Island Sexual Health: Building a Brand Family

Island Sexual Health Community Health Centre (CHC) came to us in a moment of transition. This organization has been providing safe, inclusive sexual health services to the South Vancouver Island Community for decades. Over the years, much has changed about how they deliver interprofessional health care, including the addition of education programming and a store for sexual health products. The Island Sexual Health team was in search of a brand identity that captured the complexity of their work, without falling into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone.



Branding / E-Commerce



Dwell House Communications

A refreshed brand identity

For groups that work in multiple areas for a variety of demographics, it helps to think outside the box about brand identity. For Island Sexual Health, we decided to explore a child-parent brand schema to create distinct guidelines for each department of the Community Health Centre: the Clinic, Education, and the Store, in addition to an overarching visual identity for the organization, complete with a new logo.

Find your brand archetype

To make sense of the relationship between the different departments, we worked with Story Strategist Rachel Malena-Chan to explore a brand story archetype that communicates the feeling of moving through the various spaces of the centre. We chose the archetype of the Warm House – a place where everyone belongs, where you can find what you need, and a place where you can return to learn and grow (think Professor X’s School in X-Men, or Hogwarts in Harry Potter). Each department of ISH is represented by a different room of the Warm House.

The Clinic is represented by the kitchen, a room where you find a compassionate care-giver who will listen to you and provide you with guidance.

The Education department is represented by the backyard – a place that is connected to the community, where people are free to play and learn in a safe, supportive way.

The Store is represented by the library – a room where you will find a knowledgeable teacher who will help you find the resources you need.

In this way, each child brand gets a unique look and feel, but each one connects to a cohesive, contained whole.

Clarifying complexity leads to great opportunities.

Island Sexual Health is a great example of what can come out of diving into complexity and creating a brand system that actually reflects what happens behind the scenes. Since establishing the foundations of the brand, we’ve had a chance to put it into practice through the development of a new website for the ISH Store! Stay tuned for when it launches.

Honouring the Complexity of Your Story

Groups that are ready to rebrand, or refresh an existing brand, often find themselves in a moment of reckoning, where the question of “who are we, really?” is put on the table. It can be a scary step, but through a guided brand strategy process, Arcana transforms these questions into frameworks that make all the next steps easier.

Sign up for a free consultation if you want to see what a brand refresh could do for you!