Future By Design: The Future of Brand

Panelists were Julia Beardwood, Ian Grais and Todd Simmons.

The media landscape has evolved significantly, with an ever-increasing number of outlets and options. In response, brands must create smart content which can be easily shared across a wide variety of channels—from websites, apps and social media to television, radio and print. How does a modern brand distinguish itself in the marketplace, engage consumers and maintain a competitive advantage? Does the content help them overcome the obstacles they will face? Does it provide guidance, support, or a framework which can be documented and shared in real time? Join our panelists as they discuss the designer’s role in focusing and amplifying the brand’s message and voice while creating content that will help reach target audiences. 




Julia Beardwood, Founder & Partner at Beardwood&Co


















Julia brings 25 years of brand strategy experience, making human connections for some of the world's biggest brands. Leaning in before it became trendy, Julia founded Beardwood&Co in 2004. Starting out with strategy and research projects, the company evolved as clients asked for help executing throughout the brand experience from naming to logos, packaging, print, web sites, ad campaigns, social media and in-store experiences. For 7+ years, Julia was Executive Director, Brand Identity, for Landor New York, working with over 100 brands including Smirnoff, Gatorade, Pizza Hut, LG and Clairol. At D'Arcy, she was Group Account Director, creating advertising for global consumer brands. In 2013, Julia was recognized by EY as one of the leading women entrepreneurs in the US.


Ian Grais, Creative Director at Rethink


















Ian was born and raised in Western Canada. He studied economics at the UBC and then advertising and design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, prior to co-founding Rethink in 1999. Ian has been ranked the number one art director and number one creative director (with Rethink co-founder Chris Staples) in the country. At Rethink, Ian creates and directs a wide range of projects encompassing design, interactive, installation and advertising.
 He has served on the jury of many award shows, including the ANDYs, Cannes, the CLIOs and D&AD. 


Todd Simmons, VP, Brand Experience & Design, at IBM Studios


















Todd joined IBM in 2014 after spending a decade as Global Principal and Executive Creative Director at Wolff Olins. He brings over 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience to IBM, as the first "Designer" in the company's long history to be at the executive table. His unique combination of creative and strategic thinking has been central to the many successful client engagements he has led over the years, including Product (RED), PwC, Nike and the re-imagining of Microsoft and 3M. Todd has been named among the "100 Most Creative People in Business" and the "Fast 50 Most Influential People Shaping The Future of Design" by Fast Company.




Robin Honey RGD


















Robin founded the branding firm HONEY Design in 1989, and over the firm’s 25-year tenure, its work was featured in prestigious graphic design publications, and received multiple awards for both design and marketing. In 2014, HONEY merged with Arcane. As Chief Creative Officer of Arcane, Robin brings her more than 30-years experience including brand naming, strategy, creative direction and design thinking to the firm’s offices across Canada. Her ability to work at the intersection of words and images, with business strategy at the core, has generated compelling brands for both consumer and business-to-business clients. Robin is a graduate of Sheridan College's illustration program, and the Richard Ivey School of Business’s Strategic Marketing Program. Robin has served as a Vice President of RGD, and is the author of a primer on branding for start-ups – The Beebrand Manifesto, A Quest for Authenticity.


About Future By Design

Future By Design is a series of webcast discussions featuring experts sharing their thoughts on a variety of topics. As a virtual event, we invite cities across Canada to host local screening venues where members of the community can gather to watch panelists’ presentations, conduct their own group discussions and participate via webcam in the Q&A. Click here to view recaps of our past Future By Design events.