At Blue Door, we have the tremendous opportunity to bring brands to life for restaurants and hospitality groups across the city. We honed our craft and found that when it gets down to basics, there are three key elements that define a brand - language, visual identity, and actions. 

Whether or not a brand is strong or not is contingent on the consistency of these three elements.  In this post, we will examine each of these elements and ensure that your next branding project has all three! 

Toronto’s seasonal ‘One of a Kind’ (OOAK) show was formed to support local businesses and celebrate creativity, inspiration, as well as a local economy. As we face COVID-19 together at a distance, the OOAK show could not be a more relevant example of a strong local brand who has adapted to its current social, economical, and political climate seamlessly.


A company’s brand language sets the foundation of their identity. It forms the basis of any branding exercise and informs decisions on visual identity and actions. Language includes an array of pieces within it including brand name development, concept definition, mission statements, brand values, brand guidelines, and written or spoken communication. 

OOAK has clearly defined brand messaging that is used consistently throughout their website, social media, and advertisements. They use language such as “celebrating makers”, “unity”, “pride”, “togetherness”, “environmentally friendly”, and of course their name “One of a Kind”. This choice of language identifies their values, beliefs, and personality that then guide their visual identity and actions within the community.

Visual Identity.

The most popular and recognized element of a brand is its visual identity. This includes logos, fonts, colours, photography, creative collateral, and the design of physical space for the brand. When done correctly, it is appealing to consumers, it speaks to the right audience, it communicates their values and beliefs, and it showcases their personality unapologetically. This element is categorized as visual communication, and with repeated exposure, people start to recognize the brand’s visual identity while also subconsciously downloading their messaging. 

OOAK visually communicates their brand messaging through the use of warm and inviting colours, organic shapes, and creative photography to showcase artisanal products and makers. One specific element of the visual identity that stands out the most is their widely recognizable icon that resembles a fingerprint. There are no two fingerprints alike, they are truly ‘one of a kind’ which creates an impactful visual representation of their brand name. 


The last element can be defined by a well-known phrase, “actions speak louder than words.” A company can have clear and precise messaging and a crowd-pleasing visual identity, but if their actions do not align with the former elements, the result is a loss of credibility and an indication of a weak brand. A company’s actions include their offerings, service quality, interaction with consumers, employee behaviour, community involvement, and environmental initiatives to name a few. All of these parts provide companies an opportunity to “walk the walk”, to take action on their declared values, beliefs, and mission.

OOAK offers a variety of charitable and environmental initiatives that support their values and mission as a brand. To name a few, they partner with a charitable organization every show, they make environmentally friendly choices such as making the show easily accessible by transit, using digital tickets and reusable shopping bags, offering upcycling DIY workshops and compostable utensils.

Brands are living entities that are impacted by ever-changing political, economic, and social climates. Value systems adapt to the current environment which, in turn, then influences visual expressions and actions. As a brand’s messaging and language evolves, their visual identity and actions must follow suit to avoid creating a disconnected brand. As many businesses have had to change and adapt to the current climate affected by the global pandemic, OOAK has altered it’s spring show to a virtual experience where consumers can continue to support local businesses through an online platform. OOAK is just one example of a strong brand that consistently communicates its messaging and language through visual tools and community participation. 

It’s time to “walk the walk,” connect with us today and strengthen your brand presence, reach out to or 1 855-854-5594.



About the Author:

Julie is our driving creative force at Blue Door. As our Senior in-house graphic designer, Julie is responsible for managing all design projects, developing rich content marketing strategies, creative direction, design execution, and implementing organizational processes.