Athletics Canada, this morning unveiled a new “cutting edge brand identity” to represent the Canadian runners, walkers, jumpers, throwers, and wheelchair racers who compete on the biggest stages in the world.
The new look is a combination of many elements, linked together to create a modern logo. Naturally the main elements are the maple leaf and a red-and-white colour scheme, but within the design are several other more subtle nods to athletics, those who compete, and their goals.
The interior of the logo forms the top of a maple leaf, the national symbol of Canada. While also representing a maple leaf, the three “tiers” of the logo are reminiscent of the podium these athletes compete so hard to reach. Lanes from the track are included in the shapes that form the symbol, angled to suggest “speed and movement”. There’s torch imagery in there as the logo shape in general resembles its “glowing flames”. Finally, the overall shape of the logo forms the letter “A” for “Athletics”.
The logo was designed by One Twenty Three West (123w), based in both Vancouver and Toronto.
“Some of Canada’s very best athletes took the time to meet with us to help us in the strategic planning stage,” said Scot Keith, Founder and CEO/President of One Twenty Three West. “The athletes and the team at Athletics Canada were fantastic partners in the collaboration of this new bold and modern brand identity. We can’t wait to see the new brand and look on our remarkable athletes as they compete with pride for our country.”
As is the case with all national Canadian logos (that include text beyond the name of the country), three versions of the logo were created, one for each langauge as well as a bi-lingual design.
“Athletics Canada represents athletes from a lot of different disciplines, so we needed to create an identity that represents everyone and unifies them into one powerful team. From high school athletes to national team members, this brand represents all of us,” said Athletics Canada’s Chief Executive Officer David Bedford in the press release. “We are thrilled with the work done by One Twenty Three West, pulling inspiration from our sport, our country and our bright future.”
“A lot of athletes are hungry and eager to compete after having our seasons cut short in 2020,” said World Championships, Commonwealth and Olympic medallist Aaron Brown. “This new Athletics Canada rebrand reflects that, letting the world know that the team is ready to come out of the gate with fire and pride when representing the Maple Leaf.”
The new look replaces the old Athetics Canada logo which featured a maple leaf with a blue track running around it as if it were the rings around a planet. “ATHLETICS ATHLETISME” was arched above and below the logo in black and, while a maple leaf was featured, the logo itself did not feature the name “Canada” anywhere on it. The new design is a clear upgrade over the previous design.