Simplified and refreshed clusterfuck-in-lipstick
March 1, 2017 8:09 PM   Subscribe

The City of Vancouver (Canada) chose the lowest local bidder to design their new logo. They got what they paid for. Local designers were so horrified they wrote an open letter to the mayor and city council. Yesterday the mayor's office halted the rollout of the wordmark.
posted by AFABulous (99 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's no 1985 Provo flag, but it'll do.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:15 PM on March 1 [22 favorites]


>Vision is defending this sad logo choice by by saying that it went with the lowest local bidder and only spent $8K on it

Going forward, if they need a contractor to pick a font and type 3 words for 8K, I'm available.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:20 PM on March 1 [90 favorites]


GOOGLE PAUL RAND
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:23 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Good effort, but as far as lazy design goes: Okland's flag still reigns supreme. I will admit that the City of Vancouver's new logo has the same "Yeah, that'll do" sensibility. Which could almost be an art in and of itself. What is the minimum amount of design you can do that results in something that isn't obviously taking the piss or just utterly unusable?
posted by Grimgrin at 8:26 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


CUT TO: FREELANCE ARTIST, VERY HIGH ON MEDICINAL MARIJUANA AFTER WINNING LUCRATIVE GOVERNMENT CONTRACT, LOOKING AT INTUOS TABLET

FA: Hm. I need some inspiration

ARTIST SEES RECENT BATMAN COMIC ON SHELF

FA: Ah yes, Gotham City
posted by solarion at 8:31 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Everyone always hates the new logo.

ALWAYS.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:33 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Sing Or Swim: "Going forward, if they need a contractor to pick a font and type 3 words for 8K, I'm available."

Psst, Vancouver: I'LL come in at $7500.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:39 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Eight thousand dollars for a logo that looks like a label you find on something you find at the dollar store? I am really surprised they did not just hand in a blank sheet of paper...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:42 PM on March 1


Ah, the Montreal tetra-butt.
posted by XMLicious at 8:43 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


That's not even a logo. It's the default font you use on the title slide of a PowerPoint presentation.
posted by littlesq at 8:46 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


For those of you who didn't read the article: Vancouver stole the logo.

This is way way beyond "ha ha, shitty logo."
posted by My Dad at 8:56 PM on March 1 [25 favorites]


Except Vancouver apparently stole it but didn't steal the kerning.
posted by Frowner at 9:04 PM on March 1 [32 favorites]


MIT SIPB's XVM project has a better logo, and they did it way cheaper.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:07 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


I'm getting old, I passed my minimalist phase in graphic design for my student journal in back in college. So what's worse, an ugly "logo", or slightly elitist artists blathering on about city identity whatever that is really supposed to be, from a political, socioeconomic perspective.
posted by polymodus at 9:09 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I find the letter kind of overblown, I started rolling my eyes a couple of paragraphs in as they blathered on about sacred identity. But yes, a logo should be more than a font and color choice. At least Chilliwack got a graphic.
posted by tavella at 9:13 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


I thought we were discussing the "Ounoouno" logo and that the City of Vancouver line was the title of the blog post. I was SO CONFUSED.
posted by fshgrl at 9:57 PM on March 1 [16 favorites]


For those of you who didn't read the article: Vancouver stole the logo.

And for those who don't know, stealing it from CHILLIWACK rubs salt in the wound.

No doubt the designer had been gone, gone, gone so long designing it.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 PM on March 1 [32 favorites]


A new logo's abruptly foisted upon the public, resulting in aesthetic feedback which isn't just listened to politely, but actually heeded? How refreshingly Canadian.
posted by Rash at 10:02 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


No doubt the designer had been gone, gone, gone so long designing it.

When the story broke, he decided to fly at night, I hear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:04 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


They could have done worse.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:22 PM on March 1


They could have done worse.

Indeed
posted by Candleman at 10:39 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Aw, Provo changed their flag? Why? Were they sick of paying royalties to the Centrum Silver vitamin people?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:41 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


In my opinion, City Hall should shelve this new design until a proper process can be conducted, possibly after next year’s civic election.

