North Vancouver School District

Branding responds to economical challenges and community needs.


The Brief

North Vancouver School District (NVSD) was seeking to align its vision and values as the natural place to learn with an engaging brand, design guidelines and website to which all stakeholder groups would identify.

The Strategy

Having recently gone through a strategic vision development process, the NVSD was ready to match its organizational identity with its graphic identity. Ion worked with this vision document, as well as utilized our own tools and extensive stakeholder input to develop a situation analysis, set goals and objectives, key messages, brand essence and tactics for implementation.

Our overarching strategy was to bring a sense of humanity, vibrancy and professionalism to the NVSD brand. The environment plays a huge role on the north shore and as such, our strategic approach was to develop a brand that was based in the environment and on educational excellence.

The Solution

Ion developed a mark based on combining a leaf and a quill. An elegant solution that combines education and the environment. In addition, a palette of bright colours and shapes helped to mold the overall brand architecture, making it easy for staff and other professionals to develop materials through an established and considered template system. Ion recommended the typeface Museo - an elegant, open source family that allowed the NVSD to implement across the board without additional licensing costs.

The Result

The brand represents education, a natural environment, a vibrant community and diverse cultural references while not being overt in any of these areas. The mark is a sophisticated abstraction – clean and simple while eschewing professionalism.

The school district has realized efficiencies and cost savings through the use of templates and economical implementation of materials. The branding program, website and guidelines are being well received by stakeholders despite challenging economic times.