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CAA South Central Ontario


Brand Standards + Illustration + Visual Identity

Harmony in Design: A full visual brand standards package for CAA South Central Ontario


CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is Canada’s largest not-for-profit automobile association and one of Canada’s most trusted brands. CAA SCO’s visual identity is built on their heritage of more than a century of keeping Canadians safe. In 2019 Overdrive was tasked with implementing a brand refresh, to modernize and finesse the CAASCO identity. We established design rules and standards, and compiled them into a Brand Playbook, making sure the standards were an understandable and replicable resource for internal teams, external partners, and stakeholders, empowering them to effectively communicate and represent the CAA SCO brand in a visually coherent manner. The Brand Playbook ensures CAA SCO will maintain a consistent visual identity that aligns with the organization’s core values and lines of business, enhances brand recognition, and fosters a cohesive brand experience for years to come.

While the central assets (CAA logo, colours and font) were retained, many other aspects of the brand were touched in the refresh. The Playbook includes guidelines and standards for the usage of logos, colours, typography, imagery, illustrations, animations, and other visual elements across various communication channels.


Visual Identity, Brand Expression, Brand Standards, Collateral Design, Icons, Illustrations and Animations


Overdrive Design: Creative, concepts and design


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The Smidge

Like the All Roads Pattern, the origin of the Smidge is the CAA oval. We designed the Smidge to be an active shape that can be used to create energy through movement and direction. It is more than just an arc as it can be used as a standalone graphic or as a container for imagery.

All Roads Pattern

The All Roads Pattern is designed to be an equity building tool in the brand toolkit. We developed four versions of the pattern: colour, primary linework, secondary linework and LOB. The All Roads Pattern symbolizes: many roads, community, activity, and optimism. The oval segments in the pattern are made to the exact proportions of the CAA oval. The concept behind the pattern is that it creates shapes reminiscent of nature, stars and maps.

Toolkit: Lines of Business

Each of the four lines of business have a variety of visual tools at their disposal, including feature colours, patterns and iconography. The icons are grouped into six categories: general, LOBs and Advocacy. Patterns and symbols are used as accents to complement photography and illustration.


The decision to develop an extensive icon library for the brand was driven by a strategy aimed at enhancing the user experience and reinforcing brand identity. This icon library allows for the communication of complex ideas and concepts in a concise and visually appealing manner. While empowering their design team to create compelling visual experiences, the loose design of the icons with offset colour brings a professional playfulness to the visual language.

Iconography: Category and Colour

The icons are divided into six categories: general, LOBs and Advocacy.

Illustration Style

Following the success of the icon library, it became clear that, although the icon library is extensive, there was a need for further storytelling beyond what iconography can do. The introduction of humans within the illustration style became essential to add a relatable and emotive dimension to the visual storytelling. It also allows for the depiction of diverse identities, cultures, and experiences, fostering inclusivity and representing the brand's commitment to understanding and engaging with its diverse audience.

The illustration style we developed is compatible with the icon style, allowing the design team to leverage the icon library to build out larger and more complex scenes to deliver the message effectively.

Humanizing System


One shape expressed many ways (note how limited palette is able to express many skin tones without having to deal with the intricacies of many shadeswithin natural skin tones).


Simple elements expressed many ways

Perspective and Details

Body and Scene Studies

Illustrating the Art of Lifestyle

Once the illustration style was finalized, we created a number of brand illustrations that embody the essence and values of the organization. The illustration themes span a wide range of subjects to reflect the diverse lives of their audience, acknowledging and celebrating the unique experiences and backgrounds that shape their individual stories.

Outdoor Life Illustration

We were entrusted with the task of creating an outdoor life illustration that captures the essence of the joy and excitement people experience while engaging in outdoor activities. By depicting the fun and vibrant moments associated with outdoor activities, the mural aims to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere, enhancing the overall environment and inviting viewers to participate in recreational pursuits. Furthermore, the mural serves as a visual representation of CAA South Central Ontario’s commitment to promoting an active lifestyle and the appreciation of the great outdoors, ultimately contributing to the well-being and happiness of the community.

Brand Playbook

The ultimate reference point: the Brand Playbook. The foundational tool for maintaining consistency, clarity, and integrity in all brand communications. We designed an all-encompassing document that the whole team can collectively refer to, enabling them to effectively communicate and represent the brand in a unified manner.