WDFN – Indigenous Corporate Branding

A common trait for Indigenous corporate branding is an inability for the logos to work within modern applications – examples of these applications are typically website headers, social media thumbnails, and any small format placements.

The Engagement Party used a specialized delivery of Whitecap Dakota First Nation’s crest to ensure that their visual branding could communicate more effectively in more placements. Using a 3-tiered approach, the corporate branding was made into: a) Corporate Crest; b) Corporate Seal; and c) a standardized icon and wordmark logo. Having these 3-tiers enabled a variety of placement and usage opportunities that were not present with just one ungainly crest logo (which is utilized as a standard ‘logo’ for most First Nations).

Having the core visual (the WDFN’s circular element that showcases the Chief Whitecap headdress and other cultural/historical details) shared between all deliveries allows for viewer recognition and enables legibility of the wordmark at all size applications. The overall artwork was changed dramatically behind the scenes – the vector file was reduced in size and complexity (reducing anchor points and simplifying shapes) – which allows for a more usable file when wanting to make stylistic changes for specific deliveries such as screen printing or engraving. The colour palette was modernized to not only suit today’s aesthetics but also to be consistent across all levels of corporate communications by adhering to a new style guide that was developed. This guide also included the typographic style that was developed in tandem with the Dakota Dunes branding – allowing for a subtle linkage to WDFN’s overall corporate portfolio.

In all, designing or redesigning Indigenous corporate branding is a multi-stage endeavour – it takes a patient client and a long-term vision to bring modernization to First Nations visual branding. The goal is to always make the visual communications clearer while providing more accessibility overall.