A Canadian Example of Good Design


We write a lot about UK logo design, for obvious reasons. We tend to be especially interested in the logos for UK museums and other design-based organisations. However, many of the designs are simply not that great. There are notable exceptions to be sure, but many arts organisations in the UK are in desperate need of new branding.

The arts are an important part of Britain’s heritage, yet they seem to get short shrift in everyday life. Part of this is awareness; people simply are not aware of the different cultural events going on around them. Sometimes these get lost in the fray of marketing. Good design can overcome this, or at least begin to make strides toward overcoming.

Today we thought we would look at a Canadian arts organisation that has recently rebranded and is seeing more success and awareness as a result. The organisation in question is the Arts and Culture Centres of the Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador. The old brand was stale and unattractive, in black and white with an image that looked like a traffic light and had ‘CC’ (not even the full acronym) where the round lights would be. The font was bland. Nothing about this logo design indicates that something exciting or noteworthy is happening in these centres.

The result, unfortunately, has been that these centres, which are present throughout the province, are underused. There are few events, and just as few attendees and supporters. This is a problem that is also seen in British arts and culture organisations.

The new logo is more modern and attractive, which will definitely help to build the ACC brand. It features the colours traditionally associated with printing, with a stylized A that is styled to resemble a bulls-eye shape. The C’s are drawn to nestle into each other, a detail that creates a professional look. The full name of the centres is written below in a space age font with upper case, grey letters that are all business.

It is easy to see how this logo design will impact the arts community in the Labrador and Newfoundland province. This logo is much more eye-catching; moreover, it is much more inviting. It is easy to see local arts lovers buying event tickets bearing this logo, or to image billboards built around this brand. The logo is already being used in social media and on the centres’ websites. We especially like the way that the social media buttons have been designed to turn the A from the logo into balloons. Other changes are in store for the ACC as well; for example, online ticket sales will be introduced this autumn.

Good UK design is desperately needed to support the arts. No one is going to take a museum, theatre or other arts organisation seriously if they have a brand that does not communicate their artistic style. We are happy to see that so many museums and arts organisations, both in the UK and elsewhere, are beginning to rebrand and use social media to promote their causes.