Proposed logos for Canada’s sesquicentennial look like they were designed in the nineties

Proposed logos for Canada’s sesquicentennial look like they were designed in the nineties

Canada will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2017 (that’s a 150th anniversary, for those without without dictionary-level knowledge of Latinate prefixes) and the federal government is already at work on the crucial stuff: figuring out what the t-shirts and letterhead will look like. Over the summer, Canadian Heritage hired a contractor to conduct focus-group studies of five different prospective logos for the celebration’s publicity materials. Frankly, the preliminary sketches don’t inspire much confidence in the design sensibilities of the people doing the choosing. Take a look.


What the focus groups liked: Some study participants viewed the use of blue as a welcome nod to Quebec.
What the focus groups hated: Others saw an unfortunate resemblance to a hockey puck. (Doesn’t everything that’s circular resemble a hockey puck?)
We Say: It looks like something that would be stamped on a package of federally inspected meat. Next.


What the focus groups liked: Participants thought the shape of the logo imbued it with strength and pride.
What the focus groups hated: Where some saw strength, others saw “aggression.”
We Say: Probably a little too firefightery.


What the focus groups liked: The fact that the 13 maple leafs symbolize Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.
What the focus groups hated: Some participants found this logo “boring.”
We Say: Do we not have the budget for more than three colours? Here, by way of comparison, is the logo Stuart Ash designed for Canada’s Centennial, in 1967.


What the focus groups liked: This design, some participants felt, is “clearly identifiable as Canadian.”
What the focus groups hated: Others found the red “aggressive.”
We Say: A red maple leaf with some words underneath it is a little too easy.


What the focus groups liked:
The fireworks.
What the focus groups hated: The fireworks.
We Say: No fireworks, please.