Ontario's new logo

Don McCahill's picture

What have you done for $200,000 lately? I was wondering if any of the designers on the forum would care to comment on the new Ontario provincial logo. You can see both the old and new logos here http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2006/06/23/to-trillium20060623.html

jupiterboy's picture

It is very easy to be critical. I would like to know why they decided to change the existing.

pattyfab's picture

Why does a province need a logo anyway? Does anybody really think more people will visit Ontario because it has an updated trillium? Does anybody really know what a trillium is?

I could think of a lot of better uses for that 200 large. Send it to Darfur for starters.

Nick Shinn's picture

That is too bad for me to even comment on.

Ken Messenger's picture

Lemme guess. Somebody's brother/sister/daughter/son/wife works for the design firm?

Nick Shinn's picture

It's ironic that Ontario is one of the few places where graphic design is a registered profession, and yet its government gave the job of redesigning its logo to an ad agency!
Given the federal Liberal party's recent problems with advertising (Gomery Report) which led to the defeat of Paul Martin's government, this seems like a particularly bone-headed redesign all round. John Tory ("Ontario's next premier") must be lovin' it.

TDF's picture

I would have done it for half the price!

Looks like a generic health care logo...

mr smith's picture

Well said, Nick. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the previous logo -- the '72 tweak being the best iteration. Is it too late get our money back?

j_polo9's picture

I don't see the problem. I think it is sad that the critics don't understand that a good Brand that should last them another 40 years would cost a lot. I like the new version for what it is, I'm sure they had a lot of design constraints and a committe to work with, yuk.

Paul Cutler's picture

I would have done it for $218,999. No problem…

peace

liquisoft's picture

I don't see anything wrong with the prior Trillium(s).
However, I also understand why they may have done it. They wanted something fun and dynamic to make the Province seem more exciting and young. What they got was something that doesn't quite look like a Trillium but doesn't look unlike one, either.

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Ryan Ford

typequake's picture

Pattyfab,

Canada helps Darfur plenty.

andi emery's picture

I don't believe it. That update looks like first year student design work - how utterly embarassing. I'm with you on this one, Ken. Looks like an extension of the sponsorship scandal. Ugh.

Stefan H's picture

"I would have done it for half the price!"

Ha ha, I would never have put my name on that "thing" It's a shame they got paid that much for such a poor result... Buuuuu!

crossgrove's picture

OK,

Let's make it next week's design challenge. Pretend there's $216,000 waiting for you at the end of the habitrail. All of typophile can act as the bureaucratic committee reviewing your designs.

j_polo9's picture

aight so the logo looks like something you'd pick up at the logofactory.com or something. Reminds me a lot like the German World Cup one though. Crap designed by a committee by designers who want the money more than caring about telling the committee to shut up and let them design. But then again for $216,000 i would have done the same thing ;)

negativespace's picture

I kept hearing about this from some friends and now I have finally seen it. Horrible. I too, also thought there was nothing wrong with the previous one and always liked it since I was young. Not looking forward to seeing this spread around. Good point that Nick made about graphic design in Ontario.

I'd also out of curiosity like to see this logo with a type treatment. The old logo very commonly had "Ontario" to the right of it, and I could see the type treatment being a little awakward with this one in my head because of its shape; so I wonder how they have planned to tackle that.

ebensorkin's picture

The old shapes were a little awkward - in a way typical of over-reductionist logos that come from that time period. Kind of like what happened to the Prudetial insurance logo. But there was the seed of someting tasty & potentially great there. I am not sure I hate the new logo as much as everybody else - but I don't love it either. In any case; the new logo will likeley get replaced as fast as the old ones have been - so no worries! My advice to the next gal or chap to take up the brush - look to Japanese forms that are similar!

Don McCahill's picture

Thanks for all the comments (so far). The biggest part of the scandal is that the logo was commissioned by an ad agency with ties to the Liberal (governing) party.

But the hilarity continues: last night in the Toronto Star one letter writer decried the waste of money by suggesting that the government should have instead had a contest for high school students to design a logo, with first prize being a university scholarship.

That is what the public thinks of our industry ... something that high school students can do before they go to university.

Sad.

andi emery's picture

You know Don, this just really gets me going. (High school students?! UGH! Why not kindergarten children?!)

I remember the hubbub that was created when the Vancouver 2010 Olympic logo contest was first proposed and designers were on the fence over whether or not that was ethical. I couldn't believe how many people were jumping at the chance to do work for free, without any recompense.

Nick brings up a real valid point about us having a registered profession and the RGD have ethical guidelines that all designers should be adhereing to, supporting and promoting. When a contest is run for any kind of design, or someone does work for free, it undermines the graphic design profession - it doesn't do anyone any favours (for the most part). We educate our students all the time on avoiding doing work for free.

Do we ask Doctors to make diagnoses for free? Propose possible prescriptions as part of a contest? Do we ask Architects, Engineers or Lawyers to submit proposals and re-works for free? Yes, I realize that there are all levels of design and art out there and yes, I realize that a lot of designs are created via committee, but we have a responsibility to our profession to guide people, educate them and sell them on what works. We also have the right to fire a client and walk away.

This monstrosity of a logo looks like it was sitting atop a photocopier machine and just as someone was about to photocopy it, the person moved the original sheet. I agree the original logo was a bit conservative but we're talking about a logo for a government - not a festival logo. Think about what the logo is representing and what it will be used for — and the fact that it cost more money than it was worth.

