Growing through the digital decades

Canpotex is an international potash exporter that calls downtown Saskatoon home. They play an integral role in global food security—providing nutrients to farmers in markets around the world. Responsible for selling and shipping 250 million tonnes of Canadian potash to over 40 countries, Canpotex is an industry leader. For 50 years, they have helped farmers grow more food while supporting the communities where they live and work.

Laying the Digital Foundation

Over the course of four decades, Canpotex operated with limited external communication while continuing to grow their operations. Their audiences had limited knowledge about the company and misconceptions were hurting their brand. In 2016, Canpotex came to zu with a new corporate vision and strategy — ones that were not reflected in their online presence. They needed a website that would align with their reinvigorated business approach and knew it was time to form a digital foundation for their future.

Internal alignment

Through a workshop with Canpotex, we identified key concerns and themes that needed to be addressed internally before we could create a website that would meet our goals. These overarching themes included:

  • Data & infrastructure
  • Change management
  • Culture
  • Security
  • Opportunities

Designed for today, built to scale

We worked together to expand on these themes and come up with a plan on how to address any issues before they affected the build and launch of a new website.

Upgrades to internal systems and data networks, shareholder buy-in, staff communication and alignment on opportunities were the responsibility of Canpotex to address in order to support zu’s work.

Through the workshop activities and discussions, it was identified that Canpotex needed an online platform that would:

Provide accessible information to audiences and take the onus off of employees to answer frequently asked questions

Increase transparency, improve the perception and battle the misconceptions of Canpotex’s integrity, ethics, safety and respect

Increase general awareness of Canpotex amongst the media, career seekers and customers

Be a platform that would grow and mature with the company

Internal digital adoption was key and Canpotex had a new CEO and a bold, innovative team leading the way. Focused strategy workshops with the communications, marketing, strategy, IT and human resources teams got all of the needs, wants and expectations on the table. Together, we shaped the milestones, defined technical and content requirements and identified potential roadblocks that we would face. redesign launch: 2016

With brand guidelines, clear project goals and requirements in tow, the zu team worked closely with Canpotex and their three shareholder companies to ensure approvals were completed at every stage of the project through their multiple levels of leadership.

The result was a vibrant website designed for their users around the world. It provided readers with important information and education about Canpotex and their industry while built on an flexible, scalable and integration-ready framework for future growth and evolution.

Out with the Old — Website Reskin

Fast forward to 2021, and the initial build had proven its durability and adaptability. With a recent update to Drupal 9, regular content modifications and minor design evolutions over the years, was still serving the needs of its audiences.

Styles, however, had evolved and Canpotex had presented zu with a fresh update to their brand and challenged us to reskin their website while maintaining its features and functionality.

Reskinning a website is both a design and a development challenge. Though it may sound simply like updates to the colors and font, the work is deeper than the front-end. It is a full brand integration while also modernizing every aspect of the website so that the visuals match the experience.

Existing features are reworked to meet current UX needs and expectations and some features are recreated from the ground up. Since was not yet due for a complete technical overhaul, the reskin was a chance to rejuvenate the website with a dynamic new look and feel.

It’s always exciting when a client comes to us to share their new rebrand. There were a lot of fun elements to play with, like the pattern element inspired by the flow of potash transportation, the shapes of the minerals discovered through mining and the patterns within crops that use potash to nourish the soil. A reskin without a full redesign can sometimes be a challenge, but zu and Canpotex worked together to pull it off—in a big way.

Brittany Lloy, zu Designer

Celebrating 50 Years

2022 marked the 50th anniversary of Canpotex — a major cause for celebration. Five decades of supplying potash to the world’s growers, supporting the communities where its people live and work and contributing to the global food security movement.

To honour their history, we designed and built a 50 year anniversary extension to The reskin provided an exciting new reveal of a modern Canpotex and the tribute to their past to back it up. This page takes you on a journey through time, back to 1943 when potash was discovered in Saskatchewan. 

A brand refresh provides the ideal opportunity for an organization to evaluate their website and reskin it with a new look, feel and a modernized user experience. If your website is still helping you to meet your goals and serving the needs of your users, a website rebuild is not likely necessary—but keeping your website relevant, appealing and up to date with users’ expectations is key. A reskin on a solid website foundation can breathe new life into your digital platform.

Client Testimonial
Our company recently engaged zu to update our website with new branding and a special feature page for our 50th anniversary. zu was easy to work with, providing strong project management leadership and bringing creative design ideas to the table. We are very pleased with the final product and we continue to work with them for general website hosting and maintenance.
Maeghan Dubois, Manager, Communication