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Case StudyOct 03, 2021

B3 and Clear Space engage community with a new name and identity for Oak Valley Health

Written by Clear Space Design, and John Furneaux RGD


Over the last three decades, the population served by Markham-Stouffville Hospital has grown from less than 150,000 to over 350,000 with a marked shift in demographic representation. The Hospital Corporation itself now also encompasses Uxbridge Hospital, the Reactivation Care Centre in North York and several community-based services.

Working collaboratively, B3 and Clear Space embarked on a journey to engage staff, physicians, volunteers and community members to explore a new corporate identity that would align and unify the multi-site organization. This included a new name and brand platform for the hospital including updated positioning, personality, promise, value proposition and point of differentiation. The new visual identity also takes into consideration existing and future sub-brands, Foundations and programs within the context of the hospital’s key expressions and core strategic concepts: "Care beyond our walls" and "Honoured to care".


After extensive research and engagement with internal and external stakeholders, the name "Oak Valley Health" was selected. A hybrid of Oak Ridges Moraine and Rouge Valley, it represents two prominent geographical landmarks within the organization’s reach. Stakeholders agreed that the name honours the history of both hospitals while reflecting today’s communities and the future of their health care. The brand architecture allows sites to retain existing names, maintaining connections to their respective communities.

The team explored options using an evolution-to-revolution approach to reach an understanding of where stakeholders felt most comfortable. Through our engagement, we uncovered a strong affinity to the existing logo’s story. The final choice retains the feeling of family and community, simplified with an arc dubbed the “life path,” which is expanded upon in the branded applications. 


The final logo is filled with layers of meaning. The human quality is represented in the three silhouettes, which connect back to the organization’s history and brand equity. A closer look in the mirrored negative space reveals a hidden oak leaf, reflecting growth and the cycle of life, which also supports the new name.


Launching a new hospital brand during a pandemic required careful handling, without too much fanfare. The training we supplied, together with brand standards that were developed contributed to Oak Valley Health's phased approach to the launch, allowing for a consistent on-brand release over time.

As the brand slowly rolls out across touch points, positive feedback has been communicated from various staff and departments, including the Foundation, which will be moving forward with their own identity refresh to align with the updated Hospital brand.


With public institutions such as community hospitals, it is essential to bring internal audiences along with you for the entire branding journey. As the  ambassadors and representatives of the brand, stakeholders must feel that they have been able to contribute their thoughts on what it should represent.

Sometimes this requires significantly extending the timeline in order to properly engage and consult. Getting it right is far more important than meeting predetermined milestones. Engaging with key audiences and earning their buy-in directly relates to the successful launch and acceptance of the brand in the larger community.

Program Manager: Sarah Longwill (B3)
Research Strategist: Corien Kershey (Brand Clarity)
Designer: Tahirah Abrash (Clear Space)
Designer: Eitan Zohar (Clear Space)

Clear Space Design

We are a brand and digital design studio founded in 2004. From ambitious start-ups to established companies and institutions, we help them better connect and resonate with their audience in deep and lasting ways. We believe that thoughtful and creative design can elicit emotion, spark imagination and compel people to act. 

We harness the power of clarity to solve brand and communication challenges. Clarity is about giving your brand a space that’s all its own. Seeing things in ways you never thought of before. And it’s what you can always expect when you work with us. 

Our integrated strategy and design approach is based on three principles: 

Get informed. We learn about you, your business, your pain points. We ask a lot of questions to get to the right answer. 

Find the story. We create narratives that compel, resonate, and inspire loyalty to your brand. 

Make the point. We chip away excess, revealing a single powerful idea that cuts through the clutter. 

Need clarity? Let's talk. 

Email one of our principals at or


John Furneaux RGD

John Furneaux RGD is the founder and the creative and strategic lead at B3 Strategy, a collaborative consultancy, working with clients to understand their needs and deliver insightful solutions. For 30 years, John has worked closely with organizations of all sizes — from entrepreneurial start-ups to global leaders. His award-winning experience spans a broad range of brand image and identity programs, as well as the communications and marketing initiatives that bring brands to life. John also teaches at George Brown College in their Design Management Program. He is a Past President of RGD and is an active speaker and contributor in the design industry.


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