Established in 1978 as Canadian Equestrian Federation and later renamed Equine Canada, Equestrian Canada is the national governing body for equestrian sport and industry in Canada, overseeing over 18,000 sport license holders, 90,000 registered participants, 12 provincial/territorial sport organization partners and 10+ national equine affiliate organizations. It also represents Canada’s team competing in the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, where they’ve performed very well throughout the years. The organization’s new identity has been designed by Vancouver-based Hulse & Durrell.
A major component of the rebrand was the change from Equine Canada to Equestrian Canada, after market research found the word “equestrian” to be far better understood outside of the industry than “equine.” The new name also translates more seamlessly into French (Équestre), and is far more inclusive in both languages, encompassing EC’s fundamental values of advocating for Canada’s horses, athletes, and the industry as a whole.
The new emblem was inspired by crests which represented the Canadian Equestrian Team beginning in the 1950s. The emblem is presented on a navy field, reminiscent of competition blazers.
The old logo was super cute with the three horses uniformly in line replacing the “A”s in Canada. It’s remarkably readable as something to do with horses and Canada but in its own cleverness of hors-A-s it didn’t look like a governing organization of the sport. Kudos for trying something so oddball, though. The new logo avoids having to use the shape of a horse as a representation — which helps avoid making it look like racehorse track — by focusing on the horseshoe which can be represented minimally and telegraphs instantly as “horses!”. The horseshoe looks simple and iconic and pairs perfectly with the obligatory maple leaf. The horseshoe’s shape (and pairing with flora) reminds of a flower garland given to winning horses (which may be a cliché but I thought was a positive side-effect).
The logo (and main typography in the identity) uses Commercial Type’s Giorgio Sans, which is a nice font but, somehow, in both logo and application doesn’t have the same refinement other Hulse&Durrell projects have had. It’s still super nice but not super-duper nice. I think it may be the large font sizes used in general in contrast to the icon and other design elements along with the tight letterspacing.
Not a lot in application, other than the logo on things, but it’s still nice to look at the deep blue objects with the new logo. I usually don’t make a big deal of the websites but Equestrian Canada’s new site — designed and developed by Montreal-based Locomotive — is very slick and brings together all the elements of the identity quite handsomely. Overall, another classy and bold Olympic team identity by Hulse & Durrell that gives the organization a more regal aesthetic and attitude.