2019 SIA Awards: Store-driving designs

Campaigns for Consonant Skincare, RGD, McDonald's, Tomato Sauces by Stefano Faita and Raising the Roof all raised the bar for design.

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This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of

Consonant Skincare
Consonant was moving into a new retail location on Toronto’s Queen Street. To launch and drive traffic, Zulu Alpha Kilo created ambient posters applied to walls, sidewalks and lamp posts on the street, each with exposed textures – including concrete, brick, plywood and stone. The poster caption read, “If your skin feels like this, visit us on June 30th.” By highlighting natural elements, the brand could speak to the skincare needs its products address. As a result, it saw higher sales than two previous store openings, and took home three SIA awards: a Silver Path to Purchase/Out-of-Store, Silver Small Budget, Big Impact and Bronze Original Idea.

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The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) needed to get the attention of the toughest audience: designers. So it worked with Zulu Alpha Kilo to create an identity for RGD’s conference, tapping into the stereotypes and clichés associated with design: such as the fact that designers would rather obsess over a typeface than read what it says. Design truths were turned into clever headlines as part of a “Speak the Truth” campaign, which came to life in the form of posters, lanyards, T-shirts and bags. It passed the design critique, as attendance was up 15% in 2018 and won a Silver Design SIA award.

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While McDonald’s is one of the most recognizable brands, its signs are surprisingly inconsistent. So the QSR took a simple approach to make finding its nearest store, well, simple. For “Follow the Arches,” which won a Bronze Design, Cossette helped create a wayfinding system, using the brand’s golden arches as directional paths to drive traffic to stores. Simplicity also played a role in the brand’s “Mobile Menu.” The team took McD’s menu items and recreated them using the unmistakable shape of a smartphone. French fries, a Big Mac and the classic Egg McMuffin made up the “Mobile Menu” of stacked devices that ran as ads letting people know that mobile ordering is now a thing, and won a Silver Design as a result.

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Tomato Sauces by Stefano Faita
Stefano Faita, an Italian chef from Montreal’s Little Italy, wanted to enter the retail space. So Faita and his partner, Michele Forgione, decided to launch a line of tomato sauces. In Quebec, though, the category is led by big brands. So packaging needed to work hard to break through. The founders decided to name the brand after Faita, who was a big personality within the culinary scene. His face was then turned into a caricature and placed on the Tomato Sauces by Stefano Faita packaging, along with references to Montreal’s Little Italy. The new brand’s bright colours and bold typeface by Lg2 helped it capture a 3.8% market share, the fourth largest of the category. It also won a Silver Packaging at the SIAs.


Raising the Roof
For a kid on the brink of homelessness, someone buying a toque from Raising the Roof could mean access to food, a safe place to go, or a fresh start. To show this, Leo Burnett designed Bronze Design-winning wrappers, overlaid with graphics that visually transformed toques into demonstrations of how people’s donations help prevent homelessness. The wrappers depict what each toque really buys – a shower, a meal, an education. So when people shop for a toque, they can see that they’re really shopping for a solution.