photo of iPad and computer screen captures of new CQA/ACC website

A Labour of Love: A New Logo and Website for CQA/ACC

Betty Biesenthal
Autumn 2020

Canada’s quilting community has a powerful and compelling story to tell, so when we heard of the opportunity to refresh the CQA/ACC logo and website, we knew it was the perfect fit. To say that we were excited to be awarded the project is an understatement. Our team includes several quilters and this project has become very near and dear to their hearts.

We first facilitated a visioning session to establish a design language for the refresh with a goal to grow and diversify the CQA/ACC community. Understanding that a brand is defined by the personality of an organization, the strategy going forward is to increase the relevance of the CQA/ACC for up-and-coming makers, while celebrating the craftsmanship of long-time quilters.

As we approached the logo redesign, we conducted an environmental scan of brands within the quilt and crafting sector, and then defined motifs that reflected Canada’s quilt community. It was only natural that we fell back on the traditional maple leaf icon. Translating the maple leaf into a quilt block had been done for us probably a century ago. We simply wrapped it in a Canadiana colour palette and anchored it to a contemporary word mark. It was great to hear that the new look was overwhelmingly received by the membership, and it spurred us on as we developed the new website.

graphic of CQA/ACC updated logo

Because quilting is such a visual medium, we wanted to leverage its wealth of patterns, colours and fibres to build a highly engaging portal filled with image-rich stories that draws members back to their online community over and over again. Since we were enriching the quality and scope of online content, we knew that from a user-experience perspective the website also had to hum!

There’s a lot to explore on the new website and we encourage you to spend some time with it. Acquaint yourself with the new layout, navigation and content, and check in regularly for updates. It’s bigger and better than ever before, and will be continually updated with new images and resources that are sure to inspire quilters from around the world. The new portal is built with responsive technology, which means it’s mobile friendly and easily viewed on all your personal devices including phone and tablet. Enhanced navigation makes it much easier to find what you are looking for and you will enjoy stunning visual gems in the process.

The project has become a labour of love for the Design House team. We’ve poured our hearts into it, and we trust that our passion shines through. We hope it makes you proud to be part of Canada’s quilt community. We certainly are!

photo of iPad and computer screen captures of new CQA/ACC website

Be A Part of Canada’s Online Quilt Community
Here’s a short primer on what to look for to make the most of your experience:

  • Quilt Canada is now featured in the main navigation, making it easy to access show and conference details including call for entry, registration, and workshops.
  • Canadian Quilt Gallery has a new look that loads quickly and is easy to browse. It currently features over 800 quilts and will be updated regularly.
  • The online challenge forms have been enhanced, making it easier to submit your quilt and share it with the world!
  • The CQA/ACC blog features timely news and updates between issues of the monthly newsletter; check in regularly.
  • Interactive Directories of Canadian Quilt Guilds, Professionals and Shops make it easier for you to connect within our quilt community.
  • Enhanced visibility for CQA/ACC sponsors helps the Association express appreciation for their partners.
  • New online advertising opportunities will be announced in the near future. So, if you’re looking for visibility for your business, think about buying in.
  • Use the Quick Links in the footer at the bottom of each page to navigate directly to frequently visited pages.
  • Browse the site in multiple languages. On the footer of any page find the Google Translate app. Hover over the dropdown menu and select your language of choice; the site will translate accordingly.

  photo of iPad and computer screen captures of new CQA/ACC website

Members Only Studio
Loved an article or pattern in a past issue of Canadian Quilter but can’t remember where to find it? The new Members Only Studio can help with that. As the title suggests, this is a password protected area available to members only – a new member benefit! Initially, it’s been populated with articles from several recent issues, and there’s a lot more to come. As each new issue of the magazine is released, articles from the previous issue will be uploaded to the site.

Scroll through the Studio pages. If you’re looking for something specific, click on Search by Topic and a dropdown menu will appear. Select from the list and all related articles will display. If you want to refine your search by article, pattern or tutorial, etc., select Search by Type and make your choice from that dropdown list. You can also use the Search box to enter keywords, author, issue or year of publication.

Canadian Quilter
Members eagerly look for Canadian Quilter in the mailbox. You can now get a sneak peak of not only the cover, but four articles from each of the last three issues published. When you’re encouraging friends and family to become members, this is a great place for them to start. And it’s still easy to order back issues. Just find the ones that you like and check out using the Shopping Cart.

Calendar of Events
Makers love socializing and attending events! The new homepage highlights three recently posted events, so when an event gets featured, it gets more attention. As in the past, not-for-profits can upload an event by clicking on the red Post Your Event button within the Calendar, then completing and submitting the form. Use these tips to make the most of
your listing:

  • Listings include a photo, date, time, and event details. Gather all these elements and details before you start the submission process.
  • Choose an image that speaks to your event: smiling faces, a quilt close-up, something that helps define your event. Images taken with a cell phone or camera
    work beautifully.
  • Event images are displayed in horizontal format; bear that in mind when selecting a photo.
  • Have your photo ready. Choose your best photo and have it ready before you start entering your event details.
  • The system will automatically crop your image to the correct size so when selecting a photo ensure that the focal point is in the centre of the shot.
  • If you do not upload an image, a random photo of a quilt will be automatically added to your listing. Since this is a great opportunity to promote your event, we strongly suggest
    that you upload an event image to help your listing stand out.
  • Be sure to include the hours of your event to help visitors plan their trip.
  • Tell readers about your event. Is it a workshop, show or quilt bee? Have you invited a guest maker? Will lunch be served? Is the venue accessible? Make people want to come!

Membership Auto Renewal
Today, most memberships are renewed online and CQA/ACC has now followed suit, making it easier for you to manage your renewal. How do you renew? You will be billed on the date you become a member, as usual. After one year, and annually thereafter, you will automatically be billed a recurring annual membership fee at the current rate, and and then subsequent renewal fees each year until you cancel your membership.

To update the email address associated with your membership, simply log in to your account and update your member profile. If your credit card is no longer valid, you will receive an email asking you to log in and update the payment information in your account. If you do not have an email address you can buy and renew your membership by sending a personal cheque to CQA/ACC.

Members are encouraged to create an email address. In addition to providing secure access to your account, you’ll receive monthly emails and periodic updates. Most importantly, an email address gives you full access to the new online Members Only Studio, so you can quickly and easily find articles and patterns from past issues of Canadian Quilter.

photo of web designers Betty and Julia Biesenthal from Design House

Creative Director Betty Biesenthal and Designer daughter Julia Mielke led the Design House team. Together they shape and direct all projects, working virtually with a team of designers and programmers to create websites, social media strategies, interactive tools and publications.

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023

Quilt Canada July 19-22, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta