PechaKucha in #YXE

Hey, for all you creatives (and non-creatives), we invite you to check out this upcoming event in Saskatoon: PechaKucha Night Volume 1

Some of Saskatoon’s best creatives will be delivering short presentations consisting of 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds.

Andrew Scott   |   November 23, 2017

Graphic Designer Takes his Client’s Requests a Bit Too Literally

The title says it all. Check out James Fridman on twitter: @fjamie013

Here are some of our favourites:

Andrew Scott   |   September 26, 2017

Island Speaking During Small Business Week

Small Business Week runs October 16th – 20th, and Square One is putting on a series of great presentations for entrepreneurs on topics from websites, online marketing, accounting, business plans, and much more.

Island will be giving a talk titled Function vs. Form: Building a Website with Purpose. With so many tools out there such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly, it’s actually quite easy these days to build a nice looking website, without needing know how to code. This is great, cost-effective solution for startups and small businesses when done right. In this talk we’ll cover some common pitfalls people make, which turn their website from a useful sales and lead generation tool, into just a piece of eye-candy.

Register Here

Andrew Scott   |   September 22, 2017

The Importance of Side Projects

Employee side projects have always been a bit of a contentious issue for business owners as the inherent worry is that employees will be drawn away from focusing on their regular tasks. This worry makes sense on the surface, but we (and many more before us) think this is the wrong way to approach it, especially while working in a creative field.

So why do we encourage side projects? To be honest they just serve as an outlet that so many creative people need to have, it gives them freedom to explore ideas that may be too “out there” for clients, and above all else it helps good employees realize you care about their life and interests, not just how they can make you more money. And even then, by allowing your employees to explore their own unique ideas we believe they can learn and leverage these new skills when working on in-house projects. This helps everyone, boosts office morale, and helps fight off burnout.

So now it’s time to see what encouraging employees to pursue side projects looks like in action, not just theory.

Meet Howard & Lloyd

Our designer, Cody Schumacher, has been working on a Made-in-Canada clothing company, and it’s launching at the end of the month. His idea is to deliver the best products he can, while keeping the company simple from the get-go:

  • design what he wants – no one providing direction
  • how he wants – no rules, remember it’s not putting food on the table
  • work with as many other creatives/artists – learn from peers
  • while working with manufacturers across Canada – Why not? No financial pressure to reduce costs by ordering from overseas

If you are interested in learning more about Howard and Lloyd, visit them online at Also for you YXE folk, we are sponsoring the launch party, and it is set for September 28th & 29th at our favourite neighbourhood brewery 9 Mile. Check out his event on Facebook.

Launch Party

Andrew Scott   |   September 15, 2017

Job Opportunity: Website Developer

Now Hiring: Website Developer

Island is looking for a web developer to join our team. If you’re a self-starter with experience in both front-end and back-end website development, then you’re the perfect fit for this position. We offer a creative work environment, flexible hours, and a job you’ll never want to leave.

Andrew Scott   |   August 30, 2017

Website Launch: Sask Drinks

It’s not every day that a hobby we share in the office comes knocking at our door* with an idea for a cool website project, so we were super excited about this one from the get go!
*metaphorically knocking at our door, there wasn’t like a 9mile growler knocking at our door, although I have had an eerily similar dream.

Sask Drinks was created to help those interested learn a bit more about Saskatchewan’s growing craft alcohol industry through an online interactive map that showcases many of our province’s finest beer, wine, and spirits (of the roughly 20 makers initially featured, we’ve tried 14 so far ourselves). Everything is organized geographically so sit down at the table, find your favourite new spot, and don’t forget to click around to find out a bit more about everyone who helped make the map a reality (psssst….click on the matches).

We really hope you all enjoy Sask Drinks as much as we did creating it.

Cody Schumacher   |   July 12, 2017

Website Featured in Saskatoon Express

Last month we launched our Season of Giving winner’s website. We’re pumped to see that Naomi, and her website This Is My Self, are front page news! Read the article below, check out the website at, and be sure to share her stories of self-love.

Andrew Scott   |   July 6, 2017

Island Wins Website Design Award

This past weekend Island was lucky enough to be recognized with an Elevator Merit Award in the category of Website Design.

Andrew Scott   |   June 22, 2017

April Chicken has Some Good Advice

We’re loving this month’s art work from the Applied Arts calendar. Not only that, he provides some good advice too.

“If you dig a hole and it’s in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help”

Andrew Scott   |   April 4, 2017

Spec Work

We don’t always get asked to do Spec Work, but when we do it reminds of us this video from a few years ago.


In nearly every case we’ve experienced, it is never the client’s intent to receive free work, they are simply not aware of what they are requesting. There is just something about design that makes people think we can just whip it together, and they can pick their favourite. Maybe it’s because good design is typically made to look simple and effortless. However good design requires strategy, and consultation with the client and target audience, and also relies on years of education and experience.

The Graphic Designers of Canada put it best on their blog post What is Speculative Work?

“There must be collaboration between the client and the designer, for design to be an effective business asset.”

We don’t do spec work because it leads to subpar results. It also has a negative impact on the design industry as a whole, leading to work being undervalued, and promoting unethical practices. If you want to learn more, check out or watch the video below.

Andrew Scott   |   March 21, 2017