Yolo Ventures logo

Recent logo designs

Yolo Ventures

Yolo Ventures logo

Yolo Venture is a VC company owning several niche web portals. When I was asked to create a logo for them, I had to Google the meaning of YOLO to learn that it’s an acronyme for ” you live only once” and it’s actually a modern version of “carpe diem”. I wanted to keep the same spirit in the design, so I changed the L into a fusion between 1 and the letter L.

Pearl Dental Clinic

Logo designed for Pearl Dental Clinic

This is a logo I’ve designed for dr. Ali Shafiei, the most gentle and kind dentist you will ever meet. With the choice of the colors and the rounded shape of the letters, I wanted to represent visually the human values he’s bringing into his dental practice.


ClubBelievers.com logo

ClubBelievers is a website that is built as I write this post that will deal with the electronic music scene.


Instagram screenshots

I’m tired of Instagram pictures

Instagram screenshots

I got to a point when I get nauseous when I see these faded photos taken with the Instagram app, reproducing the effect of time on old Polaroid images.

Developed by, you know that company that was bought for a ridiculous price by Zuckerberg, the app is omnipresent on social media; I see it especially on Twitter, but there is no escape from it on other networks too.

Let’s get things straight, an old, faded Polaroid image is valuable and interesting, because it shows a moment from the past from a unique angle. There are no two Polaroid images the same, because of the specificity of that technology and this makes these images even more special. It’s not the case with the pictures snapped with a phone, they can be shared and reproduced endlessly and in most of the cases the Polaroid effect won’t make them better images.

Des affiches laides pour nous convaincre d’aller voter

Nous sommes tous pris dans le vortex de cette campagne électorale et cette fois-ci, ce ne sont pas juste les politiciens qui nous fait chier, mais voici le Directeur général des élections aussi nous déprime avec une campagne de publicité dégueu.

Je ne sais pas qui ont été les cerveaux illuminés derrière cette campagne. Quels ont été leurs raisonnements?

« Nous devrons cibler les jeunes, parce qu’ils ne votent pas.

Qu’est-ce qu’on fait?

Ben, les jeunes aiment leurs téléphones mobiles, ils aiment prendre des photos stupides et de les poster sur Facebook. Apparemment, il y a un app pour ça, Insta quelque chose, puis, les photos sont tout rétro!

Wow, rétro! Rétro est cool! »

Alors, voici ce que nos petits génies ont fait :

Ai-je tort de penser que c’est une campagne déprimante au bout?

Est-ce que vous vous sentez plus déterminé d’aller voter, grâce à ces affiches?

City of Montreal logo

The logo of City of Montreal

City of Montreal logo

I remember my first encounter with this logo. It was in the early days of my arrival to Montreal, I was riding the metro and guy next to me had a lapel pin with the rosette without the text. I was wondering about the meaning of it, until later I discovered that it’s actually the logo of the city I lived in.

The more I learned about this logo, the more fascinating I found it to be.

It was designed by the graphic design firm Georges Huel et Associés Inc. and adopted in 1981. The logo is inspired by the city’s coat of arms and its flag, where each petal is formed by the letter V and M, which stands for Ville de Montréal.

Each petal of the rosette is a heart and the four petals allude to the origin of the city, founded by the four ethnic groups, the French, the English, the Scottish and the Irish.

Flag of the City of Montreal

I love this logo, because it’s a rare example of genius visual communication, a unique example of smart simplicity; every element has a meaning, without being noisy.

The same George Huel, is also the author of another logo that marked the history of this city, the logo of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

Find more information about this logo here.
See more graphic design works by George Huel here.

Jennifer Pahlka challenging you to Code for America

You might have already seen her talking at TED about Code for America (CfA), a movement that brings together developers with the Government on a common ground of creating useful apps that can make people’s life better.

Here, Jennifer Pahlka is talking about local government, and she’s asking developers to come forward and not to be shy to call their city hall and see how they could contribute to their community.

Code for Canada, for when?

I would love to see such a movement here in Canada too. We do have Open Data movements, and there are quite a few really nice examples of projects that were created using data offered by the government. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Quebec’s Open Data portal was launched (the site is in French), and there are similar projects in other provinces too. What I’m hoping for, is a Canadian Open Data movement that would cover all levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal, where knowledge and resources are shared, instead of being fragmented as they are right now.


Mobile apps, do you really need them?

Apple loves to brag about how many mobile apps are in their App Store, a number that the Android Market is trying to beat. If anyone is taking a closer look at these apps, most of them are just fancy RSS feeds, or a handful of games that are redesigned over and over again with different skins and slightly modified rules.

