Keeping Good Company with Hargrave St. Market

READ  •  2020


We are consistently reminded of how lucky we still are to be in the presence of good company during the colder season – even if it happens to be spring. What a profound pleasure it is to work with Winnipeg’s newest food hall, Hargrave St. Market. We see ourselves as lucky to delight in the delicious diversity of cuisines and spirits through the mediums of photography and social strategy alongside you.

Thank you for inviting us to take part in this new and unprecedented chapter for downtown Winnipeg, with the task of capturing the essence of each food vendor – Gusto North, Yard Burger, The Good Fight Taco, Saburo Kitchen, Fools & Horses, Miss Browns, Rose Bar, and Lake of the Woods Brewing Company – the delicious diversity of cuisines and spirits were a delight to photograph and devour.

Thank you for allowing us to inform your new digital audience of what was to come, and for letting us take the reins on how to introduce this space to the city and build excitement around the opening of your doors.

Thank you for having us at your Grand Opening Celebration for a lavish night of drinks, ten meals worth of food samplings, and a wonderful turnout of guests for company. Thank you for breaking up our work week with exciting and renewed dining experiences – you will continue to do so for everyone in the area when the time comes.

Thank you for giving us a reason to come by the elevated modern space you’ve provided our humble city; for photoshoots, meetings, and down-time gatherings. We are in awe of the efforts that the people behind the food hall have and still put forth, and the chefs and creators that keep the community engaged with food in new ways.

Thank you for keeping us warm in your company during a long, and cold winter. The impeccable food offerings and spirits are one thing, but your flexibility and outstanding accommodations have made this collaboration very special to us. As the feeling of spring becomes more palpable, we will be dreaming of the day we can visit you again.

With love until then,
From the 26 Projects Team

Brand Activism – Meeting ABLE

READ  •  2020


ABLE is a retail space, jewelry workshop, and design platform upholding traditional techniques and a forward-thinking business model that works to give voice and independence to people, namely women, who have been impacted by poverty and addiction. But crucially, ABLE is sending an important message about the deeply flawed, globalized fashion industry’s treatment and value assigned to those manufacturing fashion. Their model addresses disparity in workers’ rights in face of the demands of the industry through acknowledgment and transparency around wages paid to their manufacturers. ABLE is calling for action and representation via their Lowest Wage Challenge campaign.

Founded by Barrett Ward and established in 2010, ABLE is a lifestyle and fashion brand with its flagship and jewelry workshop located in Nashville, Tennessee. Last fall, we had the opportunity to briefly visit the store in The Nation’s Stocking 51 development, and since, have found every opportunity to draw closer to it and some of its creative members – to gather a deeper understanding of their purpose.

The primary mandate of the company is to address generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary life circumstances. Though at the surface you will encounter a label that creates truly stunning, lasting, fashionable product – ABLE also prioritizes that all manufacturing is to take place directly in the communities they strive to impact, both locally and abroad. Currently, they employ women from seven countries, including the U.S., Ethiopia, Mexico, and Peru (to name a few) for the creation of hand-woven scarves, leather goods, denim, footwear, and handmade jewelry. With the clear position that job creation is integral to addressing the poverty issue, ABLE is a working example of a company that has created numerous jobs for women – jobs that ultimately help to illuminate their collective knowledge, culture, and skillsets.

You will also discover that ABLE’s strength is more than job creation. They ask important questions about their action towards the well-being of their workers. Through their campaign, The Lowest Wage Challenge, ABLE exhibits transparency about its operations and emphasizes the fact that 98% of fashion’s manufacturing workers do not earn a living wage to meet their basic needs. This further illuminates that 75% of this figure are women. ABLE seeks to open the dialogue about the ethics of the fashion industry while prioritizing basic human rights and building a culture where people are heard and valued by prompting consumers. ABLE strives to prove that today’s fashion industry is truly able to rectify these issues.

The celebration of women and their creative autonomy is integral in imagining the evolution of the company. ABLE is making an impact on the fashion industry’s modes of manufacturing and ethical production, but they are also creating more opportunities for accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity. We look forward to growing our relationship with ABLE over the coming months and share more about their wonderful business with you.

Keeping Company with De Luca’s and Smak Dab – Our Food Heroes!

READ  •  2020


Greetings from our home offices this week. A special week is ahead of us as we prepare for and navigate new ways of dealing with times that call for gathering – Easter, Passover, celebrating the first signs of spring in our respective exterior spaces – whatever it is that normally calls us together, is upon us.

I think we can collectively agree that there is new joy to be discovered in preparing food, in trying something new, and taking pleasure in the challenge of cooking with what you have.

We know all too well about cooking with what you have in a small studio kitchen. And, my goodness, we miss those days. Cooking at the stove with what you’ve got to get the perfect shot, alongside some of the best creative culinary artists in the city, is something we miss dearly.

Thank you to Smak Dab and De Luca’s, who, for those of you don’t know, are good friends and have been supportive of one another from the beginning. Thank you to Smak Dab, for introducing us to our first contact at De Luca’s. You are both dream clients because you trust us – our taste in food, aesthetics and communication. You have welcomed us into your family life – moms, dads, uncles, friends, Italian chefs, babies, fiancés, and more. Thank you for teaching us how to celebrate with food, Thank you for showing us that though food doesn’t need to be complicated, it is still a world to approach with rigour, repetition, and generosity.

