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National Screen Institute

National Screen Institute has supported creators from across Canada since 1986. It has a mandate to help filmmakers, writers, producers and creators tell their stories through supportive and far-reaching training and mentoring. Over a thousand alumni have found their voice in the world through NSI and its programming.

06 Jun 2022

  • Content strategy
  • WordPress development
  • Brand identity
  • Brand standards guides
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The stories we tell define the culture that we have and will have. National Screen Institute - Canada (NSI) helps to pave new paths for storytellers in film and video, guiding and supporting them on their journey. Those storytellers, in turn, provide the bridges for understanding, dialogue and sense making — and to show us how we might heal our world. Removing barriers for underrepresented creators is critical. This is why NSI helps creators anywhere in Canada access its film, television and digital media training.

Following a strategic planning process that resulted in a new vision, mission, and set of values, NSI was ready to mark a period of transformative organizational and digital change with a new brand identity and website. Our objective was to identify the organization’s core audiences and surprise them with a bold and unexpected visual identity and site design coupled with inspiring, focused messaging.

The new brand identity concept is built around the circle – a form ever-present in nature that has shaped cultures and communications for millennia.

Humans gravitate toward circles – from early childhood when we sit together at school or on a playground, through to adulthood when we engage in sharing circles, meet with colleagues, or gather around a dinner table. Assembling in the round is especially well-suited to storytelling. The new logo and identity system that we designed conveys that there is room around the circle for everyone at NSI. 

The smooth curves of the typeface from Montreal’s Pangram Pangram foundry echoes the mark’s structure. The colours reflect the vibrancy, creativity, and diversity of creators in Canada. Smaller circles cradle the larger circle, mirroring the ongoing support of the NSI community. The resulting “eye” tips to the side, representing the unique viewpoints of NSI’s faculty, alumni, staff and storytellers — and the diverse perspectives that they offer the world.

National Screen Institute Logo

NSI's new brand identity carries through to its visually stunning, flexible and informative website while allowing improved visibility of its many programs.

With NSI’s 35-year history of supporting and training creators, the extensive existing content on their site spanning decades was no surprise. In collaboration with NSI, we developed a cohesive brand voice that guided the writing and editing of the site to ensure it would inform, inspire and support its cross-Canada community. 

The new website features a robust set of program pages showcasing educational offerings, a coherent publishing/blogging system that promotes updates, stories and media releases, as well as a film festival archive. We also improved the typographic style and hierarchy, site navigation and search.

As a central design element, we introduced a custom pattern that deconstructs the brand identity’s circle theme. The pattern illustrates the multifaceted experiences we bring to our personal stories and represents diverse teams working together to shape those stories and our world.

Our new brand identity and website clearly puts storytellers front and centre. We've had an outpouring of positive feedback about the site's inspiring message, ease of use, and fresh design. Manoverboard's innovative, outside perspective propelled us to take a bold approach to how we frame our organization. They expertly led us through an incredible, transformative experience and were able to turn our new vision, mission and strategic goals into tangible visual products. Working with Manoverboard was pretty mind-blowing.

— Liz Hover, Director of Operations

35 Year history

12 Active programs

82 Percent of graduates that are working in the screen industry