REDESIGNING CANADA FOR THE 21st CENTURY
Bruce Mau Design (BMD), along with Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, want to change the way Americans think about Canada.
Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, is an arts and culture radio program, with over a half-million listeners across the US, (produced by WNYC and Public Radio International). They recently approached BMD to participate in a series of segments they call “Redesigns.”
For the last several years, Studio 360 has been looking at a spectrum of big ideas (everything from Valentine’s Day to Teachers), taking their ubiquitous but arguably imperfect or outmoded design and putting new concepts on the table. For the latest redesign, at the suggestion of a listener in Saskatoon, Studio 360 is redesigning Canada. More specifically, they’d like to fix the perception of Canada in the US.
As part of this process, they enlisted Bruce Mau Design to rethink how Canada appears in the world, creating a new identity for the 21st century, free of the traditional clichés.
Canada has an image problem in the US. When Americans think of Canada, stale and often cliché ideas come to mind; such as maple syrup, hockey, snow and lots of it. These images don’t pay homage to the intellectual, creative and social contributions that Canada makes as a country on a global scale. These clichés do not accurately depict the 21st Century Canada.
In our redesign, we began with an assertion that Americans simply don’t understand Canada. Our view is that Canada doesn’t need a redesign; rather, Americans need to be educated.
To that end, our new Canadian brand highlights the country’s potential, and addresses the dynamic exchange of ideas, creativity, natural resources and people.
To express the country’s openness, flexibility and diverse points of view, we’ve created a visual language that leverages the two red bars on either side of the Canadian flag. These red bars act as a container for a rich array of viewpoints, imagery and ultimately, understanding.
We want to thank the Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen team for enlisting us to be part of this fun concept development, and special thanks to the show’s listeners for their inspiring slogans.
For more visit knowcanada.org.
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