Artscape is a Toronto-based not-for-profit urban development organization that provides creative spaces and community development through arts-based programming. Their newest entity, Artscape Daniels Launchpad, acts as a marketplace of services, resources and opportunities and houses the latest tools, equipment and technology to support creative entrepreneurship. This art and design hub is the ideal environment for artists and designers to fully explore and realize their potential. Entro created a unique brand identity and visual language that we carried through to wayfinding for this breakthrough space.
Artscape Daniels Launchpad is named in recognition of the exceptional financial support of The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation. Entro worked with a group of 20+ stakeholders to develop concepts for the visual identity or logo. The signature graphic element, which embodies the essence of the Launchpad community and place, is a black line at a seven-degree angle. The line is inspired by the idea of “launching” or propelling and symbolizes the lift-off point or jumping board that will push artists and designers forward on their career path. Further, when the house font is italicized and put at a seven-degree angle, the stems of the letters become vertical. This allows more opportunity for extending the brand to many applications in a fun and exciting way.
The angle became the foundation of the entire visual language yielding a striking yet flexible brand character easily applied to all touch points, true to the vision of the space. The experience was designed to feel contemporary yet welcoming – encouraging artists and designers to hang out, share ideas and explore the resources available to propel their careers forward. In print and digital applications, the angled line creates a field that can be filled with photos, graphics, colour or textures. The architectural and interior design also reflects this look and feel with angular walls, light fixtures and panels.
Our wayfinding and graphics program fully commits to the same angular treatment – there is not a graphic or line of text that is set otherwise. A neutral colour palette provides a modern and sophisticated feel, while the bold, angled lines and text used for the graphic treatments on the walls, pillars and glass make the space hip and unconventional.
Going beyond the standard accessibility requirements, we recommended pictograms instead of written text wherever possible, to accommodate the diversity of cultural backgrounds of the users of the space, including newcomers. We developed a large vocabulary of pictograms for each work area (textile, media, woodworking, etc.), using a grid skewed to the same seven-degree angle. Originally intended for inclusivity, this program has become a true celebration of pictograms and an extension of the Launchpad visual language.
The result for Artscape Daniels Launchpad is a fulsome program that isn’t overly serious, yet always reminds artists and designers that they are here for their creative futures. What began as a simple line at a slight angle now directs every part of the consistent brand experience, communicating that the Launchpad is not just ‘off the grid’, it uses its own.