Generator Leading Brand for 17 Years
By Heather Vita
THUNDER BAY – LIVING – “It was one of our first pro-bono projects,” said Barry Smith, Creative Director and Owner, Generator. “Hard to believe it got going 17 years ago.”
Smith is referring to the creative work done for the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, presented by WINMAR – an event that’s celebrating its 17th year raising money for prostate cancer care and research in Thunder Bay. Smith’s team at Generator was approached with a request to come up with a brand and visual identity that would make the event distinctive and collateral that would help spread the word.
Registration now open!
Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, presented by WINMAR
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Register online at healthsciencesfoundation.ca or by calling 345-HOPE (4673)
Register by May 31, 2017 for a chance to win the Early Bird Prize.
“It was, of course, always about motorcycles,” said Smith, “but there’s more to it than that. We wanted to create an identity that would connect with the audience who would attend this event. Something masculine and edgy.”
The event was a bit avant-garde in its day. Men, especially, didn’t really talk about prostate cancer. Getting a group together to raise funds and awareness for the prostate was a novel idea – even one that made people slightly uncomfortable – but one that soon caught on quickly and became a must-attend event each June, in advance of Father’s Day.
In its 16 year history, the event has raised $948,105, with organizers hoping to cross the $1M dollar mark this year. Amazingly this started as a community-led event that has grown into a significant annual fundraising event.
“Part of our role as designers is to create a visual identity that makes people want to be a part of it,” said Smith. “All events compete with each other; with each one trying to do a good thing for our community. When we brand an event, we want to create something that’s desirable and relevant; something that speaks to people so they say, ‘Yeah, I want to go to that.’ Our goal is to develop a brand and visual identity that sustains an event so that its impact can continue for years.”
Senior Graphic Designer and Art Director, Amanda Phillips, who has worked on the event’s designs for many years, added, “With a motorcycle theme as constant backdrop, we needed to come up with designs that were exciting but that also allowed participants permission to have prostate cancer on their agenda.”
One of the elements that’s remained very similar since the event’s beginnings is the wordmark, although as Jordan Danielsson, Graphic Designer, explained, “We tweaked it just slightly to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the event a few years back. Other than that, the look of the event has stayed quite similar, however we do change up the colours to keep things fresh.”
Each year the event gets a new poster, along with supporting material at the event such as a program and route guide which shows riders and passengers just where to go. It’s a critical element to the event, making sure people don’t get lost.
Additionally there’s the coveted event shirt – which is a black, long-sleeved tee, adorned with the year’s event logo. “I remember one year the shirts were lime green,” said Phillips. “There was a major backlash over that! Participants definitely love their black shirts; they’re a great collector’s item.”
When Smith thinks back to all the work that’s been done over the years in support of the event, he’s proud that Generator has been involved, along with so many other sponsors. “Knowing the impact this event has had for men, in particular, in bringing the prostate cancer conversation up front and centre – that’s what makes our role valuable. When we get involved in projects, we want it to be fun and this has been a lot of fun for us. Most importantly though, it’s elevated the awareness about prostate cancer and equipped our Cancer Centre with the latest in treatments, giving hope to men who are faced with prostate cancer. We’re proud to have contributed with the skills our team brings.”