Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) unveiled its new logo and website on June 30.
The new logo, developed by Leo Burnett Canada, shows the OAA “as a place to bridge communities.”
“The central circle, which doubles as an O for ‘Ontario,’ is representative of the community and inclusivity of the membership,” OAA said in a statement. “The outer pieces framing this circle are representative of the architect’s space, and create two As—a nod to ‘Association’ and the two member types: architects and architectural technologists.”
The predominant brand colours are black and white “for their contrast and clarity of information”, along with an array of greys. Accessibility was key for the primary typeface, Akkurat—a grotesque sans-serif typeface created by Swiss designer Laurenz Brunner and released through the Lineto type foundry.
“We are thrilled to have worked in partnership with the OAA to develop a timeless new identity—an identity that ultimately distilled down to fundamental shapes representing space and community,” says Lisa Greenberg, CCO of Leo Burnett Canada. “It’s an identity that can last a lifetime, just like structures and buildings.”
The OAA Website (www.oaa.on.ca) also has a new look, as well as a new design experience. Collaborating with two Toronto companies—Enginess.io, a digital strategy consultancy and software development firm, and Sputnik Design Partners, a full-service design agency—“the OAA has re-envisioned its decade-old site to meet accessibility standards, provide clear information for both members and the public, improve transparency, and offer responsive design for tablets and phones,” the statement says.
“We know our website is our digital headquarters. It’s a space that is used by members to access an important body of knowledge as well as to build community, and it’s a place for the public to find information or gain a better understanding of this profession, its role, and the uniquely trained and skilled individuals who are part of it,” says OAA president and architect, Kathleen Kurtin.
The new site’s design principles, style, and visual language were developed by Sputnik, “with goals of being timeless, minimalist, clear, consistent, and organized,” the statement says.
“It has been an incredible journey and an extremely rewarding experience working together with the OAA in the creation of their new website,” says Sputnik’s owner, David Sacha. “Sputnik’s mission was to create an online presence that would better reflect the current vision and offerings of the OAA, while still delivering all the tools needed to support and engage the architectural community in Ontario. The result is one of collaboration and ingenuity that saw several creative disciplines working together to craft and engineer an artistic, engaging, and forward-thinking website.”
Enginess’ Director of Digital Strategy, Simone Abel, calls the new website “an impressive showpiece of a content- and user-first approach to digital experience design.”
“The OAA now has a modern CMS back-end, new tools to manage, categorize, and search high volumes of content, and new capabilities to drive engagement, transparency, and feedback. Most notable is the re-organization of the public versus member experience, allowing for targeted growth and expansion of features, content, and messaging to each audience,” she said. “The possibilities for new integrations, custom features, and growth are endless.”
The new website comprises two separate, but connected, domains for public and member audiences.
“The OAA’s mission of protecting and serving the public interest is made explicitly clear, allowing users to quickly learn about the architecture profession and the OAA’s regulatory role, or gain more information about illegal practice, complaints and discipline processes, or registrar investigations.” OAA says.
“Members of the public can find out how to become an architect or licensed technologist, with the website showing the paths to licensure for students and interns within Ontario, as well as for those currently studying or practising outside the province,” OAA says. “The website also includes a directory that allows the public to search through the membership and those who hold status with the OAA. This increases transparency for the profession as it will connect the regulator’s discipline decisions to members and practices.”
The OAA Website offers access to the Practice Advisory Knowledge Base—a digital library of resources, articles, tools, documents, and publications, searchable through key words, filters, and tags. The site also includes updated information related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with portals for resources related to carbon stability and sustainable design, as well as a database of the OAA’s government relations outreach.
For more, visit www.oaa.on.ca.