It’s very rare to see an app that takes full advantage of the possibilities the platform offers, most of them will settle for a mobile website, that the user has to download and install. The most striking examples I can find, since I work in the municipal field, are municipal apps. Every week, I get press releases about this and that city releasing mobile apps. A common feature I noticed is that they release an iPhone, an Android and a BlackBerry version so that they get “everyone covered”. These apps are mostly about feeding the latest news and press releases of the city.

The companies that are developing these apps are happy to promote this way of distributing news, they get payed three times, every time they sign up a new client. It’s really lucrative, because if the client needs to make a change to the app in order to accommodate new devices, they can charge extra. I’m sure there are other fields too, apart from municipalities, where institutions and companies jump on the app bandwagon.

As BlackBerry starts to sink, I wonder how long are institutions and companies willing to invest in BlackBerry app development. With Android, I’m not worried, there are plenty of people out there, that can’t afford Apple products, and there are plenty that can. Still, having to develop separate apps for all these platforms, is just not sustainable.

I have nothing against apps, they have their role and strengths. Just as no online photo editor can replace the power, speed and versatility of Photoshop (at least not in the immediate future), so goes for certain mobile applications, no responsive design or HTML5 magic can beat them.

Before you go out and spend tax money, or your shareholders money to order a mobile app, make sure that the features you need can only be obtained with an app and you’re not betting on an artificially created tech bubble that will burst sooner, rather than later.

Mobile web is getting stronger and stronger and by investing in a mobile/responsive website, you put your money in a product that will be easy to scale, easy to change, in order to keep up with the exponentially increasing number of devices used to access the Internet.

A few tips for a successful moving

These were the people that helped me move. Nobody can hope to have a better family and friends. Thank you all! Boris, thanks also for taking this picture!

July first is at our doorsteps and while in the ROC (Rest of Canada), to use a Quebecois expression, it’s a holiday to celebrate Canada, in Montreal, it’s Fête du déménagement, the day when the city is moving. Quite something to see and if there is no other way to experience it, you should watch this movie, to have an idea about how it is.

In the past few year, I moved a couple of times and I also helped several people move, so here are a few tips that hopefully you will find useful.

Use your calendar

I know, not everyone has the luxury of having several months to plan a move, but as soon as you know you have to move, take a look at your calendar, be that paper or online, and start marking down key moments. Do not expect to think of everything at once, but as soon as you remember something important, note it down. The main date is the moving day, depending on that you can mark down the date to book a truck (don’t leave it to the last minute), when to start building a team, etc.

Make a list of who to announce, ahead of time

Just as with the calendar, compile a list of who you need to notify about your move: family, friends, the Government, companies, banks, credit cards, your dentist, etc. A good way to start this list is by looking at your wallet, there you’ll find a bunch of cards to remind you who to call. Don’t notify them too early, you don’t want to risk having your bills sent to your new address, before the move. Depending on where you are, the Government might offer you an online way to notify several agencies at once, here is the service offered by Quebec.

Ask for help

In case you will move with a moving company, ignore this section.

Think of everyone who could come and help you, talk to them about your plan beforehand, to have an idea who will say no right away. Don’t be afraid to ask too many people, in the end some of those who told you they’de help, will back off. Think of a plan B, if you don’t gather enough people, be ready with alternative solutions.

A day or two before the move, once you have a clear idea about the size of your team, you can estimate how much time it will take. Let them know, so that they can make arrangements accordingly.

Don’t start packing too early

There are several inconveniences with packing too early: you will live in a mess, exactly the shoe you need will be on the bottom of the box on the bottom and it can be dangerous if you have kids, etc. Don’t let it to the day of the move neither, it will be a lot easier for your friends to come and grab boxes, than to start packing things. Make sure that by the time you have to pack, you got enough supplies to properly package everything.

Label everything

As you package your stuff, label every box and create yourself a code about which box goes to which room in the new place. This can be written or can be color coded. If you have a large furniture that you need to disassemble, label every piece of it, and eventually take pictures to help you remember how to reassemble it. The small parts, such as screws and dowels, put them all in ziplock bags and tape them to one of the main pieces of the furniture.

No kids and pets around

On the day of the move, make sure that small kids are not around and your pet is locked up safely for the next few hours. You don’t want them or anyone else being injured, safety must be an important aspect to keep in mind.

