"Our inspiration coincidentally came from our time spent outside of Canada," explains explains Creative Director of WAX Nick Asik. "We realized there are a lot of words and phrases we use in Canada that no other country uses."
To highlight and celebrate these 'Canadian'isms', WAX reached out to non-Canadian creatives from around the world to sketch 21 different words and phrases. Contributors were each assigned a different phrase to sketch, but with one important catch: no Googling allowed.
"This made for some hilarious and head-scratching moments when we received the sketches back," says Monique Gamache, Partner and Design Director of WAX.
To round out the idea, WAX also reached out to creative professionals from within Canada to sketch the true meaning of each word. "We put each side-by-side on double page spreads to highlight just how foreign the Canadian-isms sound to non-Canadians, and reflect on the weird and wacky phrases that make us who we are."
According to Monique, the biggest challenge in the execution of this project was coordinating contributions from 42 different collaborators. "Each illustration came back looking quite different from one another; using different mediums, different sizes and varying colour pallets," she explains. "Figuring out how to make all 42 illustrations work within our design to creating a uniform look across the issue ended up being the biggest challenge, but we’re super happy with the result."
The team at WAX was grateful to Flash Reproductions for the support they provided throughout the process of bringing this issue together. "Their openness to new approaches and ideas has always made them a pleasure to collaborate with. They work hard to complement great design with great printing that helps elevate each piece they work on."
"We’re incredibly grateful to all the collaborators who donated their time to make this ambitious concept come to life. We had 42 total contributors and not a single person said ‘no’ or backed out. We even had Darrin Flynn, Associate Professor and Chair of Linguistics at University of Calgary graciously write us a fitting foreword. Thanks everyone for helping us out, eh?"
See more of this issue at 21canadianisms.com.