YCD’s 2012 Holiday Card



This blog is still alive – in spite of having been a bit neglected over the past year… We won’t complain though: 2012 has been our busiest year ever with practically not a week without a design project to work on – many tight deadlines, many new mediums explored and many projects to add to our portfolio!

Anyways, this is just a quick post to show YCD’s 2012 Holiday card for our friends, clients & family. It’s in the same style as last year’s card because well, I guess we like that style :)

Happy holidays and all the best for 2013!

Marc & Vicky


One of our latest projects – Annual Report for CHRA

We’ve been way too busy lately – not that we’re complaining, it’s a good thing! – to update the portfolio section of our website, so we thought we’d show our latest work on the blog. So here’s the Annual Report that we designed a few months ago for the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association. CHRA is the national voice for the full range of affordable housing and homelessness issues and solutions in Canada. We thought: what’s better to illustrate that than a row of houses, of all shapes and kinds?

CHRA’s colours are a bright green and a blue that turned out to be perfect for the sky. We kept the green for the subtitles and page numbers inside the report. After our “Helvetica-on-everything” phase, we seem to be on a “dotted-line-on-everything” phase, so we used that visual element throughout the design to separate the various text zones.

It was our first annual report design and we found out how challenging it can be to make a bunch of disparate sections with a lot of non-related information look like they belong to the same document; that without being boring and doing the same thing on every pages. From a long letter from the President and Executive Director to the Audited Financial Statements, we ensured that all layouts remained consistent while staying visually interesting. That approach allowed, we believe, each page to “make sense” – both within the report but also on their own, when extracted from the document as in the examples below:

Font-wise, CHRA uses the Zwo Pro family as its corporate font, so we used it for the main text and subtitles. However, for the titles we chose to use a Serif font, because, well, we like Serif fonts and think that the combo serif/sans serif can be very interesting plus it breaks the monotony of using just one font. For this project, we used Droid Serif Pro, a contemporary serif typeface family designed for comfortable reading on screen which also really look good, as we found out, printed.

Droid -

Zwo -

If you want to see the report in its integrity, its available to download here. If you want us to work on your next annual report, please send us an email ( and we’ll be happy to discuss with you.

Chocolate-bar invitation

Sweet, sweet design

Click here for the English version

C’était hier, le 19 mars 2012, qu’était diffusé sur les ondes de Zeste le premier épisode de Le Chocolat selon Juliette, une nouvelle série où Juliette Brun, chocolatière et propriétaire des boutiques Juliette et Chocolat à Montréal, nous offre ses recettes préférées qui mettent toutes en vedette un ingrédient chouchou: le chocolat! Nous avons travaillé avec Zeste sur le matériel du lancement de l’émission qui avait lieu la semaine dernière et qui se tenait, évidemment, au Juliette et Chocolat du boulevard Saint-Laurent. De l’invitation à la presse (sous forme de barre de chocolat réelle et sous sa version électronique) au cahier de presse distribué lors de l’événement, en passant par le maquillage du site de Zeste d’hier qui soulignait la première: nous nous sommes assurés de garder tous les éléments en ligne avec le branding de l’émission.

Nous suivons @Zeste_tv sur Twitter et avons été agréablement surpris de voir, le jour du lancement, que journalistes et bloggeurs culinaires présents au lancement «tweetaient» des photos du cahier de presse… OK, pour eux c’était seulement une photo de Juliette, mais pour nous c’était notre travail… On s’est donc sentis pas mal cool et jetset!

Le seul point négatif de ce projet? Avoir eu le goût de manger du chocolat constamment en travaillant!!! Sur ce, cliquez ici pour télécharger la recette de Barre fondante choco-caramel de Juliette et voyez plus bas les photos de notre design chocolaté.


