2018: Year in Review

2018 was an exciting year for all of us at Backyard Creative, and it flew by! It seems like just yesterday we were writing the year in review for 2017, and now here we are, a whole year later, with lots of stories to tell. The biggest and most transformative development of 2018 was the birth of little Ewan Crispin Muir in August (huge congratulations, Lisa, Mike and Hazel!)

Everyone at Backyard Creative collaborates with Lisa—helping her to fulfill her vision is what drives and inspires us all. When she announced her pregnancy early in the year, we set a goal for the team to continue providing stellar services to existing and new clients during her upcoming maternity leave, and we started planning for her to step away from the business for a while.

We have to confess that the thought of working without Lisa was nerve-wracking for all of us, and understandably, for some of our long-term clients as well. However, having invested a lot of time over the last few years on documenting and templating our processes, we knew this scenario would be a great opportunity to test them out and refine them.

Lisa’s maternity leave would also allow our other design team members, Keiko, Sebastian, Sofia, and Laura, to lead more of our design work with clients, and tackle new design challenges.

I’m proud to say that our entire team has risen to the challenge (thank you all!), and we have produced some great work this year. We’re very grateful to our amazing clients, who trusted us to help them meet their business objectives and forward their changemaker visions/missions. Here are some highlights:

  • We had the privilege of helping CPHR BC & Yukon once again with the branding and collateral for their 2018 annual conference – and we continue working on their upcoming 2019 annual conference
  • We designed the 2017/2018 annual report for the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, and many more projects are in the works with this great organization working to revitalize Indigenous languages in BC
  • We rebranded Nestworks, a group focused on integrating work and life and creating a family-friendly shared workspace in Vancouver, a topic very close to our hearts
  • As a continuation of work we began in 2017, we worked with the North Vancouver City Library to build on their brand and provide them with tools and resources to take their brand to the next level
  • We collaborated with the RCMP and the Red Cross to develop a suite of products about youth healthy relationships, in both English and French, to be used across BC
  • We worked with SeaChoice, a seafood sustainability initiative, to refresh their logo and to design, program and edit the content for their new and comprehensive website; their site included the Seafood Progress section, which our web programmer Carla invested a lot of time and heart in, and it turned out amazing 🙂

As a virtual team, we don’t get many opportunities to see each other in person. One personal highlight this year was having some summer fun with the team: exploring Nanaimo with Lisa and our families, which included watching Sebastian paint a public mural, and visiting with Carla and her daughter in Vancouver.

We’ve been very lucky to have great designers on our team over the years, and one such designer is Jackie, a long-time Backyard collaborator who left this year to pursue other work opportunities. We wish her all the best as she embarks on new work adventures!

Every year, Lisa and I make time to set goals together for the upcoming year, for both Backyard Creative and our personal lives. I know one of her goals for 2019 will be to continue working on the fine balance between her work life and her growing family as she slowly transitions back into work. My main goal will be to keep the business running as smoothly as possible. And we’ll definitely plan for Lisa to write a blog post about how entrepreneurs can hand the reins of their business to their teams while on maternity leave. 

As always, we welcome new business opportunities and design challenges for 2019. We’re booking into the spring, so please get in touch today to discuss your design needs!