Canada 150th Logo

Firstly let me congratulate Ariana Cuvin on her success in the Canada 150 logo competition. It’s obvious a lot of thought went into the logo. In the next few days you’ll probably have a lot of pitchfork wielding internet idiots yelling insults at you which is an unfortunate consequence of entering these type of things. Stay strong you have a bright future.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a huge fan of the work. It’s OK, just not wonderful. The work falls a little flat not because of the designer, but because of the process. The Government chose to make this a competition, rather than engaging skilled professionals. They made it about a logo and not about a brand. Canada’s 150th anniversary should be treated as a brand. The logo is just a small component of it. Look at what Team Canada are doing for a great example of how to build a brand.

Usually clients engage with their design team. It’s a process of collaboration and discovery. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and get in the trenches with your clients. Sometimes you argue with them and sometimes a nugget of info emerges from a meeting that can spawn a whole new way of thinking. This didn’t happen in this case. It couldn’t. There was no engagement. Ariana’s best work I feel was still to come. The potential for her to create something fantastic is there, it just won’t materialize in this case since the “logo” is now done in the eyes of the Government. It’s baked. No process.

And really that’s the shame. The Government defended their “competition” by saying it’s a great opportunity for students to learn. Designing a logo in a vacuum teaches students nothing. If anything it’s detrimental, to both their learning process and to their future livelihoods.

Hopefully the Government will reach out to Ariana and involve her in the ongoing development and rollout of the Canada 150 event. Because that’s the only learning opportunity here.

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