: the music in our behind-the-scenes video is supplied by Before The Flood, whose drummer and lead singer happen to be our Creative Director and President! 

Two Creativity International Wins for Bridgemark

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Snakmandoo and Radical Road’s Bottle shop recently won awards in the 47th annual Creativity International Print & Packaging Competition.

Snakmandoo is a new brand from Bellisio Foods that launched this year, and encourages consumers to venture out in search of tastes and experiences that inspire. As a gold winner, you can see Snakmandoo in the Creativity Design Winner Tour, appearing at design conferences and events throughout the world.

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The bottle shop at Radical Road is composed of unique craft beers, created by the expert brew masters at this Toronto microbrewery. The free-spirited collection claimed a Pentaward earlier this year.

The Creativity International Awards celebrate great design from around the world and the designers who create it. Entries from over 28 countries were judged on the basis of the quality of their art and their advertising impact.

Congratulations to our clients and our studio for these wins! 

Radical Road Bottle Shop Wins Pentaward

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A master craftsman is also an agent of discovery – constantly testing and experimenting to design a work of art. The bottle shop at Radical Road Brewing Co. is an example of this free-willed artistry brought to life.

The micro-brewery, located in Toronto, Canada, takes inspiration from Edinburgh’s Radical Road. Named for the group of “radicals” who sought greater freedom for Scotland in the Radical War of 1820, the pathway represents the country’s spirit of independence. Carrying on in this tradition, Radical Road Brewing Co. combines their unique craft beers with equally distinct design. Each bottle tells its own story with bold typography and edgy colors, then joins together to form the full narrative for this ever-growing family – a collection that received a Pentaward this weekend.

Pentawards are recognized as the most prestigious worldwide competition exclusively devoted to packaging design in all its forms. Jeff Boulton, Creative Director, and Steve Davis, President attended the gala in Barcelona, Spain to accept the award. You can view the full winners' gallery here

Congratulations to our client and our studio on this win. You can see which brews are currently available at Radical Road on their website – or watch our Grand Opening video below for a peek at the micro-brewery. …and check out our Instagram for scenes from the award ceremony in Barcelona! 

Listen to Your Community Manager

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Imagine your brand’s social media profile is a town. Just like any community, people find a way to congregate & connect: they wave, say hello to their neighbors, and start conversations. If they see something they don’t like, the people voice their opinions to the mayor. At the same time, the mayor takes steps to check in with the community and find out what they need.

Your brand’s social media community manager is like the town’s mayor. They man the page, post the content, field questions & complaints, and interact with fans on a daily basis. 

This unique position makes the community manager an asset for measuring meaningful fan engagement. And as your engagement grows (which it should), an interesting change takes place. The community manager becomes a real member of the fan base they’re monitoring.

Their relationship with page fans may start out as a virtual connection, but over time, if they run the page properly, they start to get to know the individuals who follow the page. They’ll know that Rodney visited your Toronto location this week and was blown away by the amazing customer service. Or that the “How-To” video you posted helped John pull off a great family dinner. Or that Whitney’s French bulldog loves the stuffed mascot she won in last month’s giveaway.

This intimate knowledge of a social media fan base becomes a key asset to your brand arsenal. Not only is the community manager a voice for your brand to the public, but they have also become a strong voice for the collective – leading to insights for developing branded content that motivates consumers to engage authentically.

Branding a Nation

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Consider a country's accoutrement in parallel to branding. There's a flag instead of a logo, an anthem instead of a slogan, and a country does have positioning - we call it national identity. 

In light of celebrations about to take place in North America (the Fourth of July and Canada Day), we want to look at what shapes a country's brand. You could say history is the biggest contributor: policy decisions, international events, and even sports influence a country's character; for example, US is baseball and Canada is hockey. But is there more? Does design play a role in a nation's understanding of itself? 

If you ask Greg Durrel, the answer is a resounding yes - his new movie about the Canadian design industry touches on some of the most iconic design moments of Canada’s history: creation of logos for Crown Corporations and Expo 67, which fall under what he calls the “Golden era” of design in Canada.

One of the most identifiable pieces of a country’s branding is the flag. In Canada, the maple leaf has evolved to hold as much symbolism as a brand’s logo might. It’s no surprise that this symbol is the focus of the country’s flag. In fact, George F.G. Stanley took the leaf’s meaning into account when he designed the flag in 1964.

When proposing his design via a written memo, Stanley claimed that the flag should be simple, recognizable, use traditional colors and symbols and be a “unifying force” for the country. Stanley examined Canada’s key emblems before settling on the leaf, which had already been used by citizens as a signifier for the country.

Stanley proposed two options for the flag, one with a single leaf and one with three maple leaves joined by the stem. Ultimately, Stanley argued for the single leaf design, claiming that the single leaf would have the "virtue of simplicity," being recognizable as "distinctly Canadian," and enabling it to become an iconic symbol.

DOO the SNAKMANDOO

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For millennials, the kitchen is a destination portal. Food crazes have pulled from unique places. Street-meat, market-fresh organic offerings and world spices mean you’re no longer limited to a standard definition of dinner (or to ordering-in, because let’s face it, that’s usually where the decision ends).

Enter Snakmandoo - taking you on a flavor quest to quench your cravings.

Bellisio Foods joined with Bridgemark to launch this new brand. Working from scratch can have its freedoms and restrictions, even more so with a younger target faced with ever-evolving trends and offerings.

And who is this millennial audience? They’re bold, young and on the hunt for experiences that ignite and inspire. They’re looking for brands that are real, without trying too hard: those that push the boundaries of creativity to awaken their passion for life, and for snacks they can’t wait to devour.

