McDonald’s logo Evolution

The McDonald’s Golden Arches logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world for decades. As a student, I would see it multiple times every day, even if it’s just on the way to school. Because of the global reach on the company, The McDonald’s logo is not only a sign for a fast food restaurant, but also symbolizes capitalism, globalisation and American culture nowadays.


The first McDonald’s was opened by brothers Richard and Maurice in 1940 in San Bernardino, California. They started the fast food culture alongside its burgers and fries weren’t even on the menu. The Tubby chef Speedee was fist designed by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1948 based on their fast food process they named the ‘Speedee Service System’. The winking character helped to communicate the idea of fast food and the drive-in services.


Then the second logo came along with the change of the building, which is the Golden Arches logo. The McDonald brothers asked architect Stanley Meston to redesign a building that carried on the traditions of drive-ins and updated it in an appropriate and memorable aesthetic. (Hess, 1986) George Dexter designed two giant yellow arches on both side of the building to be an eye-catching appearance and greater efficiency in 1952. This is how the icon was born when Jim Schindler sketched out these yellow arches and viewed as the letter ‘M’ in some angles. He added a slanting line running through the arches which symbolizes the roof of the store. The bright yellow is the same color with the actual arches. This was an interconnection between the logo and the architecture itself. However, this logo was added after Ray Kroc acquired the company in 1961. This was the time when the Golden Arches became instantly recognizable and helped the company became one of the most popular brands.


Last but not least, the official McDonald’s Corporation logo, the Golden Arches tagline I’m lovin’it. This was created by Heye & Partner GmbH in 2003, which was a huge success and let the company logo become one of the most iconic marks in the logo. history. They emphasized on the ‘M’ and kept it the way as how the Golden Arches looked. They eliminated those unnecessary elements and kept the whole look simple and clean but maintained its original concepts at the same time.

As one of the most recognizable logos, McDonald’s did a great job. It is not only just about the fast food restaurants, but also the ways how designers developed and improve through time based on the changes in our lives and the expansion of cultures.

Work Cited

The Origins of McDonald’s Golden Arches, Alan Hess, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 1986, University of California Press

Red Velvet’s “Perfect Velvet” Album Concept and Design, by Agnes Wong

Red Velvet is a five member girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2014. Popular for their diverse and eclectic music styles, many of the group’s albums have topped Billboard’s World Albums chart (Collar). Their first full musical album, Perfect Velvet was released in 2017 featuring the title track “Peek-A-Boo” (Apple Music). Perfect Velvet introduced a contrasting musical style to their previous releases- and the same could be said for the group’s new concept and album design. Juxtaposing their earlier cheerful and colourful aesthetics, Perfect Velvet’s design experimented with darker, muted palettes and eerie imagery, reminiscent of horror movie posters from the 70’s or 80’s.

Red Velvet releases before Perfect Velvet (from top left: Happiness (2014), Ice Cream Cake (2015), The Red (2015), Russian Roulette (2016), The Red Summer (2017))
Red Velvet releases before Perfect Velvet (from top left: Happiness (2014), Ice Cream Cake (2015), The Red (2015), Russian Roulette (2016), The Red Summer (2017))

The overall design and concept for Perfect Velvet is evidently darker, more mysterious, and decidedly more subtle.

Teaser posters released for Perfect Velvet, 2017
Teaser posters released for Perfect Velvet, 2017

SM Entertainment’s creative director Min Hee Jin is credited as the art director for this album. Min has been known for her signature poppy and trendy style, establishing a distinctive bold and colourful aesthetic for the majority of the visual content released under SM Entertainment.

Examples of Min Hee Jin’s other designs (from left: Free Somebody, She Is, Why)
Examples of Min Hee Jin’s other designs (from left: Free Somebody, She Is, Why)

In an interview with Cuvism, Min credits her graphic design background as a unique perspective on her video work (Cuvism Magazine). Her choice of Fantazy Lab to direct the music video for “Peek-A-Boo” (Vimeo) proved to be a successful attempt of maintaining a highly consistent visual style throughout the album’s production.

 Screenshots from “Peek-A-Boo” music video, 2017

Screenshots from “Peek-A-Boo” music video, 2017
Perfect Velvet album contents, 2017.
Perfect Velvet album contents, 2017.

The album’s design, as previously mentioned, undoubtedly references design conventions and tropes from old horror film posters- the collages featuring black and white photos of American suburbs meet visually abstract and mysterious images of the members dressed entirely in red. While the red highlights can be seen as a nod to the group’s name, there is also an allusion to the blood in horror films, which can be seen on one of the posters. The muted colour scheme undeniably evokes a gloomier and refined mood, matching the R&B genre of the album. One of the highlights of the album’s package design, the pizza box themed CD jewel case (complete with cardboard-like insert!) is a hint to the music video, in which a pizza delivery plays a crucial role. The jewel case insert resembles a traditional cardboard pizza box, all of its visual contents mimicking the design of pizza boxes. Additionally, the CD itself is printed as a pizza adorned with sparkly jewels. The checkered pizza box aesthetic can also be found on the backs of the photo cards. 

The album cover possesses a dreamy, surreal feeling from the contrasting photo collage mashup that experiments with unrealistic scale and depth as well as both colour and grayscale. Finally, there are several different examples of type utilized throughout the album packaging. “Red Velvet” is displayed in a loopy script that draws similarities to the visual style of American Westerns. The sans serif block type for “Perfect Velvet” is evocative of the hand drawn lettering of old American film posters- true to the album’s nostalgic American horror theme. 


Works Cited

Kim, Ziyong. “Redvelvet 레드벨벳 ‘피카부(Peek-A-Boo)” MV.” Vimeo, 13 Feb. 2020,

“Red Velvet.” Billboard,

Team, Cuvism. “Cuvism Magazine.” Cuvism Magazine, 5 Jan. 2020,

“‎Perfect Velvet – The 2nd Album by Red Velvet.” Apple Music, 17 Nov. 2017,

Microsoft Office Revamp – Cocolena Fong

During my daily routine of going to school and work, I never really paid much attention to the things I use everyday. For instance, when I need to search something on chrome, I immediately gravitate to the colourful circle and not really analyse the design it had. We were trained to associate these particular colours or shapes to be a certain company/website. As I began to analyze the apps that I had on my computer, I realized how much the logos of Microsoft Office Applications have changed overtime. When icons get changed, it’s often subtle and generally keeps a certain characteristic to let the users know that it’s this application but with Microsoft Office, they kept some characteristics but changed the overall aesthetic. Their reasoning for changing the icons was to let the users understand that there are improvements towards this new update and showcases a new era. 

Fig 1. Microsoft Office 2019 Design
Fig 1. Microsoft Office 2018 Design

Over the years, they wanted to keep a clean aesthetic, easy to navigate and collaborative atmosphere. They were able to do that by playing around with proportion and following gastalt principles. Their goal for their latest design change was to be very versatile in terms of device displays and promoting modern life. Jon Friedman is the art director of Microsoft and helped create clean and effective work spaces within these applications. He mentions that there was a solution “to decouple the letter and the symbol in the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate.” (Friedman) allowing familiarity and simplicity within the application.

Fig 2. Microsoft Office 2018 Excel Design
Fig 2. Microsoft Office 2018 Excel Design

The second pannels are simplistic designs that showcases what the program does, for instance the excel sheet icon. The excel sheet icon displays variations of green rectangles and that is to represent the cell blocks within the program. For powerpoint , the second panel is a small circular design displaying a pie chart shape. Microsoft was able to have variations of colours but kept the same tones, shades and layout for each icon to fit the modern lifestyle.

Fig 3. Microsoft Office Evolution 2003 - present
Fig 3. Microsoft Office Evolution 2003 – Present

Here we can see the evolution of Microsofts Word icon. Within 2003, it only had a letter with a frame, it slowly transitioned to the 2007 version, displaying a more realistic approach. This allowed users to understand that it was for documents but within the span of 11 years, they transitioned from realistic to minimalistic. I really liked how they were able to make it minimalistic as you can still see what the program does and it’s also paired with a reasonable sized type at the front. Overall, the choiced that Microsoft’s design team made were affective as it displayed modern life and simplicity. 


Works Cited:

Friedman, Jon. “Redesigning the Office App Icons to Embrace a New World of Work.” Medium, Microsoft Design, 29 Nov. 2018,

Friedman, Jon. “Designing for Power and Simplicity.” Medium, Microsoft Design, 22 Aug. 2019,

American Beauty/American Psycho Album ‘Cover’ Review – Catherine Park

Fall Out Boy, photo by Jonathan Weiner, 2019.
Fall Out Boy, photo by Jonathan Weiner, 2019.

Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed in Illinois, U.S. in 2001. There are four members: vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz, drummer Andrew Hurley, and guitarist Joe Trohman (Loftus). American Beauty/American Psycho (AB/AP) is Fall Out Boy’s sixth album which was released in January 2015. Some of the songs included are “Centuries”, “Irresistible”, and “Uma Thurman”, and the overall album is of pop punk and pop rock genre (Loftus).

American Beauty/American Psycho, photo by Pamela Littky, 2014.
American Beauty/American Psycho, photo by Pamela Littky, 2014.

The American Beauty/American Psycho album cover features a young a boy in a blue tank shirt with half of his face covered in stripes of black paint with negative shapes of stars on his forehead – the American flag. He looks towards the viewers, with only his chest and angry face being shown. The background includes a white house with trees on either side of the house. The boy in the cover is model Jake Karlen, who was in eighth grade at the time (Kaufman). In an interview with MTV, he mentioned that the shoot was in Los Angeles at a house, and the shoot took 4-5 hours (Kaufman). The concept of the face paint was created by the band, and then executed by a makeup artist who had worked for “The Walking Dead” TV show (Kaufman). When shooting the image, the band had given direction to Karlen to look angry, and thus reflecting the mood of the album. The images, and the final image for the album cover, was shot by Pamela Littky.

Pamela Littky has worked with Fall Out Boy since their shoot for From Under the Cork Tree, which was the band’s second album released in 2005 (AltPress). At this point in time, Littky was still in the early phase of her career. She got to work with them over the years, evolving in terms of shoots but they also became comfortable with each other. Littky enjoys working with them, particularly with Pete. She says, “His creativity and knowledge of art, design and pop culture is incredibly vast, and coming with concepts with him is so much fun” (AltPress). As well, she had stated that one of her favourite photoshoots was the American Beauty/American Psycho cover photo (AltPress).

In terms of the meaning of the album artwork, the band posted a statement on Facebook with their explanation (Menyes). The post read: “this photo was meant to capture the threshold between the american beauty and the american psycho… what rages on the inside- how we what we all feel is permanent and impermanent all at once. activate yourself, protect your dreaminess. or break it- ‘because without the cracks the light couldn’t get out.’” (Menyes). Furthermore, it reflects the lyrics of the songs, mostly written by Pete Wentz. When compared to their previous album Save Rock ‘N Roll, Fall Out Boy said their lyrics had a more general meaning (Posner). In contrast, the AB/AP album expressed Wentz and the other band member’s personal lives, their struggles and triumphs, and the cruel reality of life (Posner).



AltPress. “Photographer Pamela Littky Reflects on Shooting Fall Out Boy’s ‘Infinity On High’ Album Art.” Alternative Press, Alternative Press, Inc., 6 Feb. 2017,

Kaufman, Gil. “We Talked To The Kid On The Cover Of Fall Out Boy’s Album, And He’s The Coolest Eighth Grader Ever.” MTV News, Viacom International Inc., 22 Jan. 2015,

Loftus, Johnny. “Fall Out Boy: Biography & History.” AllMusic, RhythmOne,

Menyes, Carolyn. “Fall Out Boy ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ Tracklist, Album Cover Revealed Alongside New Song ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright.’” Music Times, Music Times, 15 Dec. 2014,

Posner, Briana. “‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ Is ‘Irresistible.’” THE MUSE, The Muse at Dreyfoos, 20 Jan. 2015,

Wildwood: A Children’s Book

Wild Adventures
Phebe Teague

Part of a trilogy, Wildwood by Colin Meloy is the first book about two seventh-graders that follow a baby-snatching crow into an enchanted forest full of other-worldly creatures and thus embark on an adventure together (Carpenter). The book uses colour schemes and landscapes inspired from Portland, Oregon scenery, such as grey-greens and red-browns, as well as it pulls much literary inspiration from classic children’s book, such as C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (Brown). Further, many of the design choices echo the traditional colour schemes of the fairy tale “Red Riding Hood”, as well as incorporate a fusion of older children’s book line illustrations and Polish book designs from the 1960s (Brown, Carpenter). All 85 of the elaborate illustrations included in the book were created by Meloy’s wife, Carson Ellis, who took full liberties with designing quirky characters and the illustrative, script-like text that accompanies many of them, such as on the cover (Brown).

Fig 1. Wildwood front cover. "Wildwood", August 30, 2011.
Fig 1. Wildwood front cover. “Wildwood”, August 30, 2011.

