Reviewed

Team Canada Identity

The Canadian Olympic Team needs little introduction: Over 100 years of competition in the modern Olympic Games and undoubtedly one of the powerhouses of the winter events over recent years (not to mention some impressive summer showings). After contributing to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver as Design Manager, Art Director Ben Hulse worked with Greg Durrell, Adam Bognar and Andrew Simpson through the entire process in rebranding the Canadian Olympic Team for the Canadian Olympic Committee. A summary page with the new identity can be found here.

The maple leaf unified Canadian athletes nearly 60 years before it became the single icon on the National Flag of Canada. The most renowned Canadian icon is back at the heart of the team’s identity. Unaltered, pure, proud and iconic — like the country and team it represents.
Canadian Olympic Team Brand Page

Team Canada Identity

Hockey Jersey from the 2010 Winter Olympics with old design.

The brand strategy was repositioned to focus on the team rather than the committee, and our goal was to deliver a classic sports brand with fresh appeal. In everything we did, we attempted to balance classic versus current aesthetics and themes. In communications, we looked to balance imagery and stories of today’s Olympic heroes with legends from decades past.
Ben Hulse Project Page


The Canadian Olympic Team Brand from Canadian Olympic Team on Vimeo.

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

Mosaic Maple Leaf Graphic

Based on the geometry of the maple leaf, the concept was inspired by Canadian artwork, iconography, the tradition of quilting, and Canadian athletes’ remarkable performance and pride.

The tones are based on the five colours of the Olympic Rings, which represent the flags of the world. The extended palette infuses colours from Canadian landscapes. The whole, vibrant and dynamic, represents Canada’s cultural mosaic and the energy of the Canadian Olympic Team.
Canadian Olympic Team Brand Page

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

Team Canada Identity

While the Canadian team has always had some expression of both the maple leaf and/or the use of the color red, there was previously little more than that to the application of the brand strategy. The brand expression developed by Hulse and team is easily classified as classic, and bound to be one. From the choice of typography — Eric Olson’s Stratum, and Kris Sowersby’s National — to the development of the core system of lock-ups, this work is an exercise of both great restraint and great vision. It would be easy to overlook the painstaking design decisions and attention to detail that is present here, as it feels like these graphic examples have existed for centuries. This is not to say this branding is boring, but rather timeless and appropriately foundational. The explorations around the geometry of the maple leaf just begin to expose the iceberg of opportunity that can be found in digging into the basic maple leaf shape — looking at some of Hulse’s previous work exposes this. Overall, refined work that I’m sure we’ll continue to see evolve and grow over the years to come.

Thanks to Robbie Raskin for first tip.

filed under Sports and tagged with , , ,

Reviewed June 20, 201106.20.11 by Christian Palino


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