The Canvas story

This project is the typical startup story, an idea around which a whole brand needed to be invented. The idea was looking to improve on the successful coffee retail chains, not just a lounge with free WiFi, but by adding an art gallery and performance space to turn the space in a multi-discipline gathering place that could feed all the senses.

The first item of the list was naming, a simple catchy name that would immediately create a link between coffee and art, quite a challenge given the complexity of the concept and the fact that gourmet coffee was already a congested segment. The first name we proposed was “SMART – Art so fresh it’s never seen a museum”. Like SWATCH but with the added value that SMART also made the conceptual tie with art from young (inexpensive) artist. Art that is freshly made, like a good coffee, not something you’d see hanging in a museum. This meant art accessible to everyone, not just to the affluent collectors, what a perfect name! SMART.

To our bewilderment the client didn’t feel the name captured the essence of their concept, so back to the drawing board, feeling your best idea had just succumbed.

After a taking a break and resetting our creative clock we developed CANVAS Café and Gallery, to identify the space as place were interests, passions, lives combined to create. The space were all of this was to happen had to be aptly called THE CANVAS, and it stuck. The name was chosen.

Being a “concept” much of the brand identity was developed fairly quickly and without the opportunity of further refinements, also everything was on a shoestring budget, which never helps.

The client tried to develop the concept into a franchise and sadly after several years of operations the project was wound down.

Through the years The Canvas became an anchor for neighborhood activities in the University district of San Francisco, with many loyal customers and hosting well attended art openings, music concerts, and poetry readings. I remember reading many posts from longtime clients that were bemoaning the loss of one of their favorite hangouts.

PROJECT GALLERY

Los angeles city college district

Over the past seventy-seven years LACCD served as educator to more than three million students. Affordable, accessible and practical, the LACCD offers opportunity to all.

Our rebranding initiative intended to showcase the district’s new direction towards sustainability and innovation.

Our doors are wide open for a diverse student population eager for skills, knowledge and upward mobility.

LACCD educates almost three times as many Latino students and nearly four times as many African-American students as all of the University of California campuses combined. Eighty percent of LACCD students are from under-served populations.

Ethos Factory has helped develop several aspects of the new brand identity and communications. Here are some categories of the work we produced:

Corporate Identity

Logos; Naming; Corporate Identity Study.

Corporate Communications

Resource Recovery Initiative; Websites; Technical manuals; Digital slide shows; Merchandising.

Retail graphics

Window displays; Building graphics; Store design.

Project’s Gallery

Creative Strategy Presentation