new-ontario150-logo-design

To commemorate the Province’s upcoming 150th year since Confederation, Ontario announced a new celebratory logo. It’s weird, ungainly and isn’t very celebratory for a birthday logo. Otherwise, it’s fine. Sort of.

2017 marks the 150 anniversary of the founding of Canada – Confederation as it’s known – and as Ontario was one of the four original founding colonies – it’s also theirs too (speaking of Canada birthdays and such, the Canadian flag celebrated its 50th in 2015.) There’s a new Ontario 150 website that gives the historical whys and whats:ontario-150-logo-websiteHere’s the salient part on that first page:

“Why we’re celebrating: On July 1, 1867, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were the first colonies to enter into Confederation (a term we use for the process of joining Canada). That’s why we celebrate Canada’s anniversary each year on July 1. 2017 will mark our 150th anniversary. This is a chance to celebrate and reflect on our history, look ahead towards the next 150 years, and embark on an exciting new chapter for our province.”

The site also mentions a new Ontario150 logo, the rationale for which goes something like so:

“Ontario150 logo: We designed a new logo to help connect events and celebrations across Ontario. When we designed the visual identity for this celebration, we wanted to capture the energy that is moving through the province.”

Minor gripe off the hop? That camel case (where you smoosh two words together) Ontario150 is unnecessary and will result in the name being written in both versions: “Ontario 150” & “Ontario150.” Inconsistency is always bad for brand equity.

But what about the logo itself? Let’s take a look:
Ontario 150 new logo (Fair Notice: this is a version of the logo that I quickly converted to a vector to get the image big enough – despite rummaging around the official site for quite a while, I couldn’t find a high resolution version, nor a vector. That’s bad form guys, especially if you want people to write about your fancy new roll out.)

As for the design itself, it’s a bit weirdly put together if anyone were to ask me (they didn’t, but whatever.) It’s not terribly celebratory – does this logo shout out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!” to you? – and features some really bizarre typography happening. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the lower case “i” in Ontario and why does it stretch waaaaaay down to the lower baseline? The placement of the 150 under the Ontario isn’t terribly well thought and that hand-drawn/not really hand-drawn typeface?

Otherwise, it’s fine.

The Twitter rollout.

The Provincial government announced the new logo on the Twitter machine Friday afternoon (for political wonks reading this, you probably already know that Friday is considered a Dead Zone in political media. Nobody is around – off to the bar probably – and most people are more interested in weekend plans than government data dumps. Which is why governments release news that they really don’t want anyone to read on Friday afternoons. Not saying that this is the case here, because the logo is fine.)

Anyhoo, this:



Not to be a wag or anything, but I found logo weird on first blush, especially those green squiggly lines, so I asked what the dealio was. Them green squiggly lines:


Not much of an answer mind you, but the link went here, where there’s some sort of firework animation going on (click the little white arrow in the blue circle.)


Yay. Fireworks. I guess. Here’s the static version of this firework treatment:ontario150-logo-on-blue-backgroundWoo-hoo. Nothing “captures the energy of Ontario” like a whole bunch of scratchy little lines that are supposed to be fireworks. I’m positively over the moon with energy.

A little early for the griping.

Not much news action on this yet (Friday afternoon dead zone remember) so a little griping on social media, but not your typical weaponization that we’ve seen in logo rollouts gone by. I’m sure all will be fine as long as:

a) the new Ontario150 (or is it Ontario 150?) logo didn’t cost a bazillion dollars of taxpayer monies,
b) wasn’t outsourced to some design company half way across the world, and
c) wasn’t doodled by some unpopular politico or their kid.

At least its not as much a disaster as the epic 2 year long Canada 150 logo fiasco that reached almost Biblical proportions of ineptitude and stupidity. And it doesn’t look like anyone’s genitals.

In other words: fine.