If I lived in Vancouver, I'd be way more pissed that the city spend a hundred grand (and likely more) on consultants, endless public meetings and all the rest than I ever would be about this (admittedly not all that great) redesign.
posted by madajb at 10:49 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Ha, no one ever loves the logo.

My hometown, Colorado Springs, is famous for saving money by turning off every third streetlight and closing park restrooms, and yet five years ago, they spent wheelbarrows of cash to create a city logo and tagline that no one wanted and no one asked for. Worse, they went with an out-of-town firm instead of asking for bids locally.

Gobs and gobs of cash, loads of it, and the city proudly unveiled a logo featuring star dudes running down a melting huckleberry parfait. That's supposed to be Pikes Peak in the back, by the way, the famed purple mountain majesty of America the Beautiful. Rendered into parfait.

Several independent design groups here in town swooped in to the rescue and we ended up with this, which was a marked improvement.
posted by mochapickle at 10:52 PM on March 1 [7 favorites]


(Also, they keep trying to make "The Springs" happen. It's not going to happen.)
posted by mochapickle at 10:54 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


we are all canucks
posted by philip-random at 10:55 PM on March 1


A new logo's abruptly foisted upon the public, resulting in aesthetic feedback which isn't just listened to politely, but actually heeded? How refreshingly Canadian.

Well... In 2007, the Ontario government replaced their classic Centennial-era Rand-esque trillium losenge logo with some stretched-out clipart garbage. Nobody wanted the change; nobody liked the change. But it ain't changin' back any time soon.

*sigh*
posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


See, everybody's talking about terrible town logos, and nobody's mentioned Whitesboro, New York yet.
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 PM on March 1 [32 favorites]


Kuala Lumpur feels your pain.
posted by BinGregory at 11:23 PM on March 1 [19 favorites]


Is that Whitesboro one a joke? One they made on Parks and Rec, perhaps?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:25 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


"So what's worse, an ugly "logo", or slightly elitist artists blathering on about city identity whatever that is really supposed to be, from a political, socioeconomic perspective."

The logo is much worse, definitely. A bit more than just the usual eyerolling, but it's a new logo, what do you expect?

Love the parodies, though!
posted by blue shadows at 11:26 PM on March 1


as far as lazy design goes: Okland's flag still reigns supreme

Eh that's not so bad, it reminds me of Oregon's flag, of which I am fond.

However, this inspired me to look up my city's flag, and I was horrified by what I found.
posted by foobaz at 11:55 PM on March 1 [15 favorites]


I thought we were discussing the "Ounoouno" logo and that the City of Vancouver line was the title of the blog post. I was SO CONFUSED.
Me too - and of course if Vancouver had chosen Ounoouno as a logo it would have brought them the kind of perplexed but worldwide fame that even Chilliwack could hardly dream of.
posted by rongorongo at 12:32 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


25 years ago, my typography teacher predicted this day would come after DTP went viral - for young 'uns DTP or Desk Top Publishing is what happens when software makes all the rules and they tell you "you too can design, right there on your desktop"

Aldus led the way or was it Corel Draw?
posted by infini at 1:14 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Nearby Edmonton is mulling over a new design for its flag. I quite like it.
posted by painquale at 1:26 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I read this thread on the tv at home and have been baffled all the way into work as to what the ounoouno thing was supposed to represent in relation to Vancouver.
posted by biffa at 1:28 AM on March 2


I feel like people need to get out more. It's kind of a nothing logo, but it's not some epic catastrophe. I expected to open this up and see something done in crayon. I think I've wasted the last twenty seconds thinking about it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:40 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


My Dad: "This is way way beyond "ha ha, shitty logo.""

Indeed, it's TWO shitty logos.
posted by chavenet at 1:48 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


However, this inspired me to look up my city's flag, and I was horrified by what I found.

Good grief. Time to move, that is a deal breaker.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:05 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


i sympathise with the desire to save money. Mrs S once worked for an organisation that simultaneously laid off a number of junior staff and bought a new logo at a cost well in excess of the yearly salary of any of the sacked staff. Maybe that was a good decision, but it sort of gives the thing a new perspective.
posted by Segundus at 2:12 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the hate, it's a perfect okay ish logo and 8k is really a good deal for a government contract.
posted by zymil at 2:18 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


From the Edmonton flag link:

My first impression of the flag was, where is the city name. The flag meets the suggested requirements, but if I saw this flag on a pole I would not know what it represented. I think it needs Edmonton on it. I will need more time to develop my second impression.

Can we get this nominated for best internet comment ever?
posted by ropeladder at 3:22 AM on March 2


I honestly cannot tell if the comments indicating that kerning and x heights are the sine qua non of good logo design are just taking the piss. Yes, it's impossibly, drearily low-budget, but I get the distinct whiff of college radio station: "Oh, you're still listening to them? And not ironically?"
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:19 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


In fairness, they could have also spent 10k more on a design firm that would do exactly the same, only with with the right kerning and with Avenir or Proxima instead of Gotham.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:22 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


However, this inspired me to look up my city's flag, and I was horrified by what I found.

"What was your inspiration?"
"I wanted people to think of the load screen from a late-80s video game."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:03 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


My takeaway from this thread is, "Don't Google your city's flag out of curiosity."
posted by radicalawyer at 5:24 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Okay, I'll bite: what irritates me about the logo:

1. Rip-off. Anyone who has used, eg, Creative Suite could have made that logo in a few minutes. There's no concept there at all and you don't need to know anything about how type works. I've made wordmarks for things that looked better (not least because I dinked around with the kerning, etc), and that was on a strictly amateur, "we would like a logo for our recurring symposium" level. I'm sure that the Vancouver mayor's office had someone literally on staff who could have created that thing in a variety of file types, formats, etc, as part of their job.

2. Go big or go home. If Vancouver literally cannot afford a logo, keep the old one for now. Vancouver is a major city.

3. Generalized disrespect for designers. Now, if you genuinely think design work is stupid and fraudulent, do without - I ended up learning some bits and pieces for an old gig precisely because no one wanted to deal with real designers. Of course, this taught me exactly what designers do - I have an okay eye and I made some things I liked well enough, but they were nothing to what a trained person with full command of the software and lots of experience could produce. But their work was not cheap, and deservedly not cheap. Clients often have the idea that "design" involves, like, pushing a couple of buttons and therefore anyone who charges more than the bare minimum is a rip-off artist.

4. A wordmark is a major thing that you keep for years and years - it's not the place to cheap out, because it goes on everything. There are many other ways to manage design and printing costs - document templates, for example, so that in house non-design staff can just make the new brochure for a project in a drag-and-drop way.

I'm not someone who feels that a wordmark has to have a whole mystical explanation of font choice and exactly why this font and no other expresses Vancouverity, etc, but it should look good and you do need a logic of some kind - why this typeface and not, say, Century Schoolbook or Futura? A good wordmark should convey something about the entity - otherwise, why have any consistent logo at all? If you don't want one, don't have one.
posted by Frowner at 5:26 AM on March 2 [37 favorites]


Yesterday was my last day at a job that I did not like. This new Vancouver logo is a dead ringer for a bit of design we did for a client.
posted by entropone at 5:35 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


BinGregory: Kuala Lumpur feels your pain.

I think you meant, "In conclusion, Kuala Lumpur feels your pain."
posted by Kabanos at 5:35 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


my god, that blog post. Maybe it makes some valid points somewhere but hell if I could find 'em in between all the pearl-clutching histrionics, regurgitating of lame Twitter posts, and unnecessary digressions into local politics.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 5:37 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Toronto's flag is not so bad, even though it got some flack when first unveiled 40+ years ago. But the really beautiful thing is the poster from 1974 advertising the Toronto flag design contest. [via BlogTO]
posted by Kabanos at 5:45 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


Hey, you could just have a slightly crooked N...
posted by Katemonkey at 6:08 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


My town's logo is not too good. It reminds me of 70's graphic design, not in a good way. They unveiled it about 5 years ago.
posted by thelonius at 6:10 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


My town's logo is not too good.

If that were on a food product I otherwise enjoyed, I would stop buying it.
posted by Etrigan at 6:23 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


We're all about the Aktiv Grotesk over here in London. We have brand guidelines and everything.

