Project Spotlight: Steadyhand Investment Funds

Steadyhand Investment Funds came to us for design assistance with their office space.  They were nearing the end of their lease term and had the opportunity to make some tenant improvements and give the space a bit of a facelift.  They wanted to brighten their space through new paint and lighting, showcase their artwork in a more thoughtful way, create a more inviting foyer area, and find ways to increase privacy in some work areas.  They didn’t want to make too big a change, but they wanted to renew their workspace as much as possible.

We worked within their existing carpet and furniture finishes and the overall design aesthetic of the space to select a new main wall colour and accent wall colours. These fresh walls have really brightened up the space, and the accent wall colours really showcase their artwork and subtly tie back to their beautiful and bold branding colours.  We assisted with the procurement of new reception area furniture and new light fixtures, and we were able to increase privacy in the boardroom and other work areas by designing custom vinyl window film that also serves to showcase their brand.

Thanks Steadyhand for the opportunity to make your workplace sing!

Project House delivered exactly what we were looking for. Our goal was to spruce up our reception and boardroom area and incorporate our corporate branding. They used our corporate messaging, branding colours and company logo, in a simple, fresh, and fun way that’s consistent with our online presence. We are constantly getting compliments on our office space and would recommend the team at Project House.

~ Sherileen Gray, Client Service/Executive Assistant

Project Spotlight: the RNFBC launches their new brand!

We are so excited as we have just launched a whole new brand and website for the Registered Nurses Association of BC.  It was a really great process working alongside a positive and collaborative group of people at the RNFBC, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.

The Registered Nurses Foundation of BC helps address some of the financial costs associated with nursing education through the provision of bursaries. They help alleviate some of the pressures on nurses and the health care system.

The demand for nurses is rising. Currently, on any given day in BC there are at least 1,000 nursing vacancies. These shortages mean the needed care that requires nursing support – such as surgical procedures, homecare, and mental health care services – get delayed or postponed.

With the aging of both the population and of nurses themselves, more new nurses will be needed to fill this gap as a person’s health care needs generally increase with age and as nurses reach retirement age.

The need to help educate new nurses and provide a higher level of education for current nurses has arguably never been greater.

The RNFBC’s website and logo were out of date and they needed something new and fresh that would acknowledge the history of the foundation, while at the same time demonstrate the forward-thinking and innovative nature of the nursing profession.

We started with a creative “charrette” style process where we brought in a group of stakeholders to dive into the message and story the RNFBC wanted their brand to convey…who were they, who are they now, how is their organization evolving, how do they want to be perceived.  Through discussion, visioning, and tough questions we were able to come away with a great understanding of the overall design direction we needed to consider. Then we retreated to our offices to continue our research and continue the creative process.

After pursuing a few brand options, we kept coming back to the idea of the nightingale.  We just loved the symbolism:  it’s active and alive, its body and shape represent movement, and it has a wonderful and fitting historical significance.  We combined the nightingale image with unique, fresh, and beautiful colours to really make it stand apart.

With our branding solution in hand, we could move into the creation of a beautiful and responsive new website. It needed to be easy to navigate, bright and colourful, modern yet professional. It had to appeal to a wide range of users, as visitors to the site might be young nurses applying for a bursary, or older donors looking to make a contribution.  We are so pleased with the overall results and we look forward to continuing to help the RNFBC grow its brand recognition through their website and additional print materials.  We have already created donation forms, posters, and some exciting materials for an upcoming event.

The process of working with the RNFBC is very rewarding.  They are a client who understands where they need help and values the external services of a company like us.  Not only can we provide them with graphics and web design, but we also support them with online donation systems, event planning, hiring, and more.  Combining our expertise and services to help clients grow their business to the next level is what Project House is all about.

 

Client Spotlight: Kerberos Productions

Kerberos Productions business cards Chris Stewart

Recently we completed some marketing materials for Kerberos Productions, a local game development studio that has been a vibrant and committed member of the Vancouver indie game scene for 12 years.

We helped Kerberos refine their suite of branded materials by designing a new set of business cards, Steam cards for game downloads, and some sweet boxes for future press kits. The characters featured on each of the business cards are from different Kerberos franchises and modelled after members of the staff. These little personal touches plus bold colours + graphics made this a fun project for our team to tackle.

We are always happy to help a company turn branding and packaging ideas into reality. Get in touch if you’d like us to help bring your brand to life!

Kerberos Productions press box

Kerberos Productions steam game download card

Client Spotlight: Capcom Vancouver

Benjamin Franklin quote

Project House has been designing and facilitating manager training sessions for one of our amazing clients, Capcom Vancouver, in order to provide their employees with an opportunity to brush up on their skills, pick up some new ones, gain a fresh perspective and new ideas, and to feel more prepared and comfortable in their roles.