Yesterday, March 19 2012, was the premiere of Le Chocolat selon Juliette, a brand new TV show aired on Zeste where Juliette Brun, chocolatière and owner of the Juliette et Chocolat boutiques in Montréal, offers us her favorite recipes that all have one ingredient in common: chocolate! We worked with Zeste on preparing the materials for the launch which was, very appropriately, taking place at Juliette et Chocolat on Boul. Saint-Laurent last week. From the invitation that was sent to journalists (both as a real chocolate bar and as its “email-friendly” version) to the press kit distributed at the event, through the makeup of Zeste’s website yesterday to highlight the premiere: we ensure that all the items stayed consistent with the show’s branding.

We follow @Zeste_tv on Twitter and were agreeably surprised to see, on the launching day, that journalists and food bloggers attending the event where “tweeting” pictures of our press kit… Okay, for them it was a picture of Juliette, but for us it was our work, so we felt very jetset!

The only downside of that project? Constantly feeling like eating chocolate while working!!! On that note, click here for the recipe of Juliette’s Barre fondante choco-caramel and scroll down to see all our sweet, sweet work:

Invitation «barre de chocolat» | "Chocolate-bar" invitation

Invitation-courriel | E-invitation

Cahier de presse | Press kit


Business Card Design Inspiration

A business card is an valuable part of any small businesses networking strategy. It can be the first item shared with potential partners or clients, as well as something for them to remember you by. It is important that your business card promotes the company values while at the same time is well-designed.

Below are some examples of business cards we have created over the last few years:

L’Académie d’excellence linguistiqueFacebook

Veribook – Website

Espace Design – Website

dbotelas – Website

iDance - Website

Rototconcept RoboticsWebsite

Creative Flow Media

The Oualie Consulting GroupWebsite


Physio On Lakeshore

Yellow Car Design – Contact us to create your business card or check out some of our other work by going to Learn more about our studio by following us on Facebook.


Misfits – the show not the band

IFC started showing Season 1 of Misfits, a science-fiction drama TV series produced in the UK about a group of young offenders (some of which are typical English chavs who remind us of people we used to know in England…aww memories!) forced to work in a community service programme. They get supernatural powers after a weird electrical storm. It’s not super recent – channel E4 started airing the first season in November 2009 – but it’s new for us and we thought we’d just do a quick blog post about the show’s intro. Not only do we like the song used (Echoes by The Rapture), but we love the way they treated the typography and images to give them that a “rough” and “underground” look. The animation sequence is well done; we particularly love the bit where the cat jumps (of course!). It really pictures well the whole atmosphere of the show: dramatic but funny and absurd at the same time. The first time we saw it we were reminded of the cool picture below; we took it in an underpass somewhere in London a few years ago. We think it suits perfectly the Misfits and could have easily been used as part of their branding! If only the series producers had known; they could have contacted us and bought the right to the picture… E4 would have been a nice client to add to our portfolio… Anyways, watch it (IFC Canada – Wednesday @ 11 PM) and enjoy!


What was your Christmas day wine?

That was ours, a Narcissist Riesling from the wine collection Megalomaniac which we of course bought because we really liked the label, not because of our inflated sense of self-esteem and the overestimation of our powers and beliefs… or was that the reason why we liked it?! Who knows! In any case, here’s a little unpretentious review of both the designers and wine lovers’ perspectives:


The label comprises many of our favourite design elements: an embossed name (for a subtle 3D effect), minimal colours that are used intelligently to highlight a few details (tie + corsage), fancy metallic ink (our photo isn’t of the best quality, check out the LCBO website to see a studio picture that shows the reflection better),  it’s printed on a thick, off-white, cool died-cut paper, it uses a black, sans-serif font in various weights for the hierarchy of text… In other words, it’s simple, minimalist and it works. More importantly, it really communicates the idea behind the product’s name. After all, megalomania is all about one’s self-absorbency, and what’s better to illustrate that than a mirror!? And that’s exactly the effect produced by the metallic ink; it sorts of lets you see your own reflection in the label. We wonder if the metallic ink could have been used in a way that it’s located at the place where the head should be, so that when you hold the bottle your own face appears on it? That would have certainly been top megalomaniac! It might even have been a bit creepy, so another way the designers conveyed the mirror idea is by playing with the typography so that “2009 Narcissist Riesling” is reflected on the label, as if we were reading it in a mirror. Very cool.

