Welcome to wherever you are.

The Halifax Regional Municipality rolled out its new branding today: they want to be bold, they want to just be known as "Halifax", and they've got a new logo for the city. The full explanation is at halifaxdefined.ca, but here's the important part.

This is the old logo:

And here's the new one:

Personally, I like it. It's simpler, it's bolder, and it's really, really new. I've seen a lot of welcome signs on a lot of cities, and many are charming, and some are clever, and a few are even modern and dynamic... but "simple and bold" is a bit of a rarity.

Let's go on a tour, shall we?

It's a V, it's pretty, and it's water-related. It certainly covers the main points - and as a bonus, the blue and white stripes echo the provincial flag, as is fitting for a capital.

Flowers! And also, this is the colour scheme of the 2010 Olympics - surely not a coincidence.

I never would have expected Calgary to have the classiest traditional logo, but here it is. And actually, it's pretty great. You've got a bull, a horse, and a beaver, with a banner reading "Onward!" A cynic might say that Calgary's trying to act more important than it is by giving itself a fancy crest, but a) it IS an important city, and b) fancy crests are a Canadian tradition.

Hm. How old do you think this logo is? I'd wager it dates from the SCTV era, at the earliest. There's a certain boldness in keeping a logo around that long, I suppose...

Wow! This is a surprise - it's colourful, and it sort of looks like a Moëbius strip, making "Infinite Horizons" a bit more profound than just a joke about the landscape. Well done!

Uh-oh. Sorry, Saskatoon, this logo looks like a budget hotel. I can see what you're getting at, though: it's as plain as day to me that this is a picture of the Saskatchewan River. It's a good idea - it just looks a bit boring, that's all.

...maybe I don't know Winnipeg as well as I should, because aside from a "let's all hug" swirl, I have no idea what significant things are being represented here.

T-Bay isn't really in the Top 10 list, but I love this logo. The thunderbird is eye-catching, and the slogan sounds pompous until you realise that it's on the shore of Lake Superior, which makes it surprisingly literal.

This logo reminds me of a magazine ad for a Commodore 64.

Much like Saskatoon, this logo also looks like a hotel sign - albeit a nicer one. Apparently, they're very proud of their High Level Bridge - or perhaps it's more to do with their pride in engineering and construction. Not bad, actually.

Another set of logos designed to look like they want to hug you. 
It's a subtle touch in the Ottawa logo, how there's a maple leaf in the O. 

Unfortunately, it makes the leaf looks like it's swirling down the drain...

Is that crest supposed to be a bunch of Ms shaped like hearts? Or is it a reference to the highway cloverleafs in the city?

Or maybe it's just something strange and beautiful that Montréal decided to run with, because that's how they do things. It looks like it dates back to the days of the Expos, but it still works.
This one's interesting, because of how very similar it is in theme to the old Halifax logo.

Uh-oh. Winnipeg, Montréal, and now Saint John's - I'm not as well-versed in Canadian cities as I thought I was, because this arch in the O has me stumped!

On the other hand, I'm not sure even residents of Moncton know what this is supposed to be. I do like the Moncton slogan, though: "Our Tide Is Rising". It's a reference to the Bay of Fundy, and of their hopeful recovery from some rough years, but it's also delightfully ominous. Sort of like the Maritime version of "Winter Is Coming".

And last but not least, Charlottetown. That's a weird design they're using - it could be a river, or an island, or the Confederation Bridge, or even just a "C" (don't tell them I said this, but I think it's kind of cute that they call themselves C-town). Regardless of the mysterious swoosh, though, it's a pretty generic message - although yes, great things *do* happen there.

So, there you are - a quick tour through the logos of Canada! They're not too bad, and Edmonton's proves that even the bad ones become good over time, as they get accepted and even acquire a bit of "retro" appeal. So perhaps it's not necessary to get too worked up over a new logo. 

But that being said, the new Halifax logo is definitely distinct from all the others here. It's not a direction anyone expected them to take - and maybe that's a good thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

information on the Montreal logo http://spacing.ca/montreal/2009/12/01/the-montreal-logo/

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.