Although the book has quirky moments and humorous scenes, the overall feel of book conveys a murky essence, which is translated well into the illustrations found at every chapter beginning and scattered throughout its pages. The illustrations are whimsical and convey an inspiration for adventure, which attracts children sitting on the brim of self-exploration through literature. Ellis mainly used pen ink, grey tone gouache, or colour gouache to achieve her illustrations, which creates the overall classical look that she wanted to achieve (Brown). Her characters are simple, but sport eye-catching details that invite readers to spend endless moments admiring delicately painted scenes and the artistry that went into creating elaborate spreads and illustrated text. Since Ellis also created all the album covers for her husband’s band, adult fans have followed her work to this novel and have been drawn to reading the book, taking an interest in the rich language presented throughout the novel as well as finding an immense appreciation for a larger collection of Ellis’ works throughout its pages.

Works Cited

Brown, Rachel. “Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis on Their Latest Collaboration, ‘Wildwood’.” The Atlantic, 2011. Retrieved from

Carpenter, Susan. “Indie Rocker Tunes Into the Book World: The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy Embarks On A Fantasy Series with ‘Wildwood’.” Los Angeles Times, 2011. Retrieved from

Ellis, Carson. Wildwood book cover. 2011, Wildwood, Colin Meloy, Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins), 2011. front cover.

NAVER (Website Logo) – Hyeyoon Jung

NAVER main logo, 2020
Fig 1. NAVER main logo, 2020

NAVER, also known as Korean Google, is one of the biggest search engines and an internal portal in South Korea. If you ask any Korean nearby what search website they mostly use, it will probably be NAVER. This came out in 1999 by ex-Samsung employees and assumed its position as the most popular search engine in Korea overtime and until this day (Alesia). NAVER, the name defined as the combination of ‘navigate’ and ‘er’. It means that NAVER is like a way of navigation in which people could find information and sources easily and comfortably.

When we see its logo closely, there is a hat with wings along with the name. According to the designer Lee Seung Hwan, who made the NAVER logo, it represents the explorer hat as this engine helps people find what they need. Other logos, such as Google and Samsung, they use bright red, yellow, blue colours in order to stand out (Naver Symbol). However, using green for the main colour of the logo is not common as it is hard to match with other colours. However, this is the case behind NAVER, and it is said that it’s because green is a colour that provides a combination of being clear and fatigue-free to the eye.


NAVER Logo Evolution
Fig 2. NAVER Logo Evolution

Lee Seung Hwan, the designer, decided the colour and then designed the letters and the layout of the NAVER logo. At first glance, the designs look similar and there is no big difference from the current logo, but it has been changed over a few years. In 1999’s logo, it was based in yellow logo and it pointed letter v at the middle but this is not unique and because the font was in serif, it is showing formalistic styles only. So from 1999, Seung Hwan changed the colour to green, which became the iconic colour that symbolized NAVER, and changed to bold Gothic sans serif. Therefore, as the theme of this website is ‘Jungle’, he decorated with multiple leaves on the right. Since 1999, the font did not change but various sizes had been explored. From February to May 2000, the rectangle box was formed in order to insert the decoration and the letters in it but this did not last long. In August of the same year, the design got simpler as the modern style was getting into it. In September 2001, the ‘.com’ part of the logo was eliminated and he made the title bigger. After few years, the logo from 2018 became the current NAVER logo now we see. There is not much changes from 2013 but the green became brighter which is more of the eco-green colour. The reason why he use eco-green is that as the word ‘eco’ gives friendly feelings, he wanted to the NAVER to be reflect the service of becoming a friendly and reliable content platform.

Last but not least, through these evolutions over time, I could find that designers tried to harmonize the atmosphere of the letters, graphics as well as the current trends depending on each years. Therefore, NAVER became the most innovative website in Korea.

Work Cited

Alesia Krush. “Google Vs. Naver: Why Can’t Google Dominate Search in Korea?.” Blog, SEO PowerSuit, n.d.

“Naver Symbol, A story in Green and a Winged Hat.” NAVER Diary: NEVER blog,



In the wild – United Way: Unignorable – Christine Tan

Colour is not only a visual element but also a media to convey a specific message, information, and even emotion. As well as typography and line, colour makes an impact in lots of impressive graphic design. In the year 2019, Colour as an effective role of the national integrated campaign of United Way, speak out the message to the world loudly. the United Way partnered with the Pantone Colour Institute, introduced a brand new, eye-catching orange, was named UNIGNORABLE, to raise awareness of the local issues.


