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Designers rethink logos for Canada's 150th birthday

The federal government recently tested logo designs for the 2017 confederation celebrations, and some people were less than impressed, including the professional design community.

“It’s almost as if somebody wrote a list of what Canada stands for — maple leafs, hockey, maple syrup, the colour red, fireworks for celebration — put that in a logo-generator and hit ‘go’,” said graphic designer Ibraheem Youssef.

Not impressed with the Feds’ offerings, Youssef compiled alternative logo proposals from himself and other industry professionals on a website last Monday called the 150 Logo project.

The site had 300,000 hits in two days and Youssef received more than 200 emails from other designers hoping to get in on the project.

On Monday, he added 50 more logos to the site.

Youssef first saw the federal government’s logo proposals in news reports.

Test audiences from Montreal, Mississauga and Chilliwack, B.C., had given the designs a lukewarm reaction.

Youssef has heard through the industry that the designs were made in-house by Heritage Canada, the department in charge of the celebrations. It couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

He thinks designers should have been given the chance to bid on a contract to design the logo.

That said, the goal of the project is not to convince Heritage Canada to pick one of their logos.

“Our main objective comes out of a sense of pride in two areas: as Canadians and as designers,” said Youssef. “We want to force the dialogue about what is acceptable as good design … amongst the public as well as professionals.”

What do you think of the logos? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Check out some of the alternative designs in the gallery.