Established in 1909 (originally as the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association) after Canada’s sport debut at the London 1908 Olympic Games, Swimming Canada is the national governing body for all levels of swimming, promoting and managing swimming programs from entry-level to high-performance. It organizes national events and competitions and manages the country’s national swim team for the Summer Olympics. This month, Swimming Canada introduced a new identity designed by by Vancouver-based Hulse & Durrell — who also designed Curling Canada, Reviewed last week.
The new Swimming Canada brand was inspired by legends and imagery dating back to the London 1908 Olympic Games, when Canada first appeared on the international stage. […] The new emblem reinterprets a century of Canadian swimming iconography for the next generation using a simple, bold aesthetic, and communicates with greater clarity than ever before. The typography reflects the classic, tall letterforms from 1980s-era Canadian swimming uniforms, while the feature graphic was influenced by technical drawings of an Olympic swimming pool.
The old logo was quite something, with a maple leaf trying to do some freestyle stroke swimming of its own along with some Bank Gothic just because. The new logo is a cool, mash-up throwback to two of the organization’s original logos, bringing back the swimmer of the first and the large maple leaf lock-up of the second. The maple leaf is just a tad big but, like cowbell, I guess you can never have too much maple leaf if you are an organization representative of Canada. The swimmer figure is strong and abiding by a strict geometry construction — I love the fact that the same circle pattern that makes the swimmer’s head also makes the water waves.
The wordmark and all the headline typography are set in Emtype’s Ciutadella, which I hadn’t seen before and it’s quite nice.
In what is now becoming clear, Hulse & Durrell make some killer secondary logos and badges. (They also designed the Canadian Olympic Team identity that had some excellent secondary logos too.) In the circle logos I like how they continued the water ripples within the ring.
Like the Curling Canada identity, Swimming Canada benefits from a supporting graphic based on a technical drawing of an olympic swimming cool and its lane dividers, providing a visible grid to set some type on. I like that it borders on being literal but also abstract, while adding a splash of color. Overall, another solid identity from Hulse & Durrell that establishes this national organization as the top representative of the sport.