A New Look for ISSofBC: ‘Welcoming Newcomers’

Today is an exciting day for Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) as we launch a new brand identity. Every corner of our identity — logo, colors, photography, and more — has been revamped to better capture who we are, who we serve, and where we’re going.

Following our 50th anniversary celebration year in 2022, we had the opportunity to explore a modernized, refreshed look that speaks directly to our main audience, our clients and incorporates our core values. We are a newcomer sector leader and innovator. Forever curious, we learn by doing and extend boundaries to do better.

Our name will remain the same. ISSofBC is a founding member of today’s vibrant British Columbia’s settlement sector. Started by a handful of volunteers in the late 1960s, ISSofBC has grown into a multi-lingual agency of over five hundred diverse staff and four hundred volunteers who support newcomers to settle in their communities, learn English, and find work across British Columbia.

A Vision for the Future

Over our 50 years of enabling newcomers in BC, we’ve developed a deep understanding and appreciation of the challenges and successes that all newcomers face when they start to build their lives in Canada.

Whether it’s restarting their career, navigating the Canadian housing market, learning English, or simply making friends, we know how hard it can be and why we often care so much for the well-being and value of our clients. ISSofBC is unique for having many staff with lived experience of being newcomers themselves, which brings with it an additional layer of empathy, compassion and commitment that only makes our work all the more important and rewarding.

We wanted to reflect this passion in our bold refreshed identity as we move forward and evolve over the next 50 years.

The ‘Why’

We want to reflect the values and principles that our clients and staff know us for:

  • We work with purpose: Our belief in the inherent social, moral, humanitarian, and economic benefit of immigration is at the core of our organization and why our purpose has and will remain to empower newcomers to build their own lives in BC.
  • We aspire to improve: Being an inclusive and diverse organization also means being adaptable and flexible so that we can constantly improve and better serve our clients and communities.
  • We cultivate belonging: Ensuring our clients, who come to us from around the world, feel welcomed, safe and respected is key to our success.
  • We are genuine: Arriving in Canada can be an immensely stressful experience, so part of our job is to reassure and offer genuine, timely and compassionate support to our clients.

We believe our new logo successfully captures these values.

Our Legacy

Our longer-term supporters and clients will notice one key change with the new logo: the departure of our iconic maple leaf.

The maple leaf motif has been a part of ISSofBC’s brand for decades but, after speaking to clients, staff, and partners, we discovered that the maple leaf design has often led to confusion and misidentification between us and other government-affiliated services and settlement-service providers. By removing the maple leaf, we signal our ability to adapt and improve, as well as to remain genuine by making our logo clear and distinct.

The blend of multiple, vibrant colours is our acknowledgment of the diverse people, communities and backgrounds that make up the whole of ISSofBC, both among our staff and clients. We strive to make all our clients feel welcome, listened to, respected and represented so we wanted that to be hinted at through this combination of colours.

We want to draw special attention to the inclusion of the orange alongside the reds that reference Canada’s national flag, and the blues and greens that hint at British Columbia’s natural beauty. The orange reflects our long-term commitment to truth and reconciliation in Canada and to teaching newcomers about Canada’s full history and Indigenous cultures.

All of our offices sit on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh as well as the Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Lheidli T’enneh, Semiahmoo, numerous Stó:lō Nations, Syilx Okanagan people, Tsawwassen and Qayqayt First Nations. We take the responsibility of teaching newcomers about Indigenous history very seriously, as shown by our Reconciliation Awareness Language Learning curriculum that is now used nationally to supplement English language classes.

The final, and most notable addition to our new brand is the use of our tagline ‘Welcoming Newcomers’. We consulted our staff, clients and external agencies to ensure it accurately reflected our mission and purpose, and that it is easily understood by multiple cultures. We support more than just immigrants, including refugees, international students and naturalized citizens. For us, it perfectly captures what we always aim to achieve, to be the first port of call and their first family. We want to make clients feel safe and welcome so that we can better support them through challenges and become their home away from home in Canada.

What Can You Expect?

Over the coming weeks we’ll be updating our website, social media channels and other channels to reflect our new logo and vision. We will consider new ways of working and how all our touch points make our clients feel welcome, including our physical offices, through to the technology we use.

To explore our updated colour palette, logo and fonts, please read our new guidelines: ISSofBC Brand Guidelines 2024

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