Honouring Indigenous history and heritage

with CBC

What we did

  • Branding
  • Storytelling
  • Campaign graphics
  • Branding
  • Storytelling
  • Campaign graphics

What they needed

For Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous History Month, CBC came to us with a special request: to design our own take on their logo, the “gem”, for their website, social platforms, and TV broadcasts. Canada’s public broadcaster is committed to narrative sovereignty—the freedom to tell our stories from our own point of view and be amplified by Indigenous creative professionals.

About the brand

The 1974 version of the gem logo reminded our creative team of a drum, an instrument used for storytelling across Turtle Island and Inuit Nunangat. We saw this as an apt metaphor for what CBC does: like a struck drum emits waves of sound or a drop sends out ripples on a pond, CBC amplifies Indigenous voices and broadcasts them throughout the world. Since our logo was also destined for broadcast, its design follows a motion-first approach, cycling through Inuit, Métis, and First Nations faces before showcasing all three together on the main face.

stars

How we helped

Indigenous Peoples are incredibly diverse and it was essential that the logo fully acknowledge this. Along with the main drum illustrations, we researched, designed, and illustrated individual drum faces representing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, giving each its own space for recognition and reflection. We also created a storyboard and drumming audio for the animated version of the logo and illustrated backplate graphics for CBC’s digital presence.

A printed copy of the CBC NIHM brand guide
A printed copy of the CBC NIHM brand guide
A drum illustration of a caribou, snow, starts and northern lights
A colourful First Nation illustration of beads, feathers and medicines
A metis sash illustration
A red flower

Making a difference

Our illustrated gem ran on CBC’s main channel all month long. Their website and social media used our graphics to share empowering stories from Indigenous youth and Elders, reaching audiences across the country and beyond. With hundreds of likes, positive comments, and even requests for branded swag, our design called people to really listen to Indigenous voices—and they did.

An Indigenous woman wearing a branded CBC shirt and holding a tote bag.
A feather
The Metis infinity symbol
A Caribou
A star
An eagle
A CBC social media post on a phone screen.
A CBC social media post on a phone screen.
“We engaged with Design de Plume to design and support our brand package for the National Indigenous History Month in 2022. The timelines were tight and the ask was large: to create an inclusive design for a cross-country campaign, spanning all platforms. Not only did they deliver a beautiful package, they spent time socializing it and the meaning behind each element throughout our marketing, design and Indigenous hub teams.”

– Jennifer Haskett, Director, Creative & Production Services

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