For Indigenous communities, tourism can foster a thriving economy and help preserve culture. In Ontario, the first and only organization dedicated to this cause is Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO). Now, it was time for them to grow their own brand into a more robust system that would reflect Indigenous cultures across Ontario and—to keep things fresh and interesting—change with the seasons.
About the logo
ITO’s brand is made up of various pieces. Cultural items such as a wampum belt, a pipe, a staff and moccasins tell a story of our people while natural elements such as medicines, berries and animal prints paint a picture of what can be experienced when visiting our various destinations. Each individual item serves as a way to teach and share stories about the images found in the logos and how they relate to Indigenous tourism experiences in Ontario.
How we helped
We hand-crafted a series of four logos, with colours that can shift with the seasons. Each element of this brand tells a story. Cultural symbols like a wampum belt, a pipe, and a staff paint a picture of our people. Natural elements such as medicines, berries, and animal prints give a taste of what visitors can experience here. Together, the items form a unified whole, which reflects the vibrancy and diversity of Indigenous tourism.
Making a difference
The new brand helps give tourists a warm welcome. The dynamic logos help spark curiosity and conversation about the stories behind each symbol. And the colourful variations are easy to swap out, which keeps things feeling fresh at the start of each new travel season. All in all, the brand flexes beautifully to everywhere they use it, from their website to their merchandise. In fact, their logo won an international design award for its flexibility.
The fall brand features a bountiful harvest of vegetables like squash and pumpkin, autumn leaves and acorns, and twigs and stones. Cultural items include a talking stick, smudge bowl, and pipe. Featured crafts include a mukluk, beaded hair barrette, and porcupine quill box.
The winter brand features drying fish and antlers of moose and deer. Rabbits and bears leave pawprints in the snow. Seasonal crafts include beaded mittens and snowshoes, and the letters are adorned with medicines like sweetgrass and juniper.
The spring brand comes to life with sucker fish, minnows, robin eggs, and a star flower, the only flower with seven petals. Other cultural items include tobacco, a medicine bag, beaded moccasins, wampum belt, medicine wheel, and eagle feather.
The summer brand bursts with varieties of berries along with honey and bannock on a stick. Cultural symbols include a Métis sash, hand drum, arrow, and a hoop and fan for traditional dancing.
“When I just opened it and saw the logo, I gasped… it’s gorgeous!”
-Leni Brem, Director of Operations, Indigenous Tourism Ontario
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