The New Canadian Stage Visual Identity

by Canadian Stage

When we launched our 21.22 Season, you may have noticed a different look and feel to the Canadian Stage visual identity (or you may not have noticed, and that’s okay too!). Over the last number of months, our team has been working with an incredible group of folks at Puncture Design to reimagine and refresh the Canadian Stage identity. In this edition of CS Grid, Tanya Doroslovac, our Associate Director of Marketing, Strategy and Growth, sat down with Jason Green from Puncture Design to talk about the secret sauce that went into creating our new brand.

four yellow rectangles displaying the Canadian Stage logo in various positions

Tanya Doroslovac: Hi Jason! We came to you with a huge challenge: refresh the Canadian Stage brand so that it better represents who we are now, and the kind of organization we want to be in the years to come. It's our mission to be the leading contemporary performing arts company in Canada, and we intend to get there through creativity, inclusion, excellence and empathy. That’s a lot to fit in a logo. What were your inspirations?

Jason Green: We were heavily inspired by what the stage means not only in its physical form but also from a philosophical standpoint. An immersive space of expression that brings artists and audiences together in celebration. We made it our mission to bring this notion to life as we worked through the new brand.

TD: What we love about what you’ve designed is how flexible it is. There are uses that look corporate and even serious, and there are examples that absolutely suggest irreverence and celebration.

 

The line is bold, brave, and expressive...It’s a true representation of Canadian Stage. – Puncture Design

TD: One of the reasons we needed to rebrand was practical: our old logo didn’t always pass the AODA standards for accessible communications. Because our logo was two colours, we were often forced to pair the yellow text of the logo with a white background, which isn't up to standard. The new look solves that problem – plus I appreciate this handy reminder you’ve included in the brand guidelines:

stacked coloured rectangles with "Yes!" and "No!" text in yellow, black, and white
Rules for pairing coloured text on backgrounds. No more yellow on white: it's too hard to read!

 


TD: 
What did your team want to preserve from the past, and what new elements did you want to incorporate?

JG: First off, we looked at colour.

TD: We looked at every colour. Ultimately, we didn’t want to lose our yellow.

JG: We knew the yellow had to stay as it has become synonymous with the brand. Secondly, we looked at the logo. We knew the name had a lot of weight in itself, so we set out to carefully select a typeface that would bring new life to the brand. We landed on a custom cut sans serif typeface that feels modern yet timeless. Lastly, we sought out to create a visual language that would set the brand apart. The line not only adds emphasis to the name but also gives way for endless opportunities of visual expression. It’s ability to move freely is what sets this new brand up for success.

TD: Can you talk a little more about the line in the logo? I remember the first day you presented it to us, you said something like: “we start with an empty stage.” It was very Mad Men

 

black line
We start with a simple line

 

Canadian Stage logo with extended black line and dancer in the middle

And add art. (N.B: The graphics here are from the initial mockup presentation) 

 

JG: The line is bold, brave, and expressive. It’s a simple idea but such a powerful one and that’s exciting to us. It’s a true representation of Canadian Stage. We look forward to seeing where the line takes Canadian Stage in the years to come.

TD: Me too. We’re seeing it in our 21.22 Season branding already, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

 

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