As traditions continue in new social settings, or in quietude – we hope you find comfort in knowing that Smak Dab and De Luca’s are still there for you. We know they can help deliver happiness.

With much respect, and until the next…
From the 26 Projects Team

Keeping Company with Sparrow Hotels – A Letter of Gratitude

READ  •  2020


We’ve spent a lot of time communicating on behalf of Sparrow Hotels and all 8 of the businesses that encompass the brand – The Inn at the Forks, The Riverstone Spa, SMITH Restaurant, ERA Bistro in the Human Rights Museum, Mere Hotel, The Norwood hotel, and their latest gastro destinations Pauline Bistro and The Wood Tavern in St. Boniface.

Thank you for the memories. For allowing us to help you find the words in a voice both elevated and cheeky, and for letting us get up close and personal with our cameras. You’ve made our work with you feel effortless, expansive, and fresh.

Thank you for welcoming us into The Inn at the Forks for a glorious night’s stay. For treating us to the most relaxing day at the spa, and for nourishing us from morning to night.

Thank you for educating us about the food being prepared and their nuances – each restaurant so unique, authentic, and reflective of place across SMITH, ERA, Pauline, and the Wood. You have put us in touch with the seasons – the beauty of our winters through initiatives that we can take little credit for, but that we’ve simply had the pleasure of participating in. A Winter Wonderland is truly at our fingertips and you’ve helped us and the city experience what that can mean.

Thank you for keeping us in good company and closely in the know. Your professionalism and expert eye and mind for exceptional hospitality and refined, yet approachable taste is spot on.

Lastly, thank you for allowing us the creative freedom to express ourselves through you. When you’re challenged with sharing a message of good food, warm and welcoming accommodations, world-class architecture and design, and the experience of context beyond these establishments – we consider ourselves a pretty lucky bunch.

With much respect, and until the next…
From the 26 Projects Team

A Branding Project Close to Home – 26 Market

MAKE  •  2020


What began as a little in-house retail passion project, has now expanded into a full-fledged e-commerce shop. Here, we take you through the process of building a unique identity for our 26 Market.

You may have noticed that we’ve been working on a special side project – our 26 Market. What you may not know is that this project has been in the works for almost 2 years. If you ask two of our senior staff members, they can attest to the evolution of 26 Market as being quite spontaneous, but all the while, calculated.

Inspiration: The Market Wall

In our first iteration, Inspiration was taken from the 26 market wall in our studio where products are currently displayed. The square, a subtle graphic element was assigned to the wordmark, a direct representation of the design of our market wall.

Art Direction: Hand-made

The notion of “objects handmade with love” needed to be expressed in the logo. We introduced hand-drawn graphics, which resulted in experimenting with a completely hand-scripted wordmark with an illustrated hand as the primary motif to animate and support the logo.

Final Logo: Well-Curated

As a way to distance the process from the literal expression of a hand, more attention was put towards the idea and act of hand-picking and curating well-crafted items to be shared with the community. The hand-drawn graphic style was maintained to create the font for ’26 Market’ in a serif style, used for its aesthetic contrast to the 26 Projects logo.

This spur-of-the-moment branding project was both a challenge and a feat, being so close to home – a sort of offspring of 26 Projects. Seeing the last iteration come to life was like falling in love. The narrative we had in our minds finally took form, becoming a visual representation of the brand that we feel is beautiful, classic, and playful.

First Fridays – A Look Inside

EVENTS  •  2019


In the 6 years that our creative studio has lived in the Exchange District, we felt it was finally the right time to participate in First Fridays in the Exchange. This, especially with the recent launch of our new and improved website and 26 Market e-commerce platform to share with the world, we thought it would be special to share these new endeavours with passersby and introduce ourselves in the flesh.

Reminiscing Over the Evening

In our home on the seventh floor of the historic Whitla Building on 70 Arthur Street, we tacked the corridor walls with pink, blue, green, and orange balloons, playfully enticing explorers to enter our space at the end of the hall – the 26 Projects studio.

A Winnipeg night in February is nothing out of the ordinary…wickedly chilly. This, and the fact that only one other neighbour in the building was open for the night, we felt, were the reasons behind the friendly faces who came by in the 4 hours we were open.

Every visitor had our full attention. We conversed about our work and about some of the clients people would be familiar with, and offered a little tour of the studio. We pointed out where everybody sat, the quaint kitchenette where we eat our morning eggs and avocados, the corner of the room where photo shoots take place and, of course, where our 26 Market is stationed. Naturally, most people were drawn to our shop. The urge to talk about how well-crafted the canvas and leather goods of The Superior Labor are, took full effect – you can’t hold us back. We were happy to wax poetic.

Although the night was relaxed (we continue to blame the cold), we did have a peak around 6-7 pm. At this point in the evening, balloons were flying about in the air and a singing performance by Tula and Huxley (Pauline’s adorable children) followed. “Let it Go” (Disney’s Frozen) continued to play in our heads for the rest of the night.

As the minutes turned into hours, and late-night wanderers replaced crowds of people, the night quickly drew to a close. We were satisfied, yet yearning for next month’s First Friday as all the fun workshop possibilities rushed through our heads. Nights like these allow us to share our passion, and although it was only for a moment, we were grateful at such an opportunity to let outsiders into 26. But for now, we bid farewell to First Friday and start the countdown until March 6…