Blair – Chahley – Klassen

Blair – Chahley – Klassen is one of the few legal firms in Canada focused on representing unions in labour disputes. The firm nearly exclusively presents cases to the Supreme Court of Canada. Founded by Robert Blair and Leanne Chahley, the firm's legacy involves the establishement of the Ontario Labour Board.

The practice is known for its progressive and deeply intelligent interpretations of the law. So when the firm brought in a new partner, Klassen, they sought a brand position and updated look that captured their strong commitment to unions and human rights. 

After interviews with clients, colleagues and the partners, Studio Otherness developed the brand theme of “intensely human.”

Known as an innovative and highly-esteemed law firm, B–C–K was unconcerned with the typical visual approaches to legal branding. The new brand direction focuses on the people the firm ultimately serves in the pursuit of equality in Canada.

 

Illustration by Leigh Wells
Services: Brand positioning, brand identity, creative direction

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A richly-layered and editorial approach to typography focuses on bold vision and the history of activism and rights: from a modern revisit of Caslon (referencing the Commonwealth judicial system) through to VTC's Martin, inspired by the protest signs in support of Martin Luthur King, and Futura, a font drawn from the workers movements of the 1930s and the utopian ideals of post-WWI Europe.

An editorial and layered hierarchy that demands attention – and states a point of view.

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Skipping the classic legal stock photography, the brand makes use of the artistic medium of collage. Collage was once considered a threat to fine art because of its accessible nature. 

The democratic nature of collage captures a spirit of accessibility and challenge to gated institutions.

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Leigh Wells illustrated themes that have been the hallmark of B–C–K's work, such as equality, negotiation, and free speech.

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“Why would you take the most conservative opinion when you’re trying to get something done?”

— Robert Blair, partner

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