BC Liberals Blue

Are the BC Liberals feeling blue?

It’s the morning after the BC election. Liberals are a minority government, running a very close second is the NDP. The Green Party did alright with some penetration. Conservatives non existent. From a design perspective, the BC Liberals failure was self inflicted–and it has everything to do with design and a forgotten brand.


ndp-signWhen I ask you…

What is the party colour of the NDP? Orange of course, might be your answer.

What is the colour the conservatives? Blue.

What is the colour of the liberal party? Red.

What is the colour of the Green Party? Green I hope.

Pretty simple questions with no complicated answers. For generations these colours have been embedded in the minds of all Canadians. Wikipedia has a web page dedicated explaining the history of these party colours.

Where did the colours, fonts, logos come from?

pc-liberal-signsThrough consultation and research graphic designers build graphics that assists in telling the business story and the business tells its story to its customers. The newly created graphics made up of colours, shapes, fonts, photos, are put into a document called graphic guidelines. The graphic guidelines assists the business in keeping its overall look of the business consistent so when a customer sees the product they unconsciously identify the colours and fonts used, logo and other graphical elements and an impression is made. The more times impressions are made the likelihood of a person thinking of the product when it’s time to buy are much great than no previous impression being made at all.


The BC liberal party is guilty of straying from the Federal Liberal parties graphical guidelines. The morning after BC Premier Christy Clark called the election I drove by some election road signs for Dallas Smith and thought wow the “Conservatives” sure have their stuff together. It wasn’t until days later when I realized Dallas Smith belongs to the Liberal party.


Dallas Smith Roadside Sign Square Election 2017First impression. Confused. But why? I pulled over to look at the sign to see why this happened. Wow. BC Liberals went with 80% blue background colour, no Liberal fonts, no Liberal logo or Liberal red. I Googled their website on my iPhone, wow the same but more blue, no Liberal logo and limited use of red. Very Progressive Conservative’ish. (by the way…Liberal parties in all other provinces use the graphic guidelines). As you probably know, the BC Liberals have been distancing themselves from the Federal Liberal party brand for a while now, thinking it was hurting them. I believe from that exact day of launching their new brand the confusion started. Fast forward to today and we are seeing the results of the seeds she sowed.


liberal website screen shotThe reality is the Federal Liberal brand was non-existent throughout the 2017 BC Election campaign, except for Christy Clark wearing Liberal red at special events (makes me wonder why wear red if you are trying to distance yourself from Liberal red for everything else?). This lack of commitment to the Liberal parties brand lead to confusion and left Liberal voters wondering if their party was leaning toward Conservative ideals.

This morning when you see ridings where the winners won by 8, 100, 500, low thousands, it makes me wonder if outcomes could have been different had someone paid closer attention to the Federal Liberal party graphic guidelines. The clarity with which all the other parties stood by their brand created a confidence that voters could take to the polls.


green-signIn business when you are selling, as in elections, the last thing you want to do is confuse the customer. If a potential customer is confused during the selling process chances are they will not buy from you. They will walk and shop around. Also, if your customers do not see you–it’s out of sight and out of mind.


Graphic Guidelines are meant to be followed by everyone on the same team. Sending out the same consistent message.


To be clear we do not favour one political party over another. This was an observation only meant to help businesses succeed.


Wayfinding and Sign Design Services

Wayfinding and Sign Design

To help people interact with their environment, you need clear, consistent signs. The potential value to signs goes beyond identity and navigation. Signs provide opportunities to establish a mood and transform a flat dull space into a fresh, memorable place with character. START Communications offers both wayfinding strategy and sign design services, including development of navigation, exhibit, interpretive, regulatory signs and environmental graphics.
At START Communications we have designed signs, sign programs and wayfinding plans for a wide range of environments, including professional office buildings, pulp & paper mills, oil and natural gas facilities, manufacturing plants, retail spaces, plus interpretive and trade show displays & signs. We go the extra mile for our clients, overseeing the entire project, fabricator bidding, production and installation. We make the whole process easy.

  • Wayfinding and sign design can help visitors and employees easily navigate to their destination
  • Prevent accidents from happening
  • Unify a space through a common identity
  • Establish a character and mood for an environment
  • Create a memorable sense of “place”
  • Improve awareness of surroundings and offerings
  • Improve building accessibility, efficiency and traffic flow
  • Support and demonstrate customer service
  • Compliment the architecture of a built environment

Benefits that increase sales

  • Improved perception of “place” builds greater trust and brand recognition
  • A clear, “friendly” environment increases duration and frequency of use
  • Greater coordination improves customer service efficiency and effectiveness
  • Clear, understanding improves environment navigation and efficiency

Wayfinding and sign design service offerings

START Communications sign and wayfinding strategy services involve developing standards and effective plans for navigation, sign location and sign messaging. Our sign design services include sign structure development, sign graphics and design documentation. All in coordination with the local architecture, branding, and maintenance considerations.

