Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday next year and preparations are fast and furious for the whole affair. Surprisingly, the biggest controversy surrounding the event concerns graphic design.
The Canadian government decided to hold a student contest to design the official 150th anniversary logo and professional designers are literally up in arms over the whole affair. Some are infuriated at the very notion of spec work, and some are incensed that the logo is amateurish at best.
The contest winner, design student Ariana Cuvin, took home a $3,500 prize for her work, but her colourful take on the iconic maple leaf has quite a few detractors, including Stuart Ash, who designed the maple leaf on Canada’s flag.
There is even more controversy now that word has gotten out the government chose a free typeface called Mesmerize. It was customized for free by the original designer to add character support for the country’s many aboriginal languages and is now called Canada 150.
At least the final design is a huge improvement over the 5 in-house created logos that the government shopped around to focus groups in 2013.
What do you think of the font choice, or the logo, or the whole idea of spec work? We’d love to hear your opinions!