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February 25, 2014

The National Arts Centre gets a new logo (and a new web site too)

As part of the lead-up to its 50th anniversary in 2019, the National Arts Centre introduced a new logo (or as they call it, a new visual identity) and a new web site today. (Official press release is here.)

The new tagline is "Canada is our stage" and the new logo looks like this:

My first impression was that it was just a stylized "N".  My second impression was that it was a shark fin.  But then I saw the NAC post this sketch by designer Scott Thornley to their Twitter feed and it all became clear.  The logo represents a spotlight.  (Here's a bit more about the logo from the Scott Thornley + Co web site.)

There was a lot of negative reaction online to the new logo, but there always is when an organization makes a change.  The NAC's old hexagon logo (designed by Ernst Roch of Montreal) has been around for over four decades. The three interlocking hexagons were originally meant to symbolize the NAC's three theatres as well as the three performing arts: drama, dance and music. But the NAC now has four stages, and pigeonholing art into those three disciplines seems a bit limited to me.  So perhaps a change is due.

(the old logo)
The NAC posted a video today with CEO/President Peter Herrndorf, where he explains the rationale behind the logo change.  He says the old hexagon logo, a nod to one of the prominent architectural features of the building, didn't convey the national scope of the arts centre.

I find the new logo rather dull, but I'm willing to give it a chance. I want to see how they use the symbol and if they can convey some of the life and energy I see in Thornley's coffee-stained sketch.

Here's a screen shot of the new web site. Very nice.

See also: Ottawa Arts Guide
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1 comment:

  1. There is not "always" a negative reaction to a new logo. Even if true, that's irrelevant. It's a shark's fin. That is all.


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