Actra Fraternal Benefit Society

Creating Possibilities For Members

Details

- Category

Comprehensive Branding

- Project

Creative Relaunch

- Client

Actra Fraternal Benefit Society

Rebrand an Insurance and
Investment Company, owned by
Actors and Screenwriters

- Description

AFBS was at a crossroads. Although the not-for-profit was an insurance and investment organiztion, as a fraternal association it served a creative Membership – actors and screenwriters. Moreover, it was actually owned by those Members. And its Members did not feel the public personna of AFBS reflected who they were: freindly, acessible, helpful and dependable. Overdrive’s mission: nothing less than overhaul the way AFBS communicated to its members. AFBS had recently had an overhaul of its logo, and was not in a position to change it. However there were no brand standards associated with the identity, and many issues had not been reconciled, such as the use of the logo in reverse. So each of our tasks involved retroactively establishing brand expresion for the identity in order to ensure all the materials were cohesive . Our first major assignment was to brand the 2013 Annual General Meeting, “Creating Possibilities” and begin the process of gving a face to AFBS, one that reflected the marriage of its Membership and its purpose. A full library of new photography was commissioned to aid this. Part of the AGM involved designing an Annual Report that could be an ongoing template. Redesigning the AFBS website was a gargantuan task that was a constant balanceing act between creativity and function.

- Deliverables

Branding, Collateral, Brochures, Videos, Website, Annual Reports, Emailers

- Credits

Overdrive Design Limited: Creative, User Interface Design, User
Experience Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction,
Programming, Project Management
Photography: Richard Picton
Creating Possibilities Creative Director: Michael Clancy
Editing: Slick Slack
Sound: Mach Sound Studios
Creating Possibilities Music: Retriever Sound
Additional Video: Ruth Lawrence
Additional Music: Duane Andrews and Craig Young

- Links

Visit the live AFBS website: afbs.ca

Writer's Coalition website: writerscoalition.ca

Arts & Entertainment Plan website: aeplan.ca

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Main Website

When it came time to re-design the AFBS website, in addition to the UX and UI demands of a gigantic website, Overdrive needed to create an esthetic that reflected the creative spirit of the user/Members. The site needed to express a sense of friendliness, acessibility, and dependability - but above all it needed to be easy to use. With a hierarchy that prioritized finding information easily, the search field was positioned prominently on the home page.

We used an illustrative type style in headers to infuse personality, as well as background videos that featured Members pursing their craft. An additional requirement was to express AFBS' desire to promote financial literacy amungst its Members. A number of interactive tables were designed to give Members personalized tools to visualize their financial investmetns.

Reaching and providing orientation to new Members was a key requirement, so one of the most important sections on the website was the 8 step "Set up your Profile" featuring the organization’s Orientation video.

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Website

The site is gigantic and detailed. Every possible approach to control navigation, hierarchy and readability was used including last but not least, colour coding.

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Associate Sites

In addition to AFBS' main focus, providing extended health insurance and investment products to ACTRA and Writers' Guild of Canada Members, AFBS has branched out providing the same insurance services they excell in, to creative people who are not members of ACTRA or WGC. We developed an additonal website to service these clients.

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Associate Sites

AFBS services two different markets, one for writers through the Writer’s Coalition Programme and one for artists and performers through the Arts and Entertainment Plan. Because each market has a unique identity, AFBS wanted to provide each with their own website. The information required for those sites was esentially identical, however. Therfore we created one template, that could be customized with market specific images, and a colour scheme that reflected the specific plan.

Although the look and feel of the Associate sites is intended to be part of the AFBS family, it is more retail oriented . WCP and A∓E provide pay per service products while AFBS Members recieve their extended health plans as part of their ACTRA or WGC contracts.

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Photography

Because AFBS is both owned by and serves performers and writers it was important to depict actual Members. Actors and writers wanted to see themselves in marketing materials and their website, not stock models.

Photographing a broad representation of the Membership practicing their craft was a complicated undertaking. Actors and Screenwriters are finely attuned to visuals that are forced or staged, and we knew we needed to use care in the way we depicted Members. We decided to use an editorial photography approach, shooting real life on the fly, without additional lighting.

Thousands of photographs were shot, which all had to be reviewed and the selects often required photoshopping. Moreover, all the subjects needed to be credited, which required meticulous record keeping.

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SFS

Summarized Financial Statements

The challenge for any Finanical Statement is that the span of time between the arrival of final copy and the delivery of files ready for print is notoriously short. We designed the AFBS SFS based on unfinalized details. Although the design is meant to reflect the esthetic of the website, they are two distinct entities. Our brief: design a SFS that was elegant, but above all simple to read. Accounting practices always trumped what seemed to be logical design rules. White space was ballanced with keeping the SFS to a manageble size. The result was a SFS template that could be reused in subsequent years.

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Newsletters

AFBS regularly needed to inform their Members of the status of their investments, which required a clean and engaging format that could be easily updated from month to month, and also be animated for the online versions.

Other regular correspondence included an annual Insurance Statement, and postcards for a variety of purposes from AGM reminders to RRSP deadlines.

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AGM

The Creating Possibilities DAR featured prominently in the 2013 Annual General Meeting. The Creating Possibilities video in particular was a highlight, and was subsequently used as a profile builder for AFBS at the 2013 UBCP Annual General Meeting.

The theme of Creating Possibilities was well recieved for the way it integrated the ability of AFBS to help Members make their own possibilities. Financial security and knowing health insurance is taken care of left members with the freedom to explore their own ambitions.

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