Posted: Nov 26 2014
What’s the first thing you notice about The Chic Canuck? No doubt, it’s our stylish and patriotic logo. Meet the talented duo behind our brand identity.
Two OCAD advertising graduates, Chris Reygel and Jessica Gordon, let their worlds of design collide when they launched their company, Superfish Brands. The Chic Canuck is beyond excited to be included on the list of companies that these rising talents have been able to work with, and we got the inside scoop on the duo's different approach towards the design and marketing industry.
TCC: What exactly is Superfish Brands and what are your specific roles in the company?
SB: We are a brand development agency; we specialize in design and copy writing for new and existing businesses. We also do marketing, campaign and web design. The best way to describe us is a full service brand development agency.
TCC: What made you want to start Superfish Brands?
SB: When we graduated from OCAD it was around the time the market crashed and there weren't many jobs available in the industry. I think we also really wanted to create our own thing; we had both been working for other people and had been taking orders when we really wanted to have more creative control. We also recognized that with our skills we would (typically) end up working for a lot of corporate interest that we didn’t want to waste our skills on, or help promote.
Ultimately we saw a lot of need; there were a lot of small businesses starting up in Toronto, probably because of the market crash. We felt what they needed to succeed was good branding that was within reach of their budgets. It was really in an effort to celebrate small businesses and help them get the same leg up that they would get if they were to work with bigger agencies that made us want to start our company.
TCC: What makes Superfish Brands stand out in the sea of brand development agencies?
SB: I think in a lot of ways we’re not stuck on style. I mean, there is so much “hipster branding” out there -- like the triangle with writing in it, or the "X" -- everything just has a really similar feel and I think it’s an imposition on the part of the graphic designers to say "Hey this is what we want the world to look like", as apposed to working with the client and creating something really unique. So in some cases we don’t always think we love this design but we think it’s the most appropriate for that brand and will help set them apart. We’re not doing it to pat ourselves on the back; we’re doing it as something unique for the client. We’re client focused more so than anything. We also have recently added a digital media element, as well as a PR arm that can give our clients an edge in the industry.
TCC: How do you feel your backgrounds in fashion, music, travel and photography aid your work at your firm?
SB: I think it’s a good way to understand people, and having worked in a variety of industries we understand different markets. With us, for every client in the beginning we do a ton of research, but I think having worked in those industries it helps us navigate those waters more evenly.
TCC: What is it that you both love or find interest in when it comes to creating a brand?
SB: Finding out what that one thing is that makes a business unique and figuring out ways to celebrate it. What’s really exciting about it, is that everything then comes a lot easier, whether it be a campaign or web design to match the branding. It’s exciting to know its worked so well because it came from something strong in the first place.
TCC: How do you get inspired when making someone’s idea come to life?
SB: The inspiration comes from the clients themselves. We really go through a rigorous round of questions with them to figure out what makes them stand out. It’s ultimately their brand so it has to come from them.
TCC: What was the creative process like for creating The Chic Canuck logo?
SB: It was such a challenge because yes we love Canada, but, how do you showcase it without feeling cheesy? We literally decided to turn it on its head and the minute we did that we were wowed by how it looked just like a collar to some avant-garde blouse, and from there we just built it to match in a way the way Gracie looks with her sunglasses and signature top knot. We wanted to get across the brand's core message of 'yes we are Canada, and yes we are chic', and we found a way.
TCC: What are some of your favourite local spots to go to eat, shop, and drink?
SB: One place cool place we've gone to a couple of times is Nuit Social on Queen Street. The owner is just the most engaging person, and the food is amazing, as well as the cocktails.
We also went to Bar Isabel recently because it’s usually too busy to get in, and the food was great! It was a real mix and the way they even branded the restaurant was really well done, the whole experience was cool. We work with a company called the Playlist and they did the work for Bar Isabel so the sound just really compliments the whole experience.