Van Island North - City Branding

“Van Island North” is the city branding for three small towns on the north of Vancouver Island, Port McNeill, Souintula and Alert Bay. They required a brand identity that would make them recognizable and put them on the map. The design brings together various elements that represent these three areas. The authenticity of the brand came from the rich history of these towns where multiple cultures meet to create the eclectic yet fun personality this area is known for. Characteristics from the Finnish culture, Native tribes, and the tourist outdoorsy side mixes in to create their unique city brand. The design includes elements and characteristics from the three different cultures to create a modern yet true-to-its-roots design. It includes colours from Finnish motifs, the geometrical artistic components from First Nations art, objects that portray the outdoor activities these towns are so recognized for and typography that brings a sense of modernity to the brand to keep current.

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The logo portrays various elements from these three locations combined into one integrated symbol making it fun and eye-catching. It consists of a kayak that represents the ocean, as this element ties together the three towns. Sointula and Alert Bay can only be accessed by water from Port McNeill which is why the kayak is the base of the logo. It also evolves into a fish to represent the communities and the activities of fishing, as well as the abundance of marine wildlife that surrounds the islands. To honour the First Nations peoples, the shapes that make up the kayak represent the Kwakwaka’wakw art and totems. The icons simulate a paddle to maintain the kayaking element and the marine theme while mixing in aspects of each amenity. The yellow represents BC sunshine for Port McNeill, the blue is the Finnish community of Sointula as well as the ocean that surrounds them, and the pink is to include the red from the First Nations community as well as the salmon, the most popular fish and business (hatcheries) around the area. In the merchandise, each colour combination goes back to the surrounding of the area, like the yellow and green to represent the outdoors where sunshine and forest meet in one place, blue and pink for artistry with the salmon and ocean in mind, and the purple and light blue for bright colours of nature and sky uniting in one.

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