Established in 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint is the for-profit corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation and collector coins. At the beginning of June — with all of its press release attention going to a special collector coin designed by comedian Martin Short — it announced its new logo through a tweet. Design credit not given.
Unfortunately there is no information or any further images — media requests were not answered (surprise, surprise) — but I felt there was enough here for an interesting discussion. The old logo was a little odd; clearly a combination of “M” for mint and the ubiquitous maple leaf of Canadian logos, but it was unclear whether the leaf was sitting on and squashing the “M” or if it was supposed to be the top half of the “M” in which case that’s just plain weird. But it had that mid-century corporate logo look to it that has some kind of charm. The new logo is split into two, which has caused confusion for some viewers. One is a maple leaf made out of coins and the other is the English and French name of the organization set in two circles. That, my friends, is a lot of circles. The two things couldn’t feel any more different from each other and don’t really benefit from being next to each other. The coin leaf seems too playful while the text (although it’s trying to be playful) looks stiff. On its own, the coin leaf borders on interesting and bland; it’s a refreshing take on the leaf with a relevant graphic device (the coins) but it feels too bubbly. And the typography on a circle is just painful to watch. It’s difficult enough setting one line of text in a circle so the ambition to typeset two lines in two languages, while admirable, should have been abandoned early on in the design process or contracted out to a professional to devote at least 40 man hours to refining it. Overall, an interesting change in the sense that it’s an unexpected result from this client but the execution could have been better.