Evolution of a Brand: Redeemer Pacific College

Bright Lily Creative is my side-hustle where I help small businesses establish an integrated online presence. I enjoy getting to know people, learning about their stories, and figuring out what makes them tick.  Bright Lily Creative allows me to collaborate with other small businesses, to translate their day-to-day operations into beautiful, functional design, and to share that vision with their customers. 

Redeemer Pacific College is a small Catholic college that operates as a teaching centre of Trinity Western University, Canada’s premier Christian university. I had the privilege of working at the college during its founding years, first as the Admissions Coordinator and then as the Public Relations Coordinator.  (I resigned my position at RPC in June 2012 – since then the college has rebranded itself as Catholic Pacific College and did not retain any of the original branding.)

It was through my job at RPC that, out of sheer necessity, I began to venture into the world of graphic design.  Over the years I designed dozens of posters and ads, I coordinated two website redesigns, and I acted as project manager for the rebranding of the college.

One of my favourite parts of the job was being able to create different pieces within a specific brand identity – pulling different elements of the college’s visual identity together in new and interesting ways to create a product that was easily identifiable as “RPC”.  Here’s a brief summary of how that brand evolved.

About a year into my job as Admissions Coordinator, I realized that our promotional materials were out of date.  Our logo needed a refresh as well.  This was the old logo:


We wanted to keep the book, but balance out the lettering and give it a more collegial feel.  I enlisted the help of Rachel Pick from Mint, Creative and Rachel Pick Photography, and with her help and with an extensive consultation with the staff and faculty of the college, we came up with this:


This is a cleaner, more balanced design that is extremely versatile.  This logo became the centrepiece of the new RPC brand, as we carried the logo and the RPC blue into the majority of the pieces that we produced over the following years.

The second cornerstone to the RPC brand was the overview brochure, also created by Rachel Pick.  The overview brochure (RPCbrochureRevisedSeal3) was meant to encourage students to learn more about the college.  Once Rachel had created the basic visual brand of the college, my job was to take that brand and extend it throughout our promotional materials.  I used that same basic design in our general advertisements…

RPC Spring 2011 quarter page colour high res

…posters for classes that we put up all over RPC and Trinity Western University…

Phil 333 Spring 2012 high res



Rels 365 Spring 2012 high res

Rels 366 Fall 2012 high res



















































…our newsletter (Christifideles Newsletter February 2011 med), and other components in the design suite such as business cards.

While much of this work is derivative from Rachel’s original design, working within a specific visual language allowed me play with the boundaries of the brand and to crystallize what really worked and what should be avoided.  I learned that a single design element can be the foundation for a myriad of other design choices.  I learned to listen to my instincts; when something felt off there was usually a reasonable explanation for that feeling, it just might take a while to figure it out.

However, I think that this poster (peter stockland) may be one of my favourites.   The challenge for the Peter Stockland poster was that I had little visual material with which to advertise a very prominent speaker.  We had a great photo of Peter, but not much else.  I didn’t want to trivialize the event by adding a bunch of clip art, and there wasn’t really a single image that could encapsulate the lecture.  So I decided to capitalize on the clear, direct gaze of Peter Stockland and use multiple takes of the portrait to create the visual draw for the poster.  I played around for a bit with different versions, but it wasn’t until I used the eyeline to align the progression of close-ups that things really fell into place.

I also really like the typographical mix for the poster.  It feels balanced and clean.  Some of my earlier posters don’t have this balance, so it was nice to create something that felt even, easy on the eye, and visually inviting.  I had solved a design problem effectively and had created something original and attractive.  Mr. Stockland even went out of his way to admire the poster, saying that it was the best poster for one of his lectures that he had ever seen.  Not too shabby:)

While this is certainly not the sum total of my work for Redeemer Pacific College, I hope it give you an idea of what I was able to accomplish in co-creating and implementing a visual brand for an institution.


Fresh Air

Photo courtesy of www.pixproductions.ca

Every Wednesday my mother-in-law picks up Ben from school and brings him home for me.  It’s early dismissal at the school and it clashes with naptime for John and my niece, so the Wednesday pickup is my mother-in-law’s weekly gift of sanity to me.

As I was standing on our front doorstep yesterday talking to her after Ben had run upstairs to watch George Shrinks with Cate, a little breath of wind came down the lane between the townhouses opposite and blew into our house.  It had rained earlier in the day and the air was cool and fresh.  It was cloudy overhead, but the kind of cloudy where you know that somewhere back there is sunshine, but it hasn’t yet broken through.

I sucked in that breath of wind and all of a sudden my sensory memory jolted awake.   I was standing on the banks of Cultus Lake, I was waiting for the elementary school bus on a cool spring morning, walking to university on a crisp fall day.

I was able to take in two deep breaths of this memory-inducing wind, right in the middle of the conversation with my mother-in-law.  I didn’t say anything about it to her, just kept it all to myself.  And just like that, the wind was gone.  The whole thing had taken about two seconds.  But there it was, the wind connecting my present and my past, then vanishing off around the corner to shore up the wings of one of the pigeons that nest in the eaves of the townhouses.

Skyscrapers, Ok Go

This song has been in my head all week.  I cannot get rid of it, and I don’t much want to.  I love how the more I watch, the more I see – the intimacy, the betrayal, the redemption, all in three and a half minutes of tango. Beautiful, just beautiful.  Ok Go has produced some amazing videos, but this may just be my favourite.

Here is the video:

And just in case you are curious, here are the lyrics:

Skyscrapers, please forgive me.
I didn’t mean a word I said.
Skyscrapers, I was just tangled up in my own head.

And somehow in all the madness,
I thought that I was seeing straight.
It ain’t always pretty, but it seemed there was no other way.

And I guess all I ever loved was standing right before my eyes,
and I, oh oh oh I .. I was blind.

So skyscrapers, please forgive me.
I stand here a penitent man.
Skyscrapers, I’ll never look down again … again …
‘Cause I guess all I ever loved was standing right before my eyes.
Oh yeah, I guess all I ever loved was standing … was standing … was standing here all the time, and I .. yeah I .. I was blind … I was blind … I was blind

You were right here all the time.
You were right here all the time and I was blind.
I was blind.
I was blind.
oh I was blind.
I was blind.


PS.  I would love to have the green-blue-purple spectrum clothes.  Not sure if I could get Darren into any of those suits though…