On the other hand, I've just discovered that searching for "Brand Guidelines" on my local borough council's website is a more horrifying experience than one might expect.
posted by garius at 6:33 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The coloring and simplicity of this reminds me too much of the new State of Minnesota logo which was announced a few months ago to great fanfare - at least internally. It's meant to somehow unify all of our state departments and build trust (?) in our government. If it wasn't a requirement it wouldn't be in my email signature, but I have bigger problems in my life.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:45 AM on March 2


My town's logo is not too good. It reminds me of 70's graphic design, not in a good way. They unveiled it about 5 years ago.

A very good friend of mine keeps trying to get me to visit her in Carrboro and describes it glowingly, and yet there's this so clearly she's delusional.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:51 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


"Toronto's flag is not so bad, even though it got some flack when first unveiled 40+ years ago."

Props for this one, representing the follically challenged.
posted by howling fantods at 6:58 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Could someone translate the kerning problems into language a simpleton could understand?
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:09 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]




Though it had a rough start, I like Colorado's New State Logo (adopted in 2013)
posted by jazon at 7:23 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Caxton1476, the same person must have been roaming around the upper midwest designing town flags. Here's my hometown's lovely example.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 7:24 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I actually rather like my town's flag. And my former town's flag too, for that matter.
posted by traveler_ at 7:28 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Kerning is the amount of space between the letters. Without correct kerning different letters can appear to be too far apart, such as what would happen with very old typewriters.

I don't have a trained enough eye to spot the lack of kerning, (to me the VA at the start looks properly kerned) but I guess it must be "wrong" somehow to get everyone riled up. TO me it just looks a bit dull and be what would be mocked up as a placeholder for a logo.
posted by koolkat at 7:39 AM on March 2


It's not particularly egregious, just boring with lazy kerning.

I don't understand why they didn't just switch officially to the "Green Capital" branding they paid $249,000 for in 2009, which uses the same font and colors, but with more interesting kerning and a trendy stripey "V" logomark. It looks decent on the header of the mayor's website.
posted by designbot at 7:42 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Could someone translate the kerning problems into language a simpleton could understand?

Kerning is a process where the space between characters is adjusted so the space between, say, AVA is visually the same as with OMO by overlapping the following character, this in a proportional font (as opposed to a monospaced font where all letters take the exact same space). Modern programs and font libraries do some automatic kerning (or feature a kerning table), although generally they all need some fiddling in wordmarks.

In this case, the word mark looks like VA N COUVER because VA is the only pair and looks very distracting. I'd have gone with something like 80% kerning between all characters or so.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:43 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


It's not particularly egregious, just boring with lazy kerning.

Somebody should design a Kemano BC flag
posted by hal9k at 7:51 AM on March 2


The next time someone tries to tell me Canadians don't have a racism problem when it comes to First Nations people, I think I'll point them to the comments on that page about Edmonton's flag. Christ.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:55 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


The next time someone tries to tell me Canadians don't have a racism problem when it comes to First Nations people, I think I'll point them to the comments on that page about Edmonton's flag.

It's really atrocious. The Victoria Times-Colonist online comments were horrible, so much so the TC shut them off. Any community subreddit in Canada (my local one is r/victoriabc) is also nasty.
posted by My Dad at 7:59 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


This is dull and rote, but hardly disastrous. I think we should just be clear on the fact that it was the accepting of the low bid that these designers are really disturbed about.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:59 AM on March 2


My takeaway from this thread is, "Don't Google your city's flag out of curiosity."

Wow, this is the first non-shitty thing about this place I've come across.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:00 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


designbot, that makes me curious too. I don't particularly like the wordmark kerning, but the logomark is kind of nice. And you normally want both a wordmark and a logomark so you can shorthand with the logomark where it's graphically appropriate. But if you've spent that much money, why on earth not use it, and why spend even more money (even if pathetically low) to get another?
posted by tavella at 8:06 AM on March 2


Has it been said at all who the actual designer was? In all the coverage, I'm seeing an admirable focus on City Hall screwing up the process, not on "lol stupid designer". But I am curious if this was someone's freelancing cousin or whether an actual agency was involved.
posted by fatbird at 8:18 AM on March 2


Well... In 2007, the Ontario government replaced their classic Centennial-era Rand-esque trillium losenge logo with some stretched-out clipart garbage. Nobody wanted the change; nobody liked the change. But it ain't changin' back any time soon.

