Design partnership with a leader in commercializing deep tech
The Creative Destruction Lab is a Toronto-based program that connects science-based start-ups with business and management professionals to help technical experts build thriving companies. They came to us in 2015, looking to define and explain their vision and goals to prospective applicants, and to position themselves as a leader in the entrepreneurial tech space in Canada.
As a startup in their own right, CDL needed a fresh identity while still being able to devote most of their resources to the actual project of incubation. On top of that, they needed to clearly communicate what they could provide to people largely unfamiliar with the startup process, while differentiating themselves in an increasingly crowded market.
We began by defining a visual language that CDL could use across print, web and marketing materials─in effect creating a brand solely through tangible products.
Focusing on the idea that they are unique in the tech startup space by virtue of their focus on bringing practical application to cutting edge scientific research, our design took cues from avant-garde modernism, helping to differentiate them from the straightforward slickness that defines much of the tech world.Building out formalized motivations and refining communication increased both traffic and engagement on their website, helping to guide potential applicants from interested explorers to enrolled, active members.
Our design and direction traveled across CDL’s strategy, also helping to brand and promote its annual Machine Learning conference.
Without ever going through a formal branding process, we were able to create an identity of CDL as a place that is scrappy and experimental, but with real knowledge to offer tech wizards looking to turn themselves into entrepreneurs.
CDL has grown both physically and in influence since we began working together. They recently expanded from Toronto to four more hubs in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Halifax. Their annual conference has become one of the marquee events in the Toronto tech calendar, and their list of successful startups grows longer. Our ongoing partnership has helped define who they are simply through practical work─a process that continues to this day.