The mandate

Ometz wanted a naming strategy and brand identity for their new centre that would represent a youthful and contemporary safe space for young adults to congregate and seek services, advocacy, training, education, employment and empowerment opportunities.

The goals of the new centre are to provide a community-based environment that addresses the physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of each client, as well as convey a warm and welcoming non-office setting that fosters a culture of inclusion and diversity.

Discovering the mission

We held discovery workshops with Ometz stakeholders to develop key criteria for the new centre. These sessions helped guide us when developing the naming strategy, branding and strategic roadmap, as well as gave Ometz insights from their community, solidifying their mission goals.

We then created design mood boards that included 3 different design approaches to select from to establish the look and feel of the centre.

What’s in a name?

After conducting strategic and visual research following our workshops, we created a naming strategy that included name options and recommendations for the new centre.

We brainstormed over 200 names internally, then presented 15 with a comparison report, alternative phrasing and due diligence reports. After narrowing it down to 4, Ometz chose the final name: L’Annexe.

Find your place

The brand needed to reflect the vibrancy and energy of the emerging young adults of Montreal, while also addressing their complex needs. The centre’s diverse audience comes from disenfranchised and challenging backgrounds, so our primary goal was to evoke a sense of stability, safety and community, all while recognising that every person’s journey is unique.

In the end, L’Annexe became so much more than a destination. It’s also a gathering point, a launch pad, and a space to pause and find support, resources and friendship while navigating the winding path of life.

X marks the spot

The final logo brings to mind a treasure map. The dotted line provides a trail through the wordmark, plotting out an individual’s course that weaves out and beyond, into the future. Emphasizing the X brings the treasure map metaphor to the forefront, but also evokes an element of anonymity and non-conformity—an important sentiment to individuals who often feel like outsiders.

Soft, round shapes with painted textures act as islands and serve to create a sense of depth over which the text and line can traverse. The overall effect is a fluid weightlessness, hugging around every element in a cozy embrace.

Delivering the playbook

Once the final logo and branding elements were approved, we created their branding playbook, which included typefaces for web and print, logo sizing and rules, colour palettes, tagline rules, imagery recommendations, iconography and brand voice and tone.

We provided templates for business cards, letterheads and document templates for administrative use.

Looking to the future

We delivered a strategic roadmap to the Ometz and L’Annexe teams to aid in the centre’s 2020 launch. The roadmap included recommendations for a strategic launch with assets like personas for the new centre, landing pages, social and email content, in-person activations and more.