In regards to the wine’s name, a quote from the maker on the back of the bottle explains it:

What’s with the name? I originally wanted to christen these wines in my name, John Howard, …and then my good friends accused me of being yet another “[profanity withheld] megalomaniac”. Regrettably, the name stuck.

For the rest, design-wise the bottle is pretty plain – in a good way of course. It has a nice smooth shape and shade of green. It’s a screw-top (silver; it goes well with the label) so no fancy cork to describe, and no difficulty to open the bottle, which takes us to…


Okay, so let’s make something clear: we are not wine connoisseurs, and we are far from pretending to be. Having both worked at Starbucks when we were students and being put through “coffee tastings” way too many times, we have a very cynical view of all “tastings”. Back then, we knew than describing Espresso roast using the terms “earthy mushrooms”, “burned sundried tomatoes”, and Marc’s all-times favourite “tastes like a forest after the rain” was just an easy way to make our manager happy and that happy manager = easy work shift. So when we read the wine’s reviews on the LCBO website that says: Juicy-terrific! Lovely melon and peach fruit unfold in waves of flavour. Love this style. Slightly off-dry so it is incredibly food-friendly and light-bodied - well we take it with a pinch of salt. Did we taste melon and peach fruit? Not really. Was it good? YES! It was really delicious! Did we pair it with chicken salad, crab salad, shellfish like recommended? Nope, we had it with chicken madras curry, our Christmas dinner. Did it work? Yep. It was a very good match – we think – as the sweetness of the wine soothed the spiciness of the curry. It’s a light and refreshing wine for sure, a wine that would also have been great on its own during a warm summer afternoon. Versatile, but far from bland. We recommend it for sure. It’s an VQA Ontario wine from the Niagara peninsula, region known for the quality of the Riesling wine it produces. It’s reasonably-priced ($17.95) and can be found in the Vintage section of certain LCBO locations. It would make a perfect gift – especially if you’re trying to get a message through to that big-headed friend of yours. You can even order a custom gift box from their [profanity withheld] flash website (it’s a nice, interesting site, but we just can’t stand flash – it wouldn’t even open in Firefox so we had to use Safari. Effort.). Anyways, make sure your Flash is up-to-date and visit their site at

Once you’ve tried Narcissist Riesling let’s compare tasting notes! ;)


Our pretty 2011 Christmas cards!



This is the pretty YCD Happy Holiday card – 2011 Edition - that we designed for our clients & friends. It’s always great fun to spend some time doing design work for ourselves and to have carte blanche for all stylistic choices (including the choice of a reindeer photo amongst ALL the reindeer photos available in the whole world!). Thanks to a little print defect, our order was doubled by the printing company so we now have a few extra to spare… So if you haven’t received one and would like your own YCD 2011 Holiday Memorabilia drop us a line with your address at and we’ll be happy to mail you one.


“Extra-long so you never make unwanted contact.”

The title of this post refers to the latest bags we bought to, well… to pick up our dog, Desmond’s poo! We normally buy the Dollars Store’s own version of biodegradable poop bags, but last time we were at Costco we saw these and fell in love with the packaging (if you’re a regular on this blog you’ll know that we often choose to buy stuff simply for the way they look, like it was the case for this or that – we justify the few extra dollars paid on nicely designed stuff by featuring them here :)). So here’s our review of  “The World’s Best PoopBags” (that’s how they’re called) in comparison with the Dollars Stores brand from both a designer and a dog-owner perspective.


