Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


"On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Twelve mall Santas,
Eleven more gifts to buy,
Ten towering deadlines,
Nine pounds of fruitcake,
Eight commercial capitalist indoctrinations,
Seven acts of animal cruelty,
Six stiff drinks,
Five sugar daddies,
Four days off,
Three unwanted house guests,
Two frosty balls,
One #@&%! christmas tree...

Happy Holidays everyone.
The Ricksticks Team

"On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Two frosty balls.


"On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Three unwanted house guests.


"On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Four days off


"On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Five sugar daddies


"On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Six stiff drinks


"On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Seven acts of animal cruelty.


Toronto The Good

I have a special holiday greeting to the people of my city. A place I feel lucky to call home.

On Saturday afternoon I was out, rushing around, worrying about deadlines, buying gifts, etc... I got into the office and was surprised to hear a voice message from the manager of a grocery store I'd just left. He was informing me that my wallet had been found in the parking lot and that it was available to be picked up at my convenience.

First, I was shocked that I could have been so careless. Then, I began to worry about what might have been taken and if I might have to replace credit cards and bank cards -- a week before the holidays, this could have been a bit of a nightmare.

When I picked it up, I was more than relieved to find the wallet completely intact: cash, cards, everything.

It occurred to me that I was very lucky. Upon reflection, my wallet passed through many hands: the person that found it, the person that took it to the store manager, the store manager that called me, the grocery store attendant that returned it to me. These are the kind and honest people that warm the cold winters we have here in Toronto. To each, I wish a happy and wonderfully holiday season.

Now back to our 12 Days...

PS: I will be returning to that grocery store (Dominion) later this week to buy food for the holidays. They more than earned my goodwill this season!

"On the eigth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Eight commercial capitalist indoctrinations.

"On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Nine pounds of fruitcake.


"On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…"

Ten towering deadlines.


"On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..."

Eleven more gifts to buy


"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..."

Twelve mall Santas.


Rebranding Christmas

During this time of year many of us are faced with the dilemma of rebranding the holidays.

In days gone by, this time of year has, for much of western culture, meant dealing with a very predominant branding system, Christmas. It has it’s identity colours (red and green) a mascot (Santa), and various iconoclastic imagery (decorated trees, mistletoe, stockings) and that is just the version of Christmas as separated from it’s religious iconography.

However, we are finally recognizing the diversity in our culture, and beginning to incorporate additional celebrations into our mid-December communications. We still continue to send out holiday greetings, but they are increasingly generalized to apply to a variety of people. And so the dilemma, how do you visually convey a holiday message without using any specific holiday for a basis?

Increasingly, the branding system of winter is replacing the branding system of Christmas. Blue and white have become the colours of choice, while frosty takes up Santas duties of mascot, and snow iconography nudges into the limelight.

We are planning a twelve days of Christmas feature on our blog in the coming days, and hopefully it addresses portions of the holidays that everyone can laugh at. As it is an expression of how we at Ricksticks feel about and experience the holidays, and everyone here celebrates Christmas, we’ve branded it old school.

Our official greeting however, remains non-denominational.

Finding a way of conveying a holiday message while avoiding specifics is a tricky proposition, but those who don’t celebrate Christmas shouldn’t be excluded from your "best wishes and seasons greetings"


A Ricksticks Christmas

To celebrate the approaching holidays, we would like to express our sentiments about the season in the time honoured tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, Ricksticks style.

In the next two weeks check back for some insight on how the holidays incite, and join us in a laugh or two.


Colours of Cuba

The GDC BC Chapter is hosting a fantastic event On Dec.7, in Vancouver entitlted Colours of Cuba, A Holiday Fiesta. The artwork and supporting pieces for the show are done by Industrial Brand Creative, and are something to behold. Bravo!

What's Your Fist?

In Morse Code, a series of dots and dashes, everyone has their own voice. No two people can employ the same timing and length, it is something that is done unconsciously and truly can not be duplicated. That voice, a fist as they call it which was used to track military around Europe, can be seen as your own personal dialect, your own mouse trail. Each of us has our own fist in design, a style, that we can not help but radiant. This can sometimes lead to problems, when it creates monotony and comfort. Just how hard do we have to work to ensure that we are not simply repeating ourselves over and over again in a series of dots and dashes? How far can we ever really get from our fist?