  • Wayfinding auditing and evaluation
  • Wayfinding strategy development
  • Routing & navigation planning
  • Sign location planning
  • Sign message programming
  • Sign and environmental graphics design
  • Interpretive and exhibit sign design
  • Map and directory development
  • Iconography and pictogram development
  • Sign manual development

Interested? Contact us now.

START with a simple idea

START with a simple idea

Here at START Communications we understand the importance of an idea and how a well developed concept can make you stand out from your competition.

Recently we’ve been involved in a series of interesting projects. From a brochure project for the forest industry, to redefining the identity of a cleaning product, from food packaging for tasty bakery treats, through to developing a successful campaign which we designed a website and slogan, an APP, and an interactive display to assist our client in getting their message out.

The one linking factor to all of these projects is that we worked hard to create an idea, a strategy, with which to structure our marketing tools and make sure you connect to your own customers.

We work in a time where design, brand and technology all meet in the middle—making some amazing and new things possible. We’re passionate about these things and what we do for a living, and we want you to feel the same way about your brand. If this strikes a chord with your business then don’t hesitate in getting in contact with us. We are here to help.

Design solutions that are right from the START.™

Christmas Card Start Communications

2016 START Communications Printed Christmas Card

Roosevelt Elk
A majority of the 3,000 Roosevelt Elk on Vancouver Island are found north of Campbell River. Roosevelt Elk are herd-living mammals and are the largest in the elk family. A full grown bull can weigh 1,100 lbs, stand 5 feet tall at the shoulders and be 10 feet in length. The large forked cylindrical antlers sweep upward and back over the shoulders are most impressive, reaching up to 62 inches. Roosevelt Elk are a grazer during the warm months of the year, preferring grasses, new shoots, and sedges; and is a browser in the winter, preferring the small, woody plants that remain leafy during the cold. During the holiday season they have been known to gather together in large groups, commonly known as herds, wearing bright red scarfs and savouring candy canes while enjoying the islands beautiful scenery.

A donation has been made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, which provides educational, recreational, and leadership development opportunities for young people across Canada.

“Christmas Elk”, Watercolour, Eric Beal


Holiday Hours

We wish you all the best over the holidays and in the upcoming year.

Please note that we’ll be closing Friday, December 23rd and returning Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

Thank you for working with START Communications.

Best wishes.

Thank you Start Communications Graphic Design

Thank you for the design referrals!

At START, we had an exceptionally busy summer. Designing everything from logos for products, websites for large national corporations to small but very important sales materials for trade shows. The unique thing about all of this is, it was all referred work, our current clients referring work back to us, what a compliment!

This never goes unnoticed, gifts were sent out to all of these thoughtful clients who took the time to remember us, our way of saying thank you and we appreciate having the opportunity to serve you. We look forward to establishing these new relationships and helping our clients get noticed and succeed beyond their wildest dreams.

Thank you for allowing us to do what we love best…design.

Design solutions that are right from the START.

Start Communications British Columbia Vancouver Island

It’s been a year since Google started to penalize non-mobile friendly websites

Over the last few years we have been notifying our clients and publishing articles online and in print (see our blog) concerning the importance of businesses changing their websites to a responsive mobile friendly websites or be left behind. Today marks 1 year since Google made this change, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly you are probably feeling it, your website rankings in Google searches could be penalized as Google updates their algorithm. 

“Starting April 21, 2015 we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Ref Google Blog

What are the requirements to make my website ‘mobile friendly’?

Requirements are quite simple:

  1. The website must be scalable – there shouldn’t be need to zoom and pan around a page to view it all
  2. Fonts must be readable without having to zoom in
  3. Links must not be too close together so fingers and thumbs can click on them easily

If you are still not sure what to do?
Contact us see what options are available to you. If your business depends on it’s website, this could be the best investment you make all year! Call 778-418-3333 today!


Your Logo is how People Recognize your Product or Company

When you think of great products or companies, the visual image that forms in your head is probably that of their logo; Apple’s apple, Michelin and the Michelin man, Ford using the serif font within a blue oval, Nike’s well known swoosh, GAP iconic blue box. The deep-rooted value of a quality logo reflects that the product or company is well established. A kind of trust relationship of the product or company begins.

At START Communications, we have a process of building memorable logos that last. We will ensure that your business stands apart in a competitive marketplace. Please take a moment and look through Our work, you will see examples of logos before and after we worked on them.


Why do I need a logo?

Increased Sales
A high quality and consistent logo makes your company instantly recognizable. That recognition factor helps build brand loyalty which leads to increased sales and referability.

Cost and Time Savings
An established set of brand standards gives you the tools you need to produce signage, marketing materials, packaging and digital assets, saving you time and money.

Customer Confidence
A strong brand communicates that you’re a reliable professional. It not only increases the likelihood that customers will buy from you, but also increases the amount they’re willing to pay.

Get STARTed Now!