Ion Brand Design

Redgees Legacy Award Honourable Honourable Mention

Studio – BC/Yukon


Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurants

Bluewater Grill Brand Platform, 2015

Bluewater Grill is a casual dining destination brand based in Southern California. They focus on casual, fun, ultra-fresh food. They are an owner-operated family of restaurants that offers a kid’s menu, oyster bar, sushi bar, patio dining and full bar with a great wine list and Happy Hour. They have six locations in Southern California as well as Central Phoenix.

Ion’s elevator pitch: “Legends aren’t just told, they are lived. When customers talk about our fresh, sustainable fish, artisan foods and unique local flavor it’s all about the experience. Bluewater is where legends begin.”

A direct and artful reflection of a fresh catch: real fish prints and typography were combined to convey an authentic and compelling story-telling experience. Personal care and attention to detail is given to every menu item, from where it was caught to how it’s prepared – Bluewater is the real deal for sustainable seafood. The color scheme and bold character combined with sophisticated treatments establish this as an American original, supporting the legend status. Humor offers personality with broad appeal. Like Bluewater’s signature dishes, the approach balances classic and modern cuisine, with spice for extra kick.

A long-time client Ion was excited to update and re-articulate the Bluewater brand. We’ve applied our strategy of skewing the restaurant clientelle younger with a refined graphic programme that helps bind the various print, online and collateral materials together. The resulting brand platform serves as a blueprint for design and general approach for in-store applications, various media, display systems and online applications.

Ion has developed brand use guideline standards for corporate identity elements, colours, image formats and typography as well as creating a series of fish prints (Gyotaku) for use with the material.


Shameless Hussy Productions

Shameless Hussy Branding, 2009

Established in 1995, shameless hussy productions is a company of rebellious, self producing, theatre artists co-founded by ensemble members Renée Iaci, Deb Pickman and costumer designer Lana Krause. The troupe was later joined by musician Stephen Bulat and ensemble member Daune Cambell.

The Shameless Hussies have been a client of Ion’s since their inception 20 years ago. We’ve developed show posters, art directed and provided set decoration and multimedia for their shows. Even helping out with scripts on occasion.

As part of our One Good Idea Award programme in 2009, we developed a new logo for the troupe that reflected their motto: “Telling provocative stories about women, to inspire the hand that rocks the cradle to rock the world.” The logo, a burning corset, tells a story all on its own about the irreverent troupe who bring women’s issues to the forefront through comedy, drama and amazing performances.

Most recently Ion has redeveloped the Hussy website and designed posters for “Love Bomb”, a play about a musician and an uninvited guest, and “Dissolve”, a one woman show about date rape. Visit shamelesshussy.com to see the body of work we have developed with the Hussies over the last two decades.


Function Point Productivity Software

Function Point Brand Platform, 2011

Ion’s studio management software, Function Point, is an integrated workflow and productivity tool for small creative agencies. We have worked with the software developer on many projects over the years, including art direction of the user experience design of the software itself.

In 2011, Function Point asked Ion to develop a new brand strategy for the company. Ion’s platform was developed around the concept of universal simple machines (wheel, pulley, lever, wedge and screw) that effectively reinforced both the simplicity and the power of the software. Working with illustrator Adam Rogers, a series of fun vignettes emerged that tell the story of a studio manager achieving super-human things for his firm.

The logo and identity were kept simple and clean utilizing the ubiquitous Helvetica – again, appealing to the designer sensibility – along with the bright colour palette initially developed for the software.

The campaign has been incredibly successful for the company that has now more than quadrupled in size since the launch of this work.


Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC

Aboriginal Tourism Brand, 2008

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC was created to market Aboriginal Tourism destinations in British Columbia through the eyes and stories of the Aboriginal people of the province. ATBC needed to be seen as the authority for Aboriginal tourism by other tourism organizations, as well as by its own business members.

The direction for the logo and tagline were determined through co-creation branding workshops. The key concepts the identity needed to communicate were storytelling and sharing, welcoming, warmth and friendliness. There is also a sense of mystery to Aboriginal culture and it was important to acknowledge that in some way within the branding.

In the Pacific Northwest Aboriginal culture, open hands raised to the chest is a welcoming gesture. This gesture informed the mark of the organization, reinforcing the concepts of welcoming and storytelling. The B2B corporate brand collateral features six signature textural images representing the creatures and terrain across the province of BC, and of significance in Aboriginal culture.

This project was developed by Herrainco Brand Strategy and Design who merged with Ion earlier in 2015.


City of Coquitlam

#trashtalk, 2014

Ion was engaged to develop a Brandwise strategy and waste management campaign that builds public awareness and changed citizens’ habits in regard to managing their waste in Coquitlam.

The campaign goals were to communicate the coming changes to the Waste Management Program; help people to make the right decision in choosing their carts; address concerns and questions about the new system; provide a smooth transition by helping people to understand how to effectively use the new system, specifically their Green Cart; communicate the positive changes for the environment and economically for the community; educate the community and help people to examine their own waste habits; and finally to engage residents to participate in City social media and apps.

Ion developed a concept that revolved around relationships and breakups using classic break-up lines. The concept successfully reinforces the concept of separation in a fun and emotionally compelling way, making people remember the impetus. We affectionately named the campaign #trashtalk.

The campaign was successful in generating public interest in effective waste management and the City experienced a greatly increased uptake in the separation of organic waste material from garbage. The success of this campaign has led to many related projects for other municipalities.


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