How the Nature of Churchill Helped Shape Our Brand

In September of 2022 we launched a new logo along with a new brand identity. Revamped colours and new fonts were one part that helped to leave the old behind and embrace the new.

One of the more subtle additions to our brand identity are textures. Using textures or patterns in a brand identity is not uncommon. It allows for depth and a contemporary, environmental feel. If you look closely you may notice some of the Frontiers North textures popping up. Lichen, ice, water and snow are the four textures in our brand and these choices are by no coincidence. All of the textures are intrinsically tied to Churchill, influencing the wild nature and wonders of this subarctic region.

Click through the image slider to see the texture and what inspired it.


Ice Texture
Two polar bears walking on ice. in Churchill
© Abby Matheson

Each year the polar bears come to Churchill to wait for the ice to form. Polar bear's livelihood is dependent on the ice. When the ice forms and is strong enough to support their weight, polar bears head onto the ice where they begin to hunt seals. The seals provide polar bears with a high calorie diet and when hunting is going well polar bears will eat blubber exclusively, leaving the remainder of the seal for other animals.

While the polar bears feast on seals on the sea ice, the humans on land don their winter gear, settling into cold, keeping their eyes to the skies, awaiting something magical. The northern lights are something to behold and seeing the northern lights can summed up to a few things: charged particles from the sun, location, visibility and time of day. Churchill’s location, beneath the auroral oval make it a prime, year-round viewing spot. In addition to good location the freeze-up of bodies of water in and around Churchill means there is less precipitation in the air, which results in less cloudy nights. Finally, in the north of Canada, similar to Scandinavian countries, winter time brings longer nights, you need darker skies to see the northern lights and the longer the night, the more opportunity to see the northern lights.

Guests with Frontiers North have the opportunity to witness the aurora borealis at different locations around Churchill and a guest favourite is Dan’s Diner, where guests have the opportunity to enjoy a multi-course remote dining experience, beneath the northern lights. 


Water Texture
Water from Hudson Bay coming in on the beach
© Emilie St. Pierre

As the sea ice melts, turning to water polar bears swim to shore and begin to make their way down towards Churchill, where, once they arrive, will begin the waiting game of the sea ice to form. In the meantime, summer in Churchill brings the curious, chirpy and oh-so-cute beluga whales. Many people know Churchill by its moniker, The Polar Bear Capital of the World, but fewer know that Churchill is also The Beluga Whale Capital of the World. Every year thousands of migrating beluga whales come to the warm waters of the Churchill River Estuary to raise their young before returning to the cold seawater of the Hudson Bay. Beluga Whales are naturally inquisitive and social creatures.

Being a Frontiers North guest, out on a Zodiac or in the Beluga Boat on the Churchill River can be sensory overload (in the best way), with the smell of sea air, beautiful views and a cornucopia of chirps and belugas popping up to say hello!



Snow Texture
Snow Drift
A person is standing on snow that has drifted in Churchill
© Abby Matheson

Snow is magically transformative. In the subarctic seeing the snow start to accumulate in the Autumn months is a sign of the colder weather to come. It brings a sense of relief, knowing that sea ice will soon start to form and hungry polar bears can make their way onto the ice where they can start to feast, after several long and hungry months. 

Inland, the snowpack grows and snow lands on the spruce trees, dampening and muffling the noise of the Boreal forest bringing a peaceful quiet over the forest. Snow brings new ways to travel and guests can enjoy snowshoeing in the Boreal Forest and dogsledding with Wapusk Adventures as apart of their daytime activities during a northern lights trip with Frontiers North. 



Lichen Texture
A rock covered in Fruitcose and Crustose Lichen
© Alex Cupeiro
A close up of Jewel Lichen
© Emilie St. Pierre
A lichen covered rock with crashed airplane, Miss Piggy
© Emilie St. Pierre

Often overlooked, lichen is pretty magical and the only of our four textures to exist year-round in Churchill. Lichen is a symbiotic plant, which means it is actually a combination of a fungus and an algae. There are three categories of lichen further divided into varieties in Churchill, Crustose lichens, Foliose lichens and Fruitcose lichens. 

Crustose lichens

Very simple lichen. They have a crusty-like appearance and tend to live on rocks. They slowly break down rocks over time, allowing for growth of other plants in the area.

Foliose lichens 

Look quite leafy, almost like lettuce. There is one lichen in particular that is notable in the Churchill area. Known colloquially known as Jewel Lichen you can see this lichen on rock formations along the coast and inland into the Boreal forest, it is bright, vibrant and orange in colour. 

Fruitcose lichens

These lichen tend to resemble miniaturized shrubs, there a variety of Fruitcose lichen in the Churchill. One you may see snowshoeing in the Boreal forest is Usnea or more commonly known as Old Man’s Beard. 

Lichen is a constant in Churchill, growing at rates sometimes as little as a millimeter per year, throughout the intense, drastically changing weather and harsh conditions of the North it is an icon of resilience and adaptability.

Maybe it's the lichen that is inspiring us, but as we move forward, we continue to pursue our future endeavours by adapting to changes and trying to improve. We currently have two Tundra Buggies converted to electric propulsion and aim to have the remainder of our touring fleet converted by 2030. We have greatly reduced our paper usage and choose thoughtful paper companies when we do print. We are proud to continue working with Polar Bears International as we have since 2000. Finally, we are proud to be B Corp™ Certified. Change may not always be instantaneous, so resilience plays a huge part in getting us started on the path of where we want to be.


Interested in seeing these textures in real life? Join us on a trip!



Header image © Abby Matheson

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