For as long as I’ve been alive, anything official that comes out of the federal government of Canada is consistently branded with a simple logo – a serf-font “Canada”, with a tiny flag flying over the last “a”. That’s it – plain, simple, to the point – and surprisingly effective. And I’m not ashamed to admit I absolutely love it.
For anyone not familiar with the brand, it looks like this:
On the surface, it looks like something a designer could’ve whipped up in no time flat. And that honestly may have been the case. But what makes this special, is that for over fifty years, this logo has been used consistently on things from stationary to equipment used in space. It’s on boats, trains, fighter jets, road signs, and more. This is all thanks to the Federal Identity Program (FIP) which is something the government worked on in 1970 to standardize all branding for anything Canadian. This logo makes up the core of the FIP, with a handful of complementary logos to go along with it.
For anyone thinking based the Government didn’t take this seriously based on the final logo, take a look at the Canadian Government Federal Identity Program Manual or the Design Standard for the Federal Identity Program.
“So – who cares?” you might say. “It’s just a logo.” But from what I understand, Canada is a world leader in this program. Other countries just haven’t standardized the way we did. And it shows – here’s a quick search I did of “County” + Federal Identity:
I also tried a few different search options to see if maybe another country uses a different term – but from what I can tell if another country is doing it – they aren’t taking it as seriously as Canada.
So why do I care so much? I’ll be honest – I’m pretty fiercely proud to be Canadian. Seeing the wordmark on so many great things that our country has done makes me pretty happy. Is Canada perfect? Heck no – I’m not delusional. But compared to other countries, I think we’ve done pretty well by any measure. So yeah, it may be a simple serif-font “Canada” with a flag over the last “a” – but when I see it, I know it stands for something important, and I think the team that came up with the identity program did a damn good job. (Plus I think it looks cool as hell on the side of a CC-130J Hercules.)
Canadarm Picture from https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/canadarm2/about.asp