What’s not to love about the design of the World’s Best PoopBags!? The dog illustrations are simply irresistible. We love their simplicity and how easily they communicate what the product is about: taking care of your dog’s “needs” in an ecological manner. The bags are biodegradable (in 18-months) and their “greenest” is well shown by the choice of 100% post-consumer recycled paper for the box (which, with the 2 tones of green printing, looks great from a design perspective!). The use of the leaves and of the colour green for the illustrations also emphasize the eco-friendliness. Inside, the packaging is minimal: 25 rolls of 15 bags, held together by a little round sticker of the friendly dog. A clear window on the top of the box let us see the rolls inside, which is an appreciated feature. The quirky text on the box (including the mention “Big enough for a Great Dane’s pile.”) is written in a Serif-but-not-too-serious font which goes very well with the illustrations and humoristic tone. The bags themselves are very attractive too: again they feature the friendly dog and the company’s branding. Under the box, along with the bar code, is an invitation to “like” the company on Facebook. We personally would have put this on the back with the other text – we doubt that every person buying the box will look at it under every angles like we did for the purpose of this post. Many people might therefore miss the Facebook icon. Overall though, it’s a very nice design that respect perfectly the company’s branding throughout all the elements: from the box to the actual bags, via the little stickers used to hold the roll together. A visit to the company’s website shows that they are consistent with their branding online as well, which makes us appreciate them even more!

In case you want to see what the Dollar Store poo bags look like, here’s a picture (okay, it doesn’t help that the box got somehow destroyed by our cats before the picture was taken, but still, you can see that, design-wise, it’s really not a winner). Who thought that putting the head of the little girl hugging the dog on the detachable flap was a good idea?! Once the box is open we’re left with an headless dog hugger. Poor, poor design choice – but what do you expect from something bought at the Dollars Store?! We won’t elongate on this design other than to say that it’s very basic and unremarkable.

Now, on to…


Shame there isn’t a scratch-and-sniff function on this blog: you do want to smell the great scent of lavender emanating from these bags! Indeed, the cupboard where we store Desmond’s stuff now has a nice smell of lavender thanks to the box of PoopBags that have been stored in there for a few days. Good to know is the fact that the lavender scent really covers the “other” smell, making your journey from the pick-up place to the rubbish can a little bit nicer. The Dollars Store bags are also scented: with a weird coconutty-vanilla-very-sweet perfume…however they certainly don’t smell strong enough to perfume your cupboard.

Price-wise, we calculated that, at a cost of $9.99 for a box of 375 bags at Costco, each bag costs 3 cents before taxes. Comparatively, the Dollars Store ones are $1.00 for a box of 60 bags, so they come up to 2 cents per bag before taxes. The World’s Best PoopBags are therefore slightly more expensive than the Dollars Store ones… They are, however, a few inches longer which, as mentioned on the box and on this blog’s title, makes avoiding unwanted contact between your hand and the “pile” you’ve just picked up easier and allows for an easy knotting of the bag before you dump it in the bin.

Biodegradability-wise, both the World’s Best PoopBags and the Dollar Store one have the EPI certification and have been certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials. We’re not scientists, but we think that it can be assumed that both products are safe for the environment and will degrade much quicker than regular plastic bags. So on that note, both brands win.

Finally, the Dollar Store bags are Made in Thailand, imported by some company and distributed in Dolloramas across the country. The World’s Best PoopBags, on the other hand, are Made in Canada by what seems to be a real company with real people behind it (they even have a blog!), and are available online and in more than 175 stores in the country (including Costco, where we bought our big box of 375 bags).


Since the 2 brands’ functionality is pretty much the same, when it comes to choosing between the Dollar Store poo bags and The World’s Best PoopBags, we guess it all depends on if you’re willing to spend a few more pennies to encourage a “local” company instead of giving your money to some nameless corporation. And of course, it also depends on how trendy you want to be while picking up your dog’s poo…

If you’re also a dog owner and belong to the 53% of dog owners that ALWAYS pick-up their dog’s poop when it occurs in public place (crazy I know – only half of us are responsible dog-owners according to the statistic we found here!) please feel free to share your own reviews of poop bags below in the comment section. And please, please, please: no matters what type of bags you use, always pick up after your dog! Otherwise it makes us, responsible dog-owners, look bad.