top of page

Our Collaboration with Indigenous Artist Shawna Kiesman

Learn more about how we worked with Shawna Kiesman to develop the Coastal Nations Fisheries logo.

Coastal Nations Fisheries (CNF) is an alliance between multiple nations to enable economic growth through viable and sustainable fisheries. Combining ancient wisdom with modern conservation practices, CNF aims to provide opportunities for members to earn a living while preserving fish for future generations.

The organization needed a logo to communicate the essence of its brand. We partnered with Indigenous artist, Shawna Kiesman, to translate CNF's spirit into their new logo.

United by Purpose

Under CNF, eight Nations and ten communities are working together to enable members to share in the growth opportunities around fishing. The alliance features community and commercial-level fisheries, which means plenty of training, learning, and skill development opportunities. Members who want to make fishing their livelihood and way of life are welcome to pursue the opportunities for personal and career growth that fishing can offer.

A Challenging Brief

As the logo designer for CNF, Shawna received a challenging design brief. The logo had to communicate many things, including:

  • The power of collaboration

  • Moving forward toward self-determination

  • A combination of ancient wisdom and modern practices

  • Sustainable harvest methods

  • Economic growth and opportunity

  • Personal growth and opportunity

  • Strength of cultural expression and tradition

Combining as many of these things as possible into a logo was a tall order, but Shawna created a beautiful yet powerful design. Her work reflects the uniqueness, impact, and value of the CNF alliance in visual form.

About Shawna Kiesman

Every piece Shawna creates is about learning her culture and reclaiming a lost identity. Shawna is connected to her Gitga'at and Nisga'a heritage, and her culture informs her creativity and design work. For example, she can derive inspiration from the environment by using symbols such as animals or drawing a colour palette from the ocean and sky. This inspiration enables Shawna to create designs that resonate deeply at an elemental level.

Shawna graduated from Blanche MacDonald with two diplomas, one in Make-up Artistry and another in Fashion Merchandising. In 2014, she decided to pursue a personal journey with her Tsimshian identity and attend Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.

At Freda Diesing School, Shawna learned to carve and hone her design skills, graduating with a Diploma in First Nations Fine Art and receiving the President's Award at Northwest Community College.

She transferred to Emily Carr University of Art & Design, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019 and additional awards, including a BC Arts Council Scholarship and Audain Entrance Foundation Scholarship. At Emily Carr, Shawna focused on painting and drawing while exploring other mediums.

Art and education continue to be driving forces in Shawna's life. She has also been an Artist in Residence at Skwachàys Lodge. She continues to develop her practice in design and painting while working with her mother, Justina Kiesman, creating regalia for their family.

The Design Process

In addition to the above, Shawna had to work within a set of constraints relating to the brand's look and feel. From there, Shawna followed her process to create the artwork for the logo.

Colours and Type

With the symbols for the artwork determined, Shawna had to come up with the right colours and typefaces.

A Rough Sketch

Here is an initial logo concept in the early phases of the design process.

The Final Logo Design

After Shawna created the artwork, CNF took the logo and typography (stylized text) and added some final polish.

Brand Guidelines Document and Final Package

All the design elements (line, shape, tone, symbols, shapes, text) combine to form the logo. As the main piece of imagery for the brand, the logo is the centrepiece. All other aspects of the brand guidelines flow outward from the logo.

Check Out Our Work

Shawna did an excellent job designing the CNF logo. Her work represents the power of the alliance and the impact it can have on members and communities.

At Good Digital, we’re proud of the work we do. Check out some of our awesome projects and clients in our portfolio.


bottom of page