First opened to the public in 1959, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a small zoo with 350 animals — in contrast to, say, the 4,000 animals found at the San Diego Zoo. With a master plan in place since 2005 and committed funding from the city since 2009 the Edmonton Valley Zoo is gearing up for a lot of changes and expansions for 2012. This past May the zoo announced a new identity designed by Edmonton-based Calder Bateman.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo brings you closer to wild animals than you’d normally ever get to be, so we decided our logos should look you right in the eye. Since the zoo has many faces, we decided to have a series of logos rather than focus on just one animal. And while conservation is a serious topic, we wanted our logos to reflect the fun visitors of all ages have at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.
— Press Release
The old logo is one of my favorite zoo logos of all time. I was very familiar with the elephant shape but I couldn’t have told you it was for this zoo. The logo was designed by legendary Canadian designer Wei Yew and it represented the zoo’s mascot at the time, Elsie the elephant, with an “e” for Elsie and Edmonton. A beautiful drawing and a great concept.
The new logo, or, well, the new logos lack any of the sophistication — both in execution and concept — of the old one. The idea of using the “o”s as eyes is not terrible, perhaps a little obvious, and it would have probably been interesting if they stuck with the eyes and went for a little more consistency. But the moment they introduced the noses and snouts the whole identity just became completely cartoonish and childish. The typography, while not atrocious, is neither exciting nor too pleasant to look at. With a much better execution the concept could have been saved but as it stands now, it’s not a good look. (Get it? Eyes. Looking?).