Don McCahill's picture

It was mentioned in another forum that the new logo looks like three men sitting in a triangular hot tub. Now I can't get the image out of my head.

(Oops, now you have it.)

andi emery's picture

Ohhhhhh great... Thanks Don.

crossgrove's picture

I saw the 3 people in a hot tub right away. The committee wasn't diligent enough....

liquisoft's picture

I'm laughing my ass off, right now. It totally looks like that.

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Ryan Ford

andi emery's picture

Oh man, are those bubbles in the hot tub?? Are those party beverages (that have been bought with tax payers' money)?!

ebensorkin's picture

Andi, you are just killing me. All you need now is deeley-bobbers! It is always tricky when you get a figure into a logo.

GoAround's picture

Nah, it's three people drowning in a bermuda triangle of bad design.

j_polo9's picture

lol thats great.

j_polo9's picture

lol thats great.

Ratbaggy's picture

I say go back to the original 1964 design. The new addition makes no sense, nor was it designed by anyone who knows what they are doing.

I hate examples like this. $200,000 ... I could tell you at least 20 better ways to spend the money. One is investing in decent logo design.

what a joke, clearly someones mate who wanted a high profile job (who happend to have mates in high places)

in summary ... it's crap.

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Paul Ducco
Solid Creative

dezcom's picture

It looks like 3 Audi engineers being sucked into the combustion chamber of a Wankel engine :-)

http://www.keveney.com/Wankel.html

ChrisL

jupiterboy's picture

Chris is a rotory fan.

dezcom's picture

LOL!

ChrisL

negativespace's picture

The PC party has started their website against it:

http://www.savethetrillium.ca/

andi emery's picture

Thomas, you rock! There's a petition on there that all Ontarians can sign to petition Dalton McGuinty. Thanks!

Ratbaggy's picture

HA!! Now that's the type of intervention that's needed. Good luck with it.

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Paul Ducco
Solid Creative

Rob Snider's picture

It's okay, but they forgot one element...

sim's picture

I just have one comment: wrong choice.

bokkah's picture

for that amount of money...
I hope they got a TV commercial and radio spots,
plus annual reports, corp. I.D. etc.
(not just the design but the print budget too would fit in under $200000)
if they paid that much for the logo, it's a scam.

Nick Shinn's picture

The outstretched arms are a visual platitude, a cynical attempt at crowd-pleasing, comparable to a political promise of less taxes. As HG Frankfurt concluded, "Sincerity is bullshit" -- and happy happy joy joy, aspiration and outreach are not the purpose of government (although they may be suitable for some government departments). This has certainly been proven as democratic governments have cracked down on civil liberties in the wake of 9/11 and 7/7. Regulation and enforcement are a responsibility of government, and by ignoring that aspect, the new logo becomes Orwellian.

***

The outstretched arms are reminiscent of that classic Canadian debacle of public art/design, the WW2 VC pilot's memorial on University Avenue, Toronto, known as Gumby Goes to Heaven, which is often referenced whenever Torontonians talk about bad public art.

jselig's picture

At least I got my health card and license changed before the logo came out. :)

lindsay smail's picture

The Toronto Star editorial today made me absolutely livid (and drove me out of lurking). I'm still in shock.

“But there was a much cheaper way for McGuinty to revive the trillium without drawing bad publicity.

A contest for schoolchildren to redesign Ontario's logo would have cost a fraction of the advertising firm's fees and avoided charges of partisanship. More important, the competition would have encouraged civic pride among the province's young people.

That truly would have been something to celebrate.”

dezcom's picture

I guess there is no alternative between $200,000 and school children's drawings--maybe some clip art?
:-)

ChrisL

Raja Sandhu's picture

Those parody logos are hilarious!

http://www.savethetrillium.ca/

aluminum's picture

.gov design is often the victim of design-by-committee in the worse way.

(speaking as someone who's a designer for a .gov)

Nick Shinn's picture

That's not the problem here.
In the first place, the logo didn't need redesigning for the purpose stated, which is for marketing the brand of the province. For instance, Ontario Tourism "yours to discover" is one of many provincial departments which has its own ad-friendly branding, unrelated to the main provincial identity.
Secondly, it was a poor choice to give a major re-branding to an ad agency.
A design firm with a suitable track record would be a better choice, and would be better at dealing with design-by-committee, if that's the problem.

Don McCahill's picture

> it was a poor choice to give a major re-branding to an ad agency

Yeah, but the design firms are not big government contributors.

steveluscher's picture

I really hope the Ontario government decides to review its visual identity strategy; I will miss the old logo so so much if it disappears.

In the meantime, I've written an open letter to Dalton McGuinty, asking him to reconsider Ontario's brand strategy in a way that preserves and nurtures the brand equity Ontario has been building since at least 1972. You can read it here:

Dan Weaver's picture

I like the idea of redesigning the logo, do it again but make sure you spend the money. Money is fertilizer spread it around. Maybe the logo is intentionally bad so more Ontario designers will get their shot at making a lot of money. Money makes the world go round

fallenartist's picture

Don't our names say much about ourselves? Why "Guinty" is so close to "Guilty"? ;)

BTW - I like the old logo, but think the border should be "O" (Ontario) shaped in future version.

___________
AL
www.lenart.pl

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