Vancouver, BC (May 27, 2008) – Long-standing and respected Western Canadian architectural and interior design practice, Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning, sought out Subplot Design Inc. to create a powerful new Brand Identity to coincide with their expansion into to three international locations and a larger presence in the Canadian market.
Kasian was established in 1985 by Don Kasian and in recent years has seen rapid expansion, embracing markets in diverse locations such as China, India, and Dubai. With such rapid growth out of Western Canada into Ontario and internationally, Kasian saw the need to clarify and solidify its Brand Experience for its now national and international clients and partners.
It was, therefore, no small task for Subplot to elevate the Kasian brand to a new level that truly reflects the organization and resonates with its audiences in these international markets. Before creative work could start, Subplot emphasized the importance of clearly identifying what Kasian stands for.
“After many interviews with not only Kasian partners, but also clients and suppliers, it became apparent that Kasian has a truly unique way of creating spaces”, says Roy White, Subplot Principal and lead designer on the project. “Clients in particular saw that Kasian is able to bring creativity to every aspect of a project. It isn’t just about the big idea for a space, it is about all the other little things that contribute to making the spaces work for the end user.”
The outcome of this strategic work is the new Kasian Brand Essence: “Inspired Thinking Liberates Potential”.
There was unanimous agreement that this rallying cry truly reflects how Kasian, as an organization, goes about their day-to-day business. “It became our mandate to deliver ‘Inspired Thinking Liberates Potential’ in every way through the new identity”, says White. “This would start with a new logotype that would become the lynchpin of a Brand Platform moving forward.”
After several months of creative concepting, Kasian approved the logo that became known as the “Spark of Inspiration”. It represents that spark of an idea: a reference that, during their work, Kasian are constantly bringing ideas to the table – not just creative solutions, but practical solutions too: from windows in a children’s hospital to radiant heating floors in an airplane hangar.
Subplot’s extensive Brand Audit revealed a multitude of over 250 applications for nearly 400 employees from business cards to signage, print materials, templates, hard hats, office interiors and web applications. A Brand Platform was created that would become the look and feel for all future applications. The complexity of the project included looking at color and its cultural and religious relevance in Asian countries where Kasian was expanding; finding typefaces that suited the new Kasian Brand Essence and were “inspirational” yet functional enough to fit all applications; dealing with metric and imperial sizing for print material; creating materials in Chinese and Arabic; and a complex catalogue tracking system of numbering elements for future control and management.
“When we decided to make our brand development a priority, we knew it would require a partner firm who had the creative talent and large roll-out experience to help us plan and execute our program”, says Roger Graham, VP Marketing at Kasian. “The Subplot team had a clear advantage over other contenders based on their breadth of experience and dedication to assigning top talent to our program. Subplot worked with us to create a solid strategy that aligned our culture and beliefs of the firm with our Brand and ultimately, Roy and his team delivered an outstanding creative solution, which was applied to a myriad of touchpoints from business cards to office interiors. There are few firms that can handle the scope and complexity of this program, and Subplot did a fantastic job.”
All in all this meant an application timeline for design and implementation that spanned 5 months, culminating in a launch in November 2007. Kasian acknowledged the importance of internal buy-in and created a launch event that saw the new identity revealed by Don Kasian simultaneously via satellite to all other offices, with launch events at each of the global locations. The following Monday, staff arrived to find new signage up and a kit of parts on each person’s desk containing new business cards, a coffee table book on Kasian work, sketch pads and stationery, all branded with the new Kasian identity.
As part of the internal brand launch, a “What is your Inspiration” campaign was created whereby all Kasian personnel contributed their own diverse inspirations from “Architecture, to “My Children”, to a “Barcelona Chair”, and “the Calgary Flames”! (from someone in Edmonton). These drawings have been translated into “Inspiration Walls” in each location.
“It was amazing”, says Roy White. “Just from this exercise it showed how many ideas where within those walls; how everyone at Kasian has something to contribute – some spark of an idea – and just how passionate they all are”.
Working in conjunction with Subplot, Burnkit also created a comprehensive new website which presented the Kasian methodology, studios, and case studies, all tied into the idea of “Inspired Thinking”.
Since the launch, Subplot has been finalizing Brand Guidelines and helping Kasian through the transition period of the new identity. Feedback from staff and even competitor architects has been outstanding, positioning Kasian as architects that have a truly memorable brand that is poised for great success.
About Subplot Design Inc.
Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.
Kasian is one of Canada’s largest architecture and interior designs firm with nearly 400 staff across eight offices in Canada, Asia, and the Middle East. Kasian provides award winning design and urban planning solutions for education, recreational, public and health care facilities, transportation infrastructure, corporate offices, and hospitality and retail environments. Their unique approach brings clients and end users directly into the design development process to ensure solutions are relevant and timely.