Our session on Effective Performance Reviews took place earlier this year, and was designed to provide training, tips, and insights on understanding and maximizing the evolving performance process, including how to give great performance feedback and guide effective goals.

More recently we met with managers to deliver training sessions on Communication and Feedback, which included components such as listening, comfort zones, and effective 1:1 meetings. Upcoming sessions will take place over the coming months, and will be tailored to cover a broad spectrum of management and leadership topics.

We are excited to provide this type of training to our clients and their teams, and we always enjoy partnering with employees and getting exposure to their insights, ideas, and best practices firsthand.

leadership training

Client Spotlight: Strathcona Community Centre Association

SCCA wall

Earlier this year we had the great privilege and pleasure of working with the Strathcona Community Centre Association, and in partnership with them we worked on a number of HR projects, including the creation of an Employee Handbook.

The Strathcona Community Centre is situated in one of Vancouver’s oldest residential neighbourhoods, and has been serving the community for over 40 years.

The area is comprised of a rich, diverse socio-economic and multicultural population. The community is challenged with issues such as poverty, crime, addictions, homelessness, affordable housing, unemployment and gentrification. In the midst of this, the community centre delivers a multitude of programs and services for all ages.  The Centre provides a safe place where the community can meet, share thoughts, explore new and different avenues of recreation, socialize and become involved.

Everyone at the Strathcona Community Centre works tirelessly and cares intensely about their community and the people who come through their doors each day.  We were thrilled to get to know their organization and their services, and honoured to help them with their projects.   We met with the Recreation Supervisor and the HR committee regularly over several months to learn about their programs, their customers, and their organization.  This enabled us to help them organize some of their documents and processes, and clarify and articulate their policies into a fresh new Handbook.

A great Employee Handbook is more than just a collection of rules and policies.  It shouldn’t be a dusty binder full of antiquated documents; if done well, it can be a living document, either printed or available online, that helps your employees settle in and better understand the company and how things work.  It can describe your vision and principles, explain your programs, describe how you will handle difficult situations, provide information about what you expect and need from your staff, and provide answers to questions before anyone needs to ask.  It can be a great tool for onboarding new employees and for talking about what matters to you in a way that reflects the tone and culture of your organization.  Adding unique photographs of your team, environment, customers, or product can also be a nice finishing touch – this document can be as fun, as polished, or as serious as you want your company to be.

 

Need some help pulling together some useful, simple, and well-crafted policies into a fresh Handbook? Please reach out to us at projecthouse(dot)ca!

Project Spotlight: Rogers Group Financial

One of the really fun and creative projects that we are working on with a few of our clients is a custom client appreciation program. Some companies show appreciation sporadically with the odd gift or card for an important client, or a small token over the holidays, however more and more companies are starting to incorporate elaborate and thoughtfully planned ways of showing their clients appreciation. We love helping our clients create a custom program depending on their needs and budget. From carefully sourcing the gift itself, all the way to finalizing the packaging and wrapping, we can help drive this from start to finish.

The concept and rationale behind client appreciation is simple: in this day and age when consumers are bombarded by a multitude of service providers, what will make you stand out from your competitors? Showing that you appreciate your clients, and that you see them as special and unique, takes time and effort but if it is genuine and done well, it is worthwhile. This doesn’t need to break the bank either; it might be a thoughtful gift, a well-timed phone call, or simply striving for meaningful connections with your clients at the right times. The idea is not simply to send cards or gifts, but instead to pay attention to the likes and dislikes and events within your clients’ lives, and then pay tribute to those events through meaningful and well thought-out gestures.

This month we are showcasing elements from the client appreciation program that we have designed for one of our clients, Mark Neufeld of Rogers Group Financial.

We have been working with Mark and his team over the course of several months to create a beautiful array of gift selections for every occasion, including customized cards, custom designed calendars, and more. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mark and his team to create something truly special. We hope you enjoy what you see!

Rogersfinancial-calendar-mockup-2edit

We commissioned twelve watercolour paintings of Canadian cities and laid them out in a simple and elegant calendar that was presented to Mark’s clients at the beginning of 2015.

Rogersfinancial-calendar-mockupgreeting_card_mockup

Using the same watercolour paintings from the calendar, we created a set of thank you cards for a variety of uses.

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Here is a sample of a “Get Well” gift box.  It includes a selection of tea, a lovely hand painted mug, a diffuser and lovely vanilla infused honey.  We packaged this in a beautiful box with bright green tissue paper, all tied together with a bright green satin ribbon.

Project Spotlight: Lloyds Travel & Cruises Ltd.

Given that we have just recently celebrated Family Day across the country, we wanted to present a project spotlight on a client who owns and operates a local family-run business.