With Snakmandoo, the desire for free-spirited pursuits calls you to new possibilities – for flavors, for snacking, for meals in general. What’s stopping you from trying something you’ve never done, or going somewhere you’ve never been?

Story originally appeared on bxpmagazine.comYou can also see Snakmandoo featured in Strategy Magazine, World Packaging Design, The Drum , Packaging of the World and GDUSA.

The Power of Storytelling

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Communication continually adapts –spoken language turns into slang, written language becomes sound bites and texts. But despite change, there’s something universal about storytelling. What draws us back to stories – no matter the medium?

The simple answer is that stories compel. We remember good ones. They make us think, or at the very least, they help us understand.

Storytelling is a tool of Dramatic Simplicity™ – a way to make the simple remarkable. Take this quote*, for example: “A man’s interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of all the fauna and flora of a town.” It is the relationship of the bird to man that captivates the reader. But why? Is it the bird’s environment? How it finds resources or shelter? Does the man follow the bird through its entire life pattern? The story of the man and the bird tells us something about the man himself – how he perceives the world and those around him.

The quote illustrates the power of storytelling, because the metaphor of the bird makes the concept tangible. We understand the meaning on impulse, no explanation required.

The aim of communication is to spread an idea, and to have people understand that idea. If your idea is not known and understood by your audience – be it a philosophy, a feeling, or a brand – it will be forgotten. Great storytelling ensures it is remembered.

*Henry David Thoreau

Bridgemark Awarded at PAC Canadian Leadership Gala

  Left: Katherine Lorenzo, Associate Brand Manager for Hydro Silk with San Yee Nye, VP Account Director. Right: Natasha Sarracini, VP Account Director and Sandra Abreu, Account Manager with Premier Protein Organic Shakes.

Left: Katherine Lorenzo, Associate Brand Manager for Hydro Silk with San Yee Nye, VP Account Director. Right: Natasha Sarracini, VP Account Director and Sandra Abreu, Account Manager with Premier Protein Organic Shakes.

Bridgemark took home four wins at the PAC Canadian Leadership Awards Gala, hosted last night. Congratulations to our clients and studio!

  • Premier Protein Organic Shakes – Brand Marketing, New Brand
  • Dipitas - Brand Marketing, New Brand
  • Muskoka Springs – Brand Marketing, Revitalization
  • Schick Hydro Silk – Brand Marketing, Revitalization

You can view the complete online winners’ gallery here

Unleashing the Power Inside

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We love tension. For example: Dramatic Simplicity™.

In our latest “Creative Problem Solvers” workshop we tackled a new tension: vulnerability as a source for creativity. Inspired by Brené Brown’s Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, we dove into this topic and the ways it affects our work.

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Margaret James from QCoaching moderated discussions about how to identify our own vulnerabilities, and how to support each other at times we might feel vulnerable. While feeling vulnerable often causes us to clam up and hold back, this session encouraged us to embrace vulnerability to move past our insecurities.

Nigel Downer of Second City led us through improv games, as we learned to let go of inhibitions. He also shared insights from working and writing at Second City, reminding us to approach every project with a “Yes, and…” attitude, always looking to build on an idea and make it even better.

As we look to implement our learnings, we’re turning the question outward to the industry: how does vulnerability impact your day-to-day work? And how can we take advantage of our vulnerabilities to reach new success?

#NationalCornDogDay

It all started in 1927, when Stanley S. Jenkins patented the iconic hot dog on a stick, known fondly as the corn dog. Now, this treat is recognized with its own holiday, #NationalCornDogDay. To celebrate, we staged a corn dog eating contest. 

With honor, pride and reputation at stake, two competitors put hours into training and mental preparation for this high-stakes showdown. Our agency gathered to answer the question on everyone's mind: Who will be top dog? 

This holiday is part of our "Every Day is a Holiday in 2017" campaign. Click here to find out why we're celebrating unusual and whimsical days this year, and tune in each month to join the celebration! 

Premier Protein Launches New Organic Shakes

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From gluten-free cookbooks to culinary bloggers, it’s clear that healthy has become mainstream. Clean-eating lingo is so widespread that it is spoofed in pop culture, such as Netflix’s new show “The Santa Clarita Diet.” Global trends support the growing popularity of nutrition: according to Nielsen, 62% of consumers are eating less sugary sweets, and 2 in 3 consumers are cutting down on fats. A recent study by Mintel also discovered that approximately 80% of Canadian women try to eat healthy.

Premier Protein has always offered products for the health-conscious shopper, and their Organic Shakes line provides a new way for consumers to fit nutrition into their busy, active lives.

Bridgemark worked with Premier Protein to brand this new line of shakes. Putting “Organic” front and center surrounded by delicious pieces of chocolate reminds consumers that they can choose clean foods that also satisfy indulgent taste. The brand differentiates in the club environment with premium cues and a highly recognizable badge calling out the quality of its 100% organic ingredients. 

Bridgemark Wins in Florida

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SlingShot, Muskoka Springs and Alpha-Bits took home awards at the PAC Global Leadership Awards Gala. The 2017 competition wrapped up at the Package Design Matters Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida, where award winners were presented with their certificates.

SlingShot is a craft beer by Radical Road, a microbrewery located in Downtown Toronto. The brand launched just ahead of Radical Road's Grand Opening last fall. Bridgemark’s rebrand for Muskoka Springs began with the brand’s signature Pale Ginger Ale. Since then, Muskoka Springs has continued to release new flavors, most recently with their Silver Birch Beer. Alpha-Bits' redesign inspires imagination and adventure. Whether it's searching for pirate treasures, a journey into space or an African safari, these limited edition boxes help kids find the story in every bowl.

Congratulations to our clients for these wins. For the full list of winners, view the online gallery here.