Out On Bay Street — Part 5: Creating a Visual Brand

posted on August 8th 2016 in Branding & Case Studies with 0 Comments

This series of blog posts will share the branding processes to engage all the stakeholders committed to OOBS success — the Board and Executive, Organizing Committee, students and sponsors — so follow us on twitter and join the conversation with #OOBS10.

While the OOBS members and the Board are finalizing the name, the creative labour of developing the visual brand is well underway.


The creative philosophy behind the new brand is to create a simple and subtle “look” that will have a long life and enable anyone to create something “on brand”. We are  sensitive to the fact that the new brand will be managed by a volunteer-based not-for-profit organization, with limited access to professional designers.


In order to achieve this, the brand will be anchored by creative assets that can be easily managed by the volunteering members. These include: readily-available and free fonts, their wonderful and growing library of photography, and the stories behind the members.

The focus on people and stories in OOBS’s community started during a redesign of a sponsorship package in 2015, when we included a few profiles of students and how OOBS has impacted their lives. ‘Real people,’ ‘real stories’ and ‘real difference’ continue to be important themes in the creation of the new branding.


We believe that exploring two contrasting creative directions is an important exercise for any organization going through a re-branding. Based on the creative objectives outlined above, we presented two directions for the board to react to: the first is an update of the current branding; the second is a full transformation playing on visual metaphors inspired by the new names under consideration.

During the ensuing discussion, the Board’s comparison of the strengths of both creatives elicited some great insights about the shifting nature of sexual identities, the geographical reach that OOBS aspires to achieve, and the impact they want to have on the community.


After asking all our questions and soliciting responses from all the stakeholders, it comes down to an organic and intuitive process as we synthesize everything we have learned. We are now refining the creative and zeroing in on what will become the new visual branding.

Breathing new life into an organization like OOBS is an exciting process. As we approach the end of this creative journey, we are thinking of the people in this community, their aspirations and hopes, and the most exciting way to capture it all.

Stay tuned.

Don’t miss future updates about the new brand for Out On Bay Street which will be unveiled in September. Follow the conversation on Twitter with #OOBS10, and register now for their conference on September 16-17 2016!

We would love to hear your comments