As the Raven Flies was a 15,000 km cycle expedition across Canada focused on discovering and documenting lesser-heard histories and experiences as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. In the months leading up to the cycle tour, I designed the project’s visual identity for use in a dedicated website and Kickstarter campaign.
The name ‘As the Raven Flies’ began with a map of Canada and the idiom ‘as the crow flies’ to visualize a long distance. The raven is native to Canada’s diverse ecosystems and doesn’t migrate south in the winter. It is also the Creator-Trickster of several different Indigenous mythologies and the territorial bird of the Yukon.
I created the logo with a royalty-free raven vector and Moabhoers font by Agga Swstblnk. It was meant to look hand-crafted while simultaneously fitting seamlessly in a digital context. Because I was short on time in the preparation for the cycle tour, I didn’t make any alternate versions of the logo and instead opted to use the raven silhouette by itself a simple alternative. I kept the design predominantly greyscale with a bold shade of red as an accent colour.
The foundation of the website was an interactive map with location-based content embedded in real time along the 15,000 km route. The map was built with Mapbox and Leaflet, and markers were encoded in GeoJSON. Each of the markers linked to an entry in an online journal that was built with Jekyll and hosted through Github Pages. The website was styled with CSS and HTML, with visual branding maintained consistently from the map to the journal to the static pages in between.
View the website in its entirety here.
I produced a number of infographics that were used primarily on Kickstarter and social media content related to the crowdfunding campaign. I used the map consistently as a way to visually reinforce the online map as the centrepiece of the project; it was the backdrop for the route and deliverables, and updates about the progress of the crowdfunding campaign were charted across the map from start to finish.
View the Kickstarter campaign here.
I also produced a number of physical art pieces that were used as rewards for the Kickstarter campaign, including a letterpress poster, a hand-printed shirt and an embroidered patch. Again the same font and colours were used in order to maintain visual consistency from the digital website to the fabric of a t-shirt. I partnered with local independent businesses to print the art pieces with the highest quality possible.
Following the cycle expedition, I wrote and self-published a 30-page booklet reflecting on the experience and Canada’s sesquicentennial. Created using Adobe Lightroom and InDesign.
You can read more about it here.
As the Raven Flies was a large-scale project that demanded creativity, graphic design and experience with Adobe software as well as web design skills and physical artisanship. It also included a significant amount of high-quality writing, and throughout the cycle tour that writing was accompanied by dynamic photography and audio. This kind of multifaceted visual story is what Original Story Design Co. is all about. Creative, expansive, effective. Get in contact to learn more.