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Brand strategy and identity

Our branding process is designed for those who are committed to transforming their brand  — and even the way they do business — to be more authentic, inclusive, and impactful.

Our strategies and identities are:

What they say it is

Your brand is your reputation, and it’s shaped by every interaction you have with your audience — positive and negative. Working with you, we’ll build a brand that consistently resonates with your audience, aligns with their values, and inspires meaningful connections.

The sum of its parts

Your brand is much more than your logo and works best when it’s part of a system that’s applied consistently to all your touchpoints. Starting with your logo, we’ll extend its look and feel to everything you share, creating a seamless end-to-end experience for your audience.

Strategy first

Branding without a strategy is like building a house without a foundation: it may look fine, but any shift in the landscape and things can easily fall apart. Before we design anything, we develop a detailed, objective strategy that becomes a solid foundation for every business decision you make.
An array of smartphone screens, each showing a different page of the À la Carte Shuttle and Tours website.

Our branding process

We follow a tried-and-tested five-step process:

1 – Brand assessment

For all new branding clients, we start with a review of your business, brand, and collateral, followed by an informal call to share what we see as the biggest opportunities for improvement.

2 – Brand questionnaire

We then take a deep dive to really get to know you and your business. Each questionnaire is tailored to helps us uncover your core values and connect you with the right audience.

3 – Brand strategy

Next, we develop a strategy that clearly explains who you are, why you exist, what you believe, who you serve, and why you’re different, along with direction for your new brand.

4 – Brand identity

Next, we design your logo and visual brand, exploring fonts, colours, visual elements, and more to create your brand’s look and feel — all aligned with your strategy and audience.

5 – Brand book

All good systems include a manual. The brand book contains all of the elements that make up your strategy and identity, serving as your go-to reference for using your brand.

Be beautifully accessible.

Additional brand services

With a logo in place, we can help you develop all the touchpoints you need to ensure your brand seamlessly flows and consistently connects with your audience. Here are our most common services.

Social media strategy and design icon showing a heart and hashtag
Social media strategy + design
Print and digital marketing icon showing a pamphlet and an email
Print + digital marketing
Websites and digital assets icon showing computer screens and smart devices
Websites + digital assets
Annual reports and publications icon showing a bookmark and infographic page
Annual reports + publications
Branded guides and toolkits icon showing a wrench and a directional signpost
Branded guides + toolkits
Icons and infographic icon showing a paper airplane and arrow
Icons + infographics
Branded spaces and signage icon showing atch book and a hanging sign
Branded spaces + signage
Trade shows and displays icon showing an A-frame and an exhibit stand
Trade shows + displays
Packaging and retailrategy icons showing a cardboard box and a target with an arrow in the bullseye
Packaging + retail strategy
Brand naming and taglines icon showing lines of text and a pencil
Brand names + taglines
Photo and video direction arrow showing a stack of photographs and a movie scene marker
Photo + video direction
Presentations and slide decks icon showing a presentation screen and a pie chart
Presentations + slide decks
An array of open book spreads showing various brand guideline sections, such as colours, fonts, and icons.

Livres Canada Books

We transformed Livres Canada Books into a bolder, more accessible brand to represent Canadian publishers and books on the national and international stage.


Brand strategy and identity FAQs

The quick answer is ‘no’. A logo is only a small part of an overall brand and serves you best when it’s based on a clear strategy that’s focused on connecting with your target audience. Our process helps you answer all the big questions, so the logo you end up with is the best fit for your business and resonates with the right audience.
We’re certainly open to working with existing logos. Before we say ‘yes’, we’ll assess your logo to see if it’s something we’d recommend moving forward with, and if you have a clear brand strategy to support it. If not — and this is often the case — we’ll explain why we suggest working with us to develop a plan that might work better for your business or organization.
At nineSixteen, we never design a brand without a clear strategy in place, which is essential in creating and communicating a successful brand. It’s possible you already have a brand strategy in place, and if so, we’ll happily evaluate it and give you feedback before we work with you to create your identity.
Investing in branding is a big and very important step for any business. Each business has its own unique needs and goals, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. During our discovery call, we’ll determine whether we’re a good fit for you and learn about your business to create a customized proposal that outlines everything you need for your brand.
Good design takes time. Rushing through the branding process usually doesn’t get you the results you’re looking for. Depending on what your goals are and how your brand will be used, timelines differ from one client to the next. We usually require a minimum of 12 weeks to work through our brand strategy and identity process, and book new work based on existing workloads and schedules.

Branding is no small task. It requires time, consistency, and great attention to detail. Here are the most common questions we get. Still need answers? Get in touch anytime.

Be beautifully accessible.

Other services

Dark museum corridor with a brightly-coloured yellow and red exhibit showcasing large black-and-white portraits and impactful text.

Exhibits and environments

Creating spaces that tell bold stories and inspire visitors demands experience, meticulous attention to detail, and a passion for connecting with people.

Publications and toolkits

Designing materials that audiences want to read takes insight into who you’re targeting, what you want them to take away, and which formats work best.
An array of open book spreads showing blue pages with white text, and photos of Mr. Dressup, a Canadian children's TV personality.
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