Just in time for Canada’s 145th birthday (July 1 is Canada Day, in case you forgot), Studio 360 gives our northern neighbor a brand makeover. For the last several weeks, we’ve been looking at theimage challenge Canada has here in the United States.
To get beyond hockey, beer, and Mounties, we asked the international firm Bruce Mau Design to come up with a visual rebranding. As part of its research, the BMD team talked with Scott Thompson of the sketch comedy group The Kids in the Hall who summed up the issue simply: “We know you, but you don’t know us.”
“Canada didn’t need to be rebranded or redesigned,” explains BMD President and CEO Hunter Tura. “America needed to be educated. And that is the basis for our campaign: Know Canada.”
BMD uses the two red bars of the Canadian flag to showcase the country’s dynamism, using them to frame open landscapes, famous Canadians — from Arcade Fire to Pamela Anderson — and inventions like the walkie-talkie and the Wonderbra. “We kept the red bars as a nod to the past,” explains associate creative director Sarah Foelske. “We wanted to introduce what Canada is now but also embrace where it came from.” And as a logo, the red bars can be used as passport stamps, t-shirts, and, of course, beer mugs.
Not everyone is a fan, though: