I’m often critical of Canada’s efforts at country branding, but in this case one of our national flag-bearing agencies nailed it. Totally.
The trickiest thing about truly great logo design is not to have your symbol say a lot. That’s easy, just layer element upon element upon element like the Canadian Olympic Committee’s logo (at right). The trick is to say only the right things to earn recognition and trust, then provide a memorable impression that your audience will take home with them.
The Committee logo is a classic example of over-layering, with the fussy little flame, arched French and English, and redundant maple leaves. This neither connects or inspires. Sadly, the Committee is keeping their logo, but the brand management folks have been wise enough to make the distinction between the organization (i.e the Committee) and the team (i.e. the athletes – or, the thing that people actually care about).
The new logo is a simple badge that I’d want on my arm if I were an athlete. And the rest of the design system is an elegant complement to the iconic logo. You can read more about it here.
Or check out the nicely toned video introducing the new system: