Gold: AToMiC Design, Public Service
In 2016, when Innocence Canada was looking at a backlog of 86 cases and a lack of funding, KBS was asked to create a new logo for the organization.
The strategy was to create a logo that could (1) capture public and government attention and (2) galvanize the resolve of staff and clients at a time when hope seemed to be running out.
The process of overturning a wrongful conviction can take up to 10 years of work. Each one is a monumental victory for the wrongly convicted individual and for Innocence Canada. These infrequent victories are the reason the brand exists so the agency designed a logo that could celebrate each and every one.
The idea was to create “One Last Tally” – an evolving logo that marks each and every exoneration that Innocence Canada achieves. The team chose the symbol of the tally because of the hope it represents within prison walls. The tally serves as an ongoing measure of the organization’s success - one that always wills the next victory.
By having the exonerees contribute their own hand-painted stroke to the logo – the team was able to bring a human element to wrongful conviction – an issue most Canadians can’t relate to. The individual strokes are personal declarations of innocence that forever link exonerees to the brand.
On October 4, 2016, Wrongful Convictions Day, Innocence Canada’s exonerees gathered at the Ontario Court of Appeal. In front legal professionals, friends and family they made what would become a new dynamic logo for the organization. Each exoneree used a personalized paintbrush to add a black paint stroke to a growing tally.
The 21-stroke tally was photographed, digitally captured, and vectorized to create a logo that will be updated with a new stroke each time an exoneration is achieved. In addition to updating stationary and mugs with the new logo, the agency created mugs and striking white umbrellas designed to get attention in and around courthouses on dreary days. A series of guerilla posters in downtown Toronto showed the evolving nature of the logo.
Three months after the logo was created, the Ontario government committed financial backing for the first time ever to Innocence Canada with three years of support and a total of $900,000.
Innocence Canada attributes their newly acquired government support in large part to the public attention they received upon creating the dynamic logo and surrounding brand identity. There are presently 16 cases where the organization is convinced of innocence.
Title: Living Logo
Brand: Innocence Canada
CCO: Matt Hassell
ECD: Laura Kim
ACD/Copywriter: Kate Thorneloe
ACD/AD: Jess Carter
Producer: Lauren Sharpe/Nick Hutcheson
Designer: John Forbes
Director of Content/Editor: David Quach
VP, Client Services: Marie Magnin
Account Executive: Mary Cao