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Image of UJA Federation building.

UJA Federation

Toronto, ON
Services Deliverables
  • Signage
  • Wayfinding
  • Masterplanning
  • Donor Recognition
  • Placemaking

Strengthening the connections within a community

Nestled in the natural beauty of the West Don Parklands, the UJA Federation’s Sherman campus is a unique multiplex hub that provides an essential cultural link for Toronto’s Jewish community and features state-of-the-art sports, youth, educational and family programming. The phase II development mission is to expand the facility offerings and enrich the connection for all members of the UJA family.

Wayfinding signage along a trail.
Monuments of recognition

A vibrant and thriving community hub

UJA Federation approached Forge Media + Design to plan, design, and implement a wayfinding system for the newly planned Sheff Family Building. Our design challenge was to create a harmonious experience amongst neighbouring buildings while integrating new signage and donor recognition for the campus, building exterior and interior.

Close-up of building signage lettering.
The building as fabric of the community
Wayfinding signage pillars outside the building.
Wayfinding signage outside the building complex.
Unified brand through typeface consistency
UJA Federation building.
Integrated wayfinding creates a sense of place

Understanding the diverse legacy

Cultural sensitivity and accessibility were critical factors to the development of the project. Working within specific budget constraints, Forge engaged with key stakeholders to understand the diverse typology of guests and visitors. The result is not only an intuitive system that liberates the act of mobility and access but also one that provides moments of connection, pride of place and a shared vision for the future.

Interior of UJA building, with a focus on wayfinding signage.
Familiar forms help with orientation
Close-up of office signage.
Close-up of building amenity signage.
Close-up of building amenity signage.
Changeable donor panels
  • 106K sq. ft. campus

DesignThinkers 2023
Services Deliverables
  • Website

Developing a seamless digital conference experience

DesignThinkers is Canada’s largest design conference, organized by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD). Offering in-person and virtual experiences, DesignThinkers hosts annual conferences in Toronto and Vancouver, bringing together creatives and designers nationwide.


Custom theme
Schedule creation
Custom animations

Website based on Sid Lee’s branding

Exploring an open-source design approach

Each year features a theme focusing on industry trends and opportunities, with this year’s titled ‘Question Tomorrow’. Envisioned by Sid Lee, our design partner, all elements are largely open-source, free assets, and purposefully selected to support the direction of the conference. Working closely with Sid Lee and RGD, the development team at Forge brought the digital experience to life by implementing a refreshed theme into the website.

Open-source illustrations

Future-proofing the codebase for years to come

We undertook a thorough analysis and modernization effort to update the legacy codebase to meet the latest web standards, guaranteeing the website would continue functioning for years. This optimization effort increased the longevity of the website’s codebase, ensuring that it can continue to adapt to changing business needs and technical environments.

One website, two cities – Vancouver and Toronto

Implementing industry best practices into WordPress

While implementing the refreshed design, the team at Forge improved the semantic code throughout the site by better defining different sections and making the front end more accessible. We enhanced the WordPress administration interface to make it more user-friendly, streamlining the content editing experience and providing greater flexibility to site administrators.

Bold graphics to promote Canada’s largest Design Conference
  • 2.1K delegates attended in 2022
  • 48 speakers from 7 countries
  • 26 editions and counting in 22 years
  • no. 1 graphic design event in Canada
  • 2 cities visited per year