Make it fun

Moving is fun, make sure your team is well hydrated and fed during the move. Leave the alcohol to the end :).

 More tips?

Add your tips in the comments section, I’de curios to learn new tricks.


Macaroni necklace for Mom

I never posted a press release on this website, but I think there is a first for everything.

François Lalumière:On the Phone with Mum. Montreal artist François Lalumière, known for his colorful installations is one the artist invited to participate.

Macaroni necklace for Mom

In celebration of Mother’s Day, several students have asked 18 Montreal artists “ to make a necklace out of macaroni ”. From the 5th to the 12th of May 2012, at the studio XX in Montréal, Macaroni Necklace for Mom will show the works of several different exhibitors in a multi-disciplinary visual arts exhibition.

What is it about ?

The idea of making a necklace out of macaroni for one’s mother originates in the poetry of simple daily objects. A necklace of noodles has always been the king of preschool creations. Unfortunately, these projects are regarded with derision : they are seen to have little to no commercial value. Nonetheless, such an object conserves its sentimental value, crystallized in the pure intention of a child who carefully makes it, for his or her mother. Macaroni Necklace for Mom also proposes to banish barriers which circumscribe any creative discipline to celebrate “an object with a modest soul, without borders of any kind or origin”; a stance which, echoes the proposition of the artist Hervé Perdriolle – a key promoter of Free Form.

The Genesis

Cybèle B. Pilon – a communications undergraduate at the University of Montréal – invited 18 Montreal artists from different disciplines to make a necklace out of macaroni to celebrate Mother’s Day. To mark the same occasion as a youngster, she often spent time in similar handicraft activities in elementary school.

Years pass but the games we play remain the same. Cybèle is passionate about things that, on the surface, are ordinary, simple; she has organized a team consisting of Guillaume, Marie- Audrey and Cassie to turn this crazy project into a reality. The desire to learn and participate in a worthwhile project prompted these four students from communications, design and scenography, to organize the project.

A Macaroni Necklace for Mother aims to stimulate the Montreal cultural scene as well as to honor women as part of a celebration of Mother’s Day. One hopes to find as well, in this project, a continuing hope to erase the lines which define disciplines, media and other barriers between the contemporary arts.

Studio XX

4001, rue Berri – Suite 201 (between Duluth and Roy, Sherbrooke metro)
Montreal, Quebec, H2L 4H2
514 845-7934

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, check this exhibition out.

It’ll be open till this Saturday, May 12th.

Transporting goods with metro

We got to point were old way of urban development is not sustainable and it’s clear that cities will have to find new ways to grov and to accomodate more and more people. Loud and impatient voices ask for radical changes to be done overnight, let’s get rid of all the cars and build bike-paths all over the place.

The metro is a fast and convenient way to get people fast from point A to point B, and it does not hinder the traffic, the cityscape, you don’t hear it, you don’t see it, but it’s there and it’s hard to beat. The problem with underground metros is the price of building the network, it’s very expensive to build a km of metro line and because of this, cities usually go for cheaper solutions.

I wonder if the place of the metro would be reconsidered, if it would be perceived as more than just another way to transport people, and in paralel, to be used for transporting goods? The bill of developing new metro lines would be split between the passengers and the freight companies. There would be fewer trucks on the road and the metro line could be used at its maximum capacity.

This solution might be too crazy to be realistic, but the main idea behind it I think should be considered. The idea come to me from the French word for “public transportation”, which is “transport en commun”, that could be translated as “joint transportation”. As people can share the same vehicle, why couldn’t they share it with goods too?


Balance is about Canada, about Quebec, about multiculturalism, about the difficulty to keep the right balance in order to advance and avoid falling in chauvinism, racism or xenophobia.

From my personal experience, as a new comer to Canada, I was surprised by the openness of people here, how easily they accept that I come from somewhere else.  How easy it is to feel home in Canada, in Quebec, in Montreal.

The only thing I’m still struggling with and the only thing that shatters my illusion of a harmonious society is the relationship between certain Francophones and Anglophones.

It’s an extremely touchy subject, that makes interaction with locals difficult. I got Francophone friends, I got Anglophone friends and they are all open minded people with a lot of respect for other cultures (I’m avoiding bigots), but there are times, especially when elections are near, when poison is in the air. Poison spread by political parties without a serious platform and cheap journalism that tries to sell a few extra papers by steering up the spirits.

I’m looking forward to the time, when the Red will recognize the importance of Blue in creating a unique richness and when Blue will stop focusing on a pessimistic interpretation of its past and start focusing on its future.