What's in a Smile?


In the era of affordable, easy-to-access stock imagery, a designer is often left with the challenge of making photography from disparate sources work together in a way that appears as though they were shot with the same standards of art direction, quality and intent.

Stock can go a long way from a budget standpoint, but rarely replaces a carefully thought out photo shoot using a select professional photographer. Sometimes a hybrid is required where there is a combination of both stock and custom imagery, either illustration or photography. This was the case with the images used to create the Yorkville / Burlington Dental Studios brochure.



When we were first approached by the Dental Studios to create a new brochure, it became evident that their branding was too weak to provide the wow they were looking for in a promotional brochure. It wasn't just about whether they had a pretty enough identity to work from, but whether the various essential elements of a well defined brand platform were in place to represent their enterprise. For example, did their existing logo represent the core aspect of their business? Was it legible? Scaleable? Did they have a tagline to help define their value proposition? Was there a selected family of corporate fonts that was being used consistently across all media and communications? Did they have a colour palette? What was the style of imagery, tone and manner of their "voice"? Without these basic things being defined it would be a hit or miss effort at designing this important marketing piece.



Dental Studios' founder, Trevor Laingchild, is an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, one of a select few technicians in the world to achieve this. Servicing clients with the highest standards in cosmetic dentistry, the practice’s state-of-the art dental restorative lab and two locations in the GTA, is home base for this lecturer / practitioner and his professional team. The profile of this client required a brand be created that could accurately represent the level of sophistication of their value proposition.


The new identity features a butterfly icon symbolizing the transformative nature of what they do for people's sense of personal beauty and esteem. We complemented the logo with a very modern, customized lower case font for Dental Studios. The new tagline we developed, "The Art of Cosmetic Technology", helps to position both the art of what they do with the science behind it, and aptly describes their distinction in the industry. We worked with a copy writer and Trevor to help him interpret what he wanted to communicate about his business in a clear and concise "voice" within the brochure.


We used Toronto photographer, George Whiteside to take Trevor's portrait and we art directed it to tie in with the clean look of the selected stock model shots selected for the brochure. All of the selected stock images were doctored in Photoshop, as was the custom portrait, to have greater colour balance with each other. Sometimes the work required in Photoshop is equal to the cost of doing custom imagery to begin with.


The brochure reflected the art direction they needed to create a good design direction for positioning in the market. It was really the first expression of their new branding.