How do you build a brand for
a museum with no physical


Platform ad at a TTC subway station showcases a brand awareness campaign execution

How do you build a brand for a museum with no physical location?


The new descriptor is shown in black beneath Myseum’s logo mark at the top of a brochure


Myseum is a young, innovative brand showcasing the exciting history and diversity of Toronto and its many communities. But with no physical location it was a challenge for audiences to understand what it was and why it existed. Ove was up for the challenge to evolve the identity and descriptor to help refine the brand’s presence and purpose.

The new descriptor is shown in black beneath Myseum’s logo mark at the top of a brochure


Myseum’s programs and exhibits are gaining new audiences and attracting more attention. They provide opportunities for people to explore the city around them, including the parts they may not feel connected to. Awareness of the brand reached as far as the southern U.S., inspiring a producer filming a documentary on Jackie Shane to fly to Toronto to shoot the subway posters. With the help of a new identity and descriptor – Your Toronto Museum – Myseum has expanded its reach, showcasing Toronto’s rich and diverse history to the world.

For a world-class city, there was a notable absence of a “Toronto” museum – one dedicated to showcasing the city’s history, cultural diversity, unique experiences and vibrant communities from all over the world. Simply put, there was no museum of Toronto by Toronto for both locals and visitors.

In order to truly celebrate Toronto, this museum had to be different. It needed to break the rules. If it was to be vibrant and meaningful, it had to be more than simply a place to display objects. It had to embody the Toronto experience right where it happens. In essence, the entire city of Toronto is the museum’s home.

And from that strategic approach, Myseum was conceived.

Ove has played a crucial role in helping Myseum of Toronto develop a brand and visual identity that resonates with Torontonians. Their direction in redesigning Myseum’s website in 2017 saw traffic to our site grow by 236% and page views increase by 572% in one year. Furthermore, Ove’s work on our 2018 campaign Toronto Stories resulted in a 217% increase in direct searches for ‘Myseum of Toronto’ on Google.”

Josh Dyer, Director of Marketing, Myseum of Toronto

Your museum without walls

Through our brand discovery phase, we found that since Myseum did not have a physical location, its programs and activities were crucial to building early understanding about the Myseum difference and its unique mission. Collaborating with key stakeholders, we developed a clear descriptor line, building on the ‘My’ in Myseum:
Your Toronto Museum.
My Toronto, My Stories, Myseum.

Your museum, virtually anywhere

We developed a website that emphasizes a museum experience, not a brick-and-mortar location. Everything lives online – informing and engaging audiences, driving donations and serving as the virtual hub for the programs and exhibits that Myseum runs.

Spreading brand awareness by sharing untold stories

To establish Myseum as Toronto’s museum and promote its newly created brand personality, we developed an integrated brand awareness campaign for social and out-of-home, highlighting the unseen, unknown or overlooked stories from Toronto’s past and present.

That idea turned into an ongoing series of stories promoting diverse historical and contemporary Toronto stories, celebrating the unique contributions of people and communities often underrepresented or underappreciated in our city’s history. Stories included Jackie Shane – How a transgender woman from the American south took the Toronto music scene by storm, and Boris Spremo, one of Toronto’s iconic and award-winning photojournalists. Taking advantage of in-kind advertising space provided by outdoor media company, Pattison Group, the campaign ran throughout Toronto’s public transit system – interior cards were placed in trains, buses and streetcars. To bring the visual design and messaging to life, we animated the creative to run on Instagram and social media to help drive engagement and traffic to the website.

Myseum’s brand awareness campaign ad appears inside a TTC subway train.

Programs and exhibits: unique identities built to express the brand

For major Myseum programs and exhibits, we developed a unique identity system for each one. This customized identity system balanced both the need to capture and express the unique attributes of each program and exhibit, then tied it back to the overall Myseum brand. These identities build brand equity for Myseum while sharing each program’s unique story. Examples of these identities are shown in the carousel of images below:

Our contribution

  • Brand Strategy and Positioning
  • Brand Identity and System Design
  • Marketing and Advertising Communications
  • Visual Identity Guidelines
  • Website Design and Development