East West Refugee Collective and Top Drawer Help Resettle a Syrian Refugee Family

January 18, 2016 by  Top Drawer Creative

Top Drawer is made up of a beautifully diverse collection of talented individuals with roots that span across the globe. As a result, many of us know and understand what it’s like to relocate and rebuild after leaving behind everything we’ve ever known.

For that and many other reasons, we’re big supporters of helping our new neighbours from Syria find refuge within our communities!

Each year around the holidays, we like to select and throw some love toward a cause we’re passionate about. This year, we selected the East West Refugee Collective—a privately sponsored grassroots effort to resettle a refugee family right here in the GTA.

We’re thrilled to say we’ve donated $8,000 to this wonderful cause, which we recently learned will enable East West to help settle a second family as well!

Half of the money was donated to this cause by our staff through a silent auction we held during our Christmas party, and the other half by Top Drawer on behalf of our clients. Rather than sending baskets of cookies, chocolate or other holiday treats to our clients in appreciation of a good year, we felt it would be a lot more fun to give them a gift with a bit more heart and soul.

Here’s what our clients received:

Top Drawer: Home from Top Drawer on Vimeo.

If you’d like to join us in supporting East West Refugee Collective, we encourage you to visit and join their Facebook page for contacts and for more information.

Another option is Lifeline Syria—an organization recruiting, training and assisting sponsorship groups as they welcome refugees to the GTA. You can visit its website to find a sponsorship group in your area or to donate.

Finally, you can also donate to the Canadian Red Cross in support of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada, as well as those still abroad. The government of Canada will be matching every eligible dollar until February 29, 2016.

On behalf of all of us at Top Drawer, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new neighbours. We wish you peace, health and happiness, and all the best in your new homes!


Controlling Creativity

December 9, 2015 by  Mike Dineen

As Top Drawer’s resident wordsmith, fact checker, and functionality tester, I have a little confession to make: I’m not in love with the term “quality control,” even though I fully believe in its importance.

Don’t get me wrong; I rather enjoy the responsibilities involved with my role as Top Drawer’s quality control person. I get a special sort of thrill scouring all manner of creative and digital to catch the errors, from spelling mistakes, grammar issues, and awkward sentence structure; to design-related issues, visual inconsistencies, and online functionality; to fact checking, name spelling, and price checking – and so on.

It’s more the idea of “controlling” everyone’s creativity that I shy away from – especially when you consider that I work in a space fuelled by free-flowing creative energy.

It might seem that quality control is a straightforward process, one that could be completed by a robot or a computer program – like Word’s spell checker. But robots and programs lack the ability to detect those errors that demonstrate just how human we are, like contextual errors, illogical flow of information, or things that “just don’t look right.”

Would a robot be able to detect what’s wrong with this innocently awkward blunder that graced Toronto’s public transit system?



Or, this Starbucks gem?


I think not.

While quality control might seem like the creativity buzz killer, consider that all creative productions must eventually be sized properly, made consistent, and packaged up to make them accessible to an audience.

Think of the pre-defined boundaries of a poster, or the strict character count of a Tweet. These might seem like obligations, when actually the human-made boundaries have the effect of harnessing the designer’s creativity and strengthening the muscles of the social media writer.

So I’m that guy – the one who insists on adding a hyphen between two words at the eleventh hour. But when you have to find a way to capture the essence of a product or a brand in a short, sweet tagline for example, the only words you can use are the best ones.

There’s simply no room for error.


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