2008 Nationals: Striking in Black and White

Davies Smith Developments and G. Ryan Design, both in Toronto, Canada, received a gold award at the 2008 National Sales and Marketing Awards.
By By Felicia Oliver, Senior Editor | February 29, 2008

Onyx is a condominium project just outside Toronto in Mississauga, one of the fastest growing areas in Canada. In an area with tons of condominium projects, competition for attention is fierce; big signs with bold colors battle to see which will catch the public's eye.

"We looked around and saw that the only colors that aren't being used here are black and white," says Gerry Ryan, principal of G. Ryan Design. "We would stand out just because we weren't fighting with everybody else. That's where the name Onyx came from.

"The sales office had a lot of glass in front of it, and our signage was backlit, which made it even more different than the other guys just doing plywood signs," adds Ryan. "As you drove along the street you could see inside the sales office, so it was very inviting. You could see the model; you could see people walking around."

The brochure stands out by looking less like a housing brochure than a fashion magazine. "It was out of scale big ... with lots of lifestyle pictures of people filling double page spreads of the brochure. Again, it was something fresh for the area," Ryan says. "That was why we turned out to be a success. It was out of character [compared to] everyone else. It was fun, too."

Builder: Davies Smith Developments, Toronto
Ad Agency/PR Firm: G. Ryan Design, Toronto