Dairy Farmers of Ontario Environmental Design
Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) is the marketing organization for the largest sector of Ontario agriculture. Owned and operated by the families behind Ontario’s dairy farms, these are the people who ensure Ontarians are buying the healthiest dairy on the planet. We have successfully partnered with DFO on a number of projects to help them articulate and express their brand, establishing a level of trust between client and vendor that is rare in our industry nowadays.
Following the success of a refreshed brand identity developed collaboratively with our design team and established via the design of their annual report celebrating the organization’s 50th anniversary, DFO looked to extend the brand expression throughout their head office. They wanted the space to reflect their new look and feel in a clear but subtle way to not overwhelm those who experienced it. DFO had a tight budget and weren’t interested in redeveloping the space. As brand strategists, we know the importance of placemaking as an avenue for articulating a brand. The right placemaking elements can truly influence an individual’s experience. As such we were excited to create an office space that truly reflected the values of DFO and that would help generate an emotional connection and feeling of belonging amongst its team members.
Our approach is to solve business challenges with strategic, visual design; that’s what we do. We know that good office signage has the ability to transform the energy of a workplace and impact business performance. The existing physical office space was, for better or for worse, a blank canvas. While it was expressionless it was also ripe with potential with ample useable spaces for bold brand articulations including large visual assets focusing on the two most important elements of their brand: the product, and the people who make it.
We looked to warm up the public realm with a sense of character and a feeling of liveability. The focal point of the room was established above the reception area via a large triptych of vinyl mounted on clear acrylic featuring DFO’s iconic logo and a close-up of pouring milk. These were supplemented by additional mounted pieces showcasing core brand elements that portray DFO’s uniqueness and pride in providing the highest quality products. We used DFO’s blue and white colour scheme to add a splash of life to the neutral office palette. The cool tones and sleek borderless design compliment the warmth of wood accents on the window frames and railings. High impact (and low cost) decals featuring authentic environmental portraiture and agricultural photography completed the transformation.
We also used this opportunity to put the people DFO serves and represents on display. Leveraging photography taken from a previous photoshoot we conducted with DFO, we put created a banner featuring one of Ontario’s milk producers with DFO’s bold positioning statement “Proudly Serving Ontario’s Milk Producers”. Complemented on an adjacent wall by DFO’s mission and vision, this banner served as a reminder of what DFO does day-in and day-out for the milk producers and people of Ontario.
Leveraging the blank canvas of the DFO head office lobby helped transformed the office into an engaging space that helped DFO echo their values and foster personal connections between the organization, its employees, members and visitors. The new design provides a visually appealing and welcoming environment, reflecting the culture of the organization while reminding visitors and employees of DFO’s purpose.