Lloyds Travel & Cruises is the oldest travel agency in Vancouver. It opened its doors in 1951 and was purchased by the Weymark family in 1964. Ever since then, it has remained in the Weymark family, with Wendy Fougner (née Weymark) taking the reins from her father in 1986 with Wendy and her husband successfully running this client service-focused agency.

Family-run organizations are quite unique and amazing. While they certainly face a whole set of particular challenges, the unique way in which a family business is typically run generally sets them up for longevity. They are often more frugal, take on less debt/risk, diversify naturally, and retain talent.

At Lloyds, the company values are based on how the owners live their own lives. They are both heavily involved and dedicated to their communities and they believe that you “reap what you sow”. We love this philosophy and enjoy working with them.

Project House has been working with Lloyds Travel & Cruises since we opened our doors, and we provide a wide range of services for them, from HR support, to graphic design, website maintenance & development, event planning, office space redesign, business consulting, and more.

Lloyds Travel wants to focus on their primary service, which is travel, and ensuring that their clients’ needs are met. We are able to supplement their team in a number of ways, and we are able to remain flexible and efficient through the ebbs and flows of their workload. The ideal solution for them is a resourceful outsourcing service that can take on a range of projects when they are needed.

What we love is that Lloyds Travel uses Project House for a variety of great projects, and because we know their business well and we are familiar with their staff and their priorities, we are able to easily jump from one task to another for them, and ensure that everything we do fits into their brand and culture.

As we have completed so many great projects for Lloyds Travel it is hard to pick a favourite, so we’re going to talk about a few of them instead!

Office Reno & Redesign:

Last year, we completed a successful office renovation and redesign for Lloyds and gave their office a much-needed facelift. The office was disconnected, with no adequate space for storage or meetings. The décor was out-of-date, with tired wallpaper, paint, and carpet. We assessed the company’s needs and reconfigured the walls and workspaces, updated the bathrooms, put in new kitchen cabinets and storage cabinets, created a much-needed and beautiful meeting/lunch room space, had new carpet laid throughout, painted the walls a fresh colour with select accent walls that we had branded with their logo, we sourced beautiful travel-inspired artwork & masks, and we engaged a local craftsman team to build a stunning reception desk from reclaimed wood. The Lloyds office is now a bright, modern, and pleasant workspace with a much more efficient flow, and it provides an elegant and welcoming environment for their clients.

 

Thank You Cards:

We have created a beautiful set of thank you cards for Lloyds Travel. Lloyds sends thank you cards to clients who have introduced new clients to the company, and to clients when they book their travel. It’s a lovely tradition to send a thank you card to someone, and what better way than with a beautiful travel-inspired greeting card.

Lloyds_Thankyoucard_Mockup

 

Newsletter:

Four to five times a year, we help Lloyds assemble and print an electronic newsletter featuring a selection of articles written by the agents on a particular topic, along with trip offerings and Lloyds Exclusive Tours. We gather content from the agents, create the newsletter layout, source images, organize the printing, and then post an electronic version to their blog using ISSUU.

Newsletter-Mockup

 

Business Cards & Stationery:

We have created a lovely suite of branded stationery for Lloyds to use for all of its day-to-day operations, including letterheads, ticket jackets, gift tags, gift bags, business cards, envelopes, and more. We love designing additional pieces as required to fit their business needs.

Lloyds_business-card-mockup

Congratulations to ShoeMe.ca!

Sean_Clark_shoeme.ca

We are so excited for our client ShoeMe.ca, whose founder and CEO, Sean Clark, sold his Vancouver-based online footwear company this year in an acquisition that consolidated ShoeMe.ca with OnlineShoes.com, an online footwear retailer based out of Seattle. Roger Hardy, founder and former CEO of optical giant Coastal Contacts Inc., has consolidated both companies with the intention to create the largest online footwear operation headquartered in Canada. Sean is now President of the merged entity’s Canadian operations.

The Project House team was able to support ShoeMe with several aspects of their business, including the creation and implementation of new contracts, a hiring workflow, and an employee-friendly policy handbook.  We were also involved with OHS and WCB/WSIB research and set-up, as, in addition to their Vancouver headquarters, ShoeMe has warehouses in both Vancouver and Toronto.

Congratulations to Sean and the whole ShoeMe.ca team on their continued growth and success. We are thankful for the opportunity to be part of your business journey!

To read some of the recent articles about ShoeMe, please follow these links:

http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/story.html?id=10161343

http://www.techvibes.com/blog/hardy-capital-partners-buys-shoeme-dot-ca-2014-07-15

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-marketing/customer-service/shoe-retailer-was-born-after-zappos-left-canada/article19765911/