Once you see three men in a hot tub, you can not un-see it.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:27 AM on March 2 [32 favorites]


OH MY GOD OH MY GOD IT IS THREE MEN IN A HOT TUB UNAMBIGUOUSLY
posted by radicalawyer at 8:29 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


I've worked on a number of logo design and branding projects. Saying that the final published logo cost $X is not a reasonable way to think about it. It's not like buying a sandwich - where the purchaser and the seller both know more or less exactly what the sandwich is going to consist of ahead of time. The bulk of money/time spent on work like this is actually spent on research, sketching, and countless client and stakeholder meetings - discussing, explaining, justifying and documenting decisions made always takes more hours than actually making those decisions. And frequently on work like this, the less the client pays, the more the client feels they get to be the art director. This logo screams "Well, this is what they'll approve."

My company takes on logo work in this range sometimes because it's sometimes a rewarding design challenge, but we basically always lose money on them. Remember that $8,000 works out to about 80 person-hours of time for work like this at a reasonable rate, or two weeks of full-time work. That's not a lot of time, and I assume it's a minuscule amount compared to Vancouver's annual municipal budget.

I believe I also read here that the logo is essentially the internal logo for Vancouver, not the tourism logo - it's not really meant to be consumer-facing. Whether Vancouver needs one of those, or if the tourism or business development logo should be doing double-duty, is another conversation entirely, but it's not that surprising that the general public doesn't care for this, because it's not intended to be used for or by them.

ALL THAT BEING SAID, the end result is pretty bland. The similarity to the Chilliwack logo shown upthread is also indefensible - if you're going to pay for branding work, pay enough to cover a competitive analysis, or pay enough for someone to tell you "no" when you want the same thing as someone else.
posted by lousywiththespirit at 8:55 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, had a broken link to the $239,000 citation.) The low-bid process was presumably a response to the backlash over that price tag. Damned if you, damned if you don't, I guess.
posted by designbot at 9:02 AM on March 2


From criticism of the cost of previous rebranding project:

When former Mayor Sam Sullivan asked me to develop the logo for the award-winning EcoDensity initiative, it didn’t cost anywhere near a quarter of a million dollars. After a couple of other names fell through, I came up with the term EcoDensity and we then hired a contractor to design the logo. The whole process, as I recall, cost well south of $10,000. There were no design guidelines, nor binders of material describing how the blue in the logo represents English Bay – nada.

Now THAT's what I call a logo!
posted by designbot at 9:15 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


This thread has also inspired me to look up my town's flag. It's so blue. MeFites should appreciate that.
posted by offalark at 9:53 AM on March 2


In all fairness, it's better than the last logo.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:56 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


My current favorite flag is Bequia because look at that happy whale.

Also, humpback whales are still hunted from Bequia.
posted by peeedro at 9:59 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Presumably they're like the cows at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:12 AM on March 2


Since we've devolved to mocking city branding, the City of San Francisco flag isn't so bad when it's nicely drawn, the phoenix rising from the ashes. But the city's slogan is metal as fuck. "Oro en Paz / Fierro en Guerra". "Gold in Peace / Iron in War". Or as some MeFi friends prefer to call it, Golden Bees / Iron Worms. That should be our new logo.
posted by Nelson at 10:28 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Thank you Frowner for the excellent comment on why this matters.
posted by blue shadows at 10:45 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Chilliwack has the image next to it, which helps a little, has been kerned properly and also doesn't have as many problem letter pairings. As noted above, there's the VAN problem where the VA looks like a pair and then a gap, and also the UVE problem where the font has straight verticals on the U and E, leaving the V isolated in between. They'd have had better luck going with a font with a slight angle, or using lower case letters. If script fonts weren't out of vogue just now, that would also be a reasonable choice. In conclusion, capital Vs are a pain to kern, especially in a relatively thick-stroked sans serif font.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:55 AM on March 2


I believe I also read here that the logo is essentially the internal logo for Vancouver, not the tourism logo - it's not really meant to be consumer-facing.

I have to disagree with this. The "internal" logo for a city is consumer-facing, or perhaps more accurately, client-facing. It's what the citizens of the city (not tourists or visiting business people) see everyday as they interact with the various levels and departments of their municipal government and bureaucracy. So I'd argue it's actually really important that it have some connection and meaning to the people of the city. (And as Frowner pointed out, if one is to argue that its not really that important, why spend any time or money changing the existing logo?).
posted by Kabanos at 11:39 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


However, this inspired me to look up my city's flag, and I was horrified by what I found.

Wow, that looks like the "your browser doesn't pass the Acid2 test" version of the flag!
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 1:00 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Chilliwack has the image next to it, which helps a little,

Ten bucks says the logo was made using the free version of Canva.
posted by My Dad at 1:41 PM on March 2


It was especially saddening seeing this post just after checking out the Kickstarter page for Design Canada, a documentary on Canadian graphic design (Gary Hustwit of Helvetica fame is executive producer). In the video clip the late Massimo Vignelli declares that "The best graphic design in the 60's was coming from Canada."
posted by needled at 2:19 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


So what's worse, an ugly "logo", or slightly elitist artists blathering on about city identity whatever that is really supposed to be, from a political, socioeconomic perspective.

One of these wastes tax money that could be more productively spent on literally anything else, the other is free. So I know which one I'm aiming my sideeye at.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:58 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The city of Buffalo has an incredible flag.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 5:11 PM on March 2 [5 favorites]


Buffalo's flag should just be three buffalo.
posted by GuyZero at 5:13 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Vancouver should stick with "Green Capital" for its accidental perfection w.r.t. the real estate market. Also, not hideous, also, has a charming exoteric meaning.


Seattle's city flag is not dreadful but I don't think I've ever seen it before.
posted by clew at 6:22 PM on March 2


Pretty sure the city of Woodbury, MN logo isn't funny in any way. I mean, you put a "d" and a "b" together and the magic happens.
posted by LibraryScientist at 6:32 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


> "Buffalo's flag should just be three buffalo."

Not eight?
posted by kyrademon at 3:57 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I like Seattle's flag, but I wish the text wasn't there. I've never once seen it flying anywhere in the city either, which I guess makes it a moot point.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:07 AM on March 3


kabanos, that's a reasonable point, and I guess given that I live in New York and see the blocky NYC logo all the time that should have occurred to me.
posted by lousywiththespirit at 1:17 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


"It was especially saddening seeing this post just after checking out the Kickstarter page for Design Canada, a documentary on Canadian graphic design (Gary Hustwit of Helvetica fame is executive producer). In the video clip the late Massimo Vignelli declares that "The best graphic design in the 60's was coming from Canada."

@needled Hi - thanks for making this point. I'm the author of the original blog post about the new Vancouver logo and this is partly why I wrote it, the sheer chasm between the graphic design in Canada in the 60s and 70s and today's version. (I have also written about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics graphics, their bad Illustrator layers, as compared with the Montreal '76 Olympics.) Design was supported officially in Canada in the 60s and 70s, notably the Information Canada in-house federal government agency led by the legendary Frank Mayrs. IC was also responsible for Montreal's Expo 67 and some fantastic logos and typography. Those days seem to be gone, gone, gone. I'm in the middle of writing a book about Vancouver's UN Habitat '76 conference. Its logo, now adopted by the UN, was by Graham Hughes formerly of Information Canada working under Frank Mayrs. In talking with Graham about that time, it has been interesting to get a window into the design culture of that period - exacting but in an almost freewheeling atmosphere. Little comparison to today. (This is leaving aside the issue of the political/admin incompetence behind the new logo, which is separate (or is it?) from the lack of interest in good design and communication.)
posted by Lidsville at 2:00 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


It was especially saddening seeing this post just after checking out the Kickstarter page for Design Canada, a documentary on Canadian graphic design

Fast Company Design article about the film: Revisiting The Golden Age Of Canadian Graphic Design
posted by Kabanos at 2:19 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


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