Case Studies

Cree Human Resources Development Case Study

The CHRD, Cree Human Resources Development, is a department within the Cree Regional Authority (CRA). CHRD operates much like the Canada Human Resources Development, helping its citizens find employment, only CHRD is designed specifically to serve as an employment resource for the James Bay Cree. Their primary aim: to increase the visibility of the organization so that people would make use of this valuable resource.

The unemployment rate for the Cree population is around 25%, out of a labor force of 7,500. This number is particularly high, well above the federal and provincial averages. This unemployment rate doubles in the 15-24 age demographic.

The CHRD was designed to give the Cree, especially this large segment of jobless youth greater access to the proper resources to find employment. The CHRD wanted to enliven their materials. At Starmedia, our job was to create a strong visual product, well organized for ease of use. With the rich visual tradition in which the Cree culture is steeped, we thought it best to incorporate traditional motifs into a modern look of the CHRD, which would appeal to the Cree labor force.

Designing the CHRD materials became an interesting proposal for Starmedia design. It was our first experience working with the native Cree language, Iiyiyuu ayiimuun. In fact the materials were trilingual as French and English featured as well. The blend of these three languages required smooth lines and carefully modulated colors.

The colors for the material were selected through extensive research of the Cree traditions, and application of this new knowledge to the psychology of color: The greens express the northern boreal forest evoking growth, discovery, and respect. The burnt umbers and oranges of the autumn hearken the fall when folk tales and legends were told in the community. Red was used as a symbol for strength and courage. All of these colors correspond to the deep white background, suggesting the frozen tundra and winterscapes of the northern Quebec climate.

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