Thoughts from December 2017


Juvenilia Press: Book Cover and Interior Design

The Juvenilia Press is a small academic publisher originally founded at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but now based at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The Juvenilia Press publishes early works by a variety of writers such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Philip Larkin and Margaret Atwood. Its scholarly editions of early writings by children and adolescents (up to the approximate age of twenty) provide a window on the writer’s development and engaging glimpses of the young genius at work.

The Juvenilia Press was our first client back in 1995, and we have been their primary book designer ever since, designing covers and interiors for over 50 volumes over the past 20 some years.

Included below are a selection of covers from a selection of volumes (we’ll endeavour to add individual book reviews at some point!).


DoddCor Wordmark and Business Cards

Long time client Lindsay Dodd came to Black Riders in need of business cards for his technology investment firm. Having recently sold his previous company, Savvia, Lindsay now needed to establish a visual identity for DoddCor as he pursued new ventures.

We felt the new DoddCor identity should evoke elements of past identities, including a non-standard size and rounded corners on his business card, but also a cleaner look in keeping with the new direction of the company within the information technology industry. New fonts and colours were chosen to clearly distinguish this company from previous ventures so that there would be no confusion as to which card was the most current.

The resulting wordmark and business card design delivers a simple yet distinctive identity ideal for networking.

Colophon: The wordmark uses Gill Sans for the main element, with Helvetica Neue for the tagline and balance of the card content. The cards were digitally printed on 18 pt uncoated stock. Our thanks to Rayacom Edmonton Central for the excellent job printing and die-cutting the cards.

 


Meadowlark Elementary School Logo

What started as a spirit t-shirt design for our principal designer’s kids’ school ended up being the new school logo. Meadowlark Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, features both an English language stream (with a French as a second language component) and an English / Mandarin Chinese Bilingual stream, resulting in the desire for a bilingual logo.

A stylized meadowlark image repeated three times, representing the three languages and cultures of the school, forms an outline of a child reaching for the skies.


Robinson Controls Visual Identity: Logo and Packaging

Robinson Controls came to Black Riders in 2010 in need of a visual identity refresh to match a refresh to their product line. A manufacturer since 1954 of hard stop pressure switches designed for oilfield applications and any other hazardous locations, Robinson Controls was releasing a new line of pressure control switches in a range of sizes and configurations.

First step was a logo redesign that incorporated as a key element a stylized “O” that evoked a red control ring that was a distinctive feature of the original Robinson pressure control valve design.

Then incorporating product images supplied by Robinson Control product designers, we designed a highly visible and modular labelling system that would clearly and easily distinguish between different models of valves. The combination of large product name and image, with clear supporting product descriptions, was chosen to help field workers and inventory control staff quickly and accurately identify the correct items for orders and field installation.

In order to maintain maximum flexibility, a label system was chosen over pre-printed packaging so that standard packaging could be used for a variety of products but still be readily identifiable, as well as allowing for multiple products to be combined into kits in larger boxes.


Café Dabar Visual Identity & Branding

Café Dabar was an internet café located on the trendy Whyte Avenue district of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Coming under new management in 2004, it featured free trade coffee and wifi before such things became common. With the change in ownership came a desire for a visual refresh.

A wordmark was developed to convey the revamped café sense of comfortable fun. Four individual coffee beans were included in the logo to represent the four new co-owners, who also adopted job titles to match: Bean in Charge of Operations, Bean in Charge of Technology, Bean in Charge of Marketing, and Bean in Charge of Product Testing.


PCL Safety Orientation Stickers

Black Riders had the opportunity to work on some fun little projects for PCL, developing helmet safety stickers. For every project, a sticker is developed that is applied to an employee or contractor’s hard helmet upon completion of a site safety orientation. Two of the projects were mixed use academic buildings located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: the National Institute of NanoTechnology building (NINT) and the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, and another a mixed commercial/residential development in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada called Keynote. Not only do the stickers provide a quick visual confirmation that someone is cleared to be on site, they become a point of pride for workers to show which projects they’ve been involved with.


Victoria School of the Arts Maps

Black Riders was invited by the Victoria School of Arts in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to develop a cleaner looking set of base maps of the school. The maps are used for fire escape maps and other way finding.