Parks Canada Logo Gets Design Overhaul, Costs Not Disclosed

Parks Canada Logo Gets Design Overhaul, Costs Not Disclosed
An aerial view of the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, including a partial reconstruction of the town as it was in the 1740s. (Courtesy Parks Canada)
Amanda Brown

Parks Canada has rebranded its organization with an updated version of its beaver logo. The federal agency did not disclose the costs associated with the redesign.

There was only one tweak in the logo: the crisscross within the beaver’s tail was removed to simplify its overall design. Nothing else was modified on the logo. Parks Canada has stated the design will look better on its employees’ uniforms, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Parks Canada has updated its beaver logo,” managers wrote in its Trademarks Act filing with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. “This new version resolves legibility issues and ensures the beaver logo displays consistently and with higher fidelity across all of its many uses.”

“The old version of the logo contained elements that did not reproduce well at small sizes, in particular images for small digital screens and embroidered products such as patches or brand elements on uniforms,” management said.

The parks agency’s beaver logo has been in use since 1933. This iteration of the logo is the third since 1973.

In its trademark filing, the organization wrote that “components of the official mark include a beaver and a log placed inside a circle symbolizing protection and conservation” while “the beaver is placed on a log referencing its natural habitat.”

Parks Canada previously commissioned a survey at the cost of $99,100 that asked Canadians, “What is the symbol or corporate logo of Parks Canada?”

Less than a quarter of respondents were able to answer the question correctly that the beaver is the agency’s logo, according to the 2015 Tracking Study. Fifty-three percent of respondents were unable to answer the question at all.
In 2019, the agency’s own brand awareness prompted its management to cough up $100,000. The money was spent reviewing different shades of green to update its signage in an attempt to freshen up its appearance. “Parks Canada’s purpose is not consistently and effectively communicated and is generally not understood,” the agency wrote in a notice to Brand Refresh.

“The full potential of the brand is not maximized,” the agency wrote. The agency bemoaned that its 70,000 green signs across the nation were not “engaging” Canadians and that it would ask consultants for their input in order to “refresh the Parks Canada brand colour palette for more effective and meaningful use of colour.”

“Signage has high public visibility supporting the arrival experience at Parks Canada places and helps ensure that visitors can enjoy and navigate spaces in a safe and effective way,” said Brand Refresh.

“Signage represents the largest application and investment within the Parks Canada brand management program with over 70,000 installed assets at an estimated cost of $40 million.”

There are 171 national historic sites, 47 parks, 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and nine canals under Parks Canada’s purview.

“Most Canadians don’t know about these program areas managed by Parks Canada,” said Brand Refresh. “The name Parks Canada is often associated primarily with national parks.”