Circle’s founder, Robert L. Peters, spent the weekend in Chicago with his girlfriend Ev in advance of speaking at FITC’s Design & Technology Event there. Trip highlights included a lengthy visit to the Art Institute (even though much of the main gallery is under construction, and a sizable portion of the permanent collection is on tour), and an incredible solstice evening at Olive Park beach on Lakeshore Drive (Lake Michigan). Read more about Rob’s Chicago sortie here and here.
Art: Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate (110 tons of polished stainless steel); Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain; Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat; Nighthawks by Edward Hopper; Ev wonders “Where did Van Gogh go?”
The North West Company (NWC) today held its Annual and Special Meeting of Unitholders in the Muriel Richardson Auditorium of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. We were once again pleased to design NWC’s annual report (the 15th consecutive year) and provide additional presentation design services. This year’s report marked a change to a dynamic new tabloid format, in keeping with the dramatic growth experienced by the firm over the past 12 months (in part, through the acquisition of a chain of warehouse club-style stores in the South Pacific and Caribbean). The cover plays on the dramatic geographic differences between customers in the high arctic and the Caribbean; the report’s feature section demonstrates NWC’s unique approach to “human-scale” retailing through documentary customer testimonials.
In the past year NWC added 1200 new associates and 21 stores (current total of 221), and generated total revenue of $1.3 billion (75% of which comes from selling food). See more of the report here; view the new corporate identity we recently designed for NWC here.
The recently-founded First Pension Plan & Benefits Co-operative Ltd. today held its first Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg. First Plan Co-operative has been created to provide a single pension and benefits plan for all First Nations and Aboriginal Government employees and businesses. The member-owned co-operative “offers an ideal model for Aboriginal people, reflecting the traditional practices of communal decision-making and sharing.” First Plan Benefits is an exciting initiative that is owned and controlled by the very people using the products and services, a plan free from outside influence, in which the profits generated go back directly to Aboriginal people and their communities.
Over the past months, Circle has been pleased to work closely with the co-op’s founders in a consultative and design capacity—shaping a cohesive identity, developing a key message platform and an initial marketing plan, and designing a trade exhibit, presentations, literature, and promotional tools. We’re particularly chuffed to be able to collaborate with an organization that is truly democratic (member-driven), and is based on ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others. Read more about First Plan Benefits and this visionary co-op here (one-page PDF).
The co-op’s visual identity draws from a traditional Anishinaabe petroform (boulder outline) of a turtle as found in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park—turtles hold special symbolic significance in First Nation mythology, with the rising of a turtle from the water depicting the formation of the North American continent (i.e. turtle island). Many Native children are taught to examine the segments on a turtle’s back—there are always thirteen large segments (which represent the thirteen moons which make up the lunar year). By counting the smaller segments around the lower edge of the shell, one finds that there are always 28 (which represents the 28 days between new moons).
Georgian Bay, the latest photographic coffee-table book by good friend and client Mike Grandmaison, has hit the shelves. This is Mike’s third feature book published by Key Porter Books. See more of Mike’s outstanding photography on the new website we designed for him here, and attend a book-launch at the Polo Park McNally Robinson outlet in Winnipeg at 19:00 on 12 June, 2008 (to attend, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Grandmaison in Winnipeg” in the subject line).