The concept of using unignorable colour to draw the viewer’s attention, remind me of a special period in art history, the Victorian period. However, the difference is, instead of using bold, huge scale fonts and bunch of colours, the united way developed a multi-media campaign which contains a series of impressive illustrations, which apply the unignorable colour to convey a series of local issues, include of Homelessness, Poverty, youth employment, social isolation, mental health, hunger, domestic violence, and education inequality.

This series of illustrations is designed by an international illustrator, Malika Favre, she is a French artist base on London, who have work with The New Yorker, Vogue, Sephora, and many others. These illustrations have a distinct style, each of them conveys different messages. By using shapes and one specific colour, the designer plays around with negative and positive spaces, then came up with a series of repetitive, bold and minimal style compositions. However, the most brilliant move that the designer did is using particular object to indicate the theme of the illustration. For example, showing a broken piggy bank among a crowd of piggy bank to convey poverty.

Malika Favre, 2019
Malika Favre, 2019

This campaign is like a group of short stories, the viewer needs to take a second to understand the message, even though the compositions are not complicated. This gives them a chance to take a closer look at the campaign, eventually lead them to what the local issue is.

Work Cited:

United Way Centraide. “United Way and Pantone Color Institute™ Join Forces to Make Local Issues Unignorable.” Cision, 27 Dec. 2018,

Moorhouse, Guy. “Malika Favre.” About – Malika Favre,

“Tackle #UNIGNORABLE Issues like Hunger in Your Community.” UNIGNORABLE – United Way Centraide Canada,

“United Way Colours Local Issues #Unignorable.” United Way Elgin Middlesex, 28 Mar. 2019,

Presto card on the TTC – Songshan Guo




The designs which I choose is Presto card’s adv. Presto card is very close to my live, I use it almost everyday, although I saw Presto’s advs before, this is first time which I think that I like it. I found this design in my condo’s elevator, there is the screen and advs are scrolling. I really like the idea of the design and it works well. Unfortunately, I am not able to find the designer for those designs.

Designer use negative space and it show strong contrast, and the graphic is a hand held the Presto card, this image is made by colour lines only. The lightness and saturation of colour lines is not high, it support the contrast with background and also make audience’s eyes feel comfortable. For the shape of line, there are points at the end of each line, it is the symbol of public transport’s route. I really like this idea, the routs become the outline of hand and Presto card, it mixed people, Presto card and transport that three elements together, it convey the concept clearly. Other thing which I like is this adv reply the production will well, this seem to be a matter of course, but I do not think it is easy thing for advs. The new Presto card which sold now is show below.


Presto Card, 2018

The Design of advs simplify the features of Presto card into three part, colour, logo and text. In the actual card, there is composition of those element, for example, the white and green line make the logo, and the difference of text’s scale. In the adv, logo and text have same scale setting in the central of card. Black background is same as the card, and then the green outline shows the card’s shape. This design separate and enlarge the features of Presto card, audience can remember the production easier.  As the commercial advs, audience can get concept very quickly from this design, also it give people a quick impression of production by simplify the production.

Work Citetion:

“Sign into My PRESTO.” PRESTO,

“… the same perspective, perception.” in Rihanna’s ANTI album ⁠— Shirley

IF THEY LET US PT. 1, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 1, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 2, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm
IF THEY LET US PT. 2, Ray Nachum, 2015, Oil on Canvas, 130 cm x 114 cm

The artist behind Rihanna’s 2016 ANTI album, Ray Nachum, is known for his sculptures, experimental paintings, and installations. Rihanna collaborated with Nachum over a year to create a total of seven pieces for her upcoming album – ANTI, which is also the first album to use Braille in its packaging. Nachum won 2017’s 59th annual Grammy awards for best recording packaging for the art and art direction. Nachum started his series of paintings – Blind in 2011 to study human perception and sight; he blindfolded himself for 196 hours over seven consecutive days. Nachum took many lessons from the experience of experimenting while blindfolded and told MTV “…Sometimes, in order to see, you need to close your eyes.” (Fleischer). The driving inspiration for the ANTI album comes from Nachum’s Blind series, for the meaning and Chloë Mitchell’s poem “If They Let Us”, as the content. The album includes Nachum’s Fire Paintings, where he sculpted his poetry in Braille onto canvases with charcoal-covered frames bordering the paintings, and he invited people to interact with the paintings while blind. The result was his experimental paintings becoming an interactive piece with their fingerprints of charcoal smeared and smudged across the canvases – Nachum says in an MTV interview, “It’s kind of like an oversized self-portrait.” Rihanna also let Nachum listen to the music from ANTI, and it “definitely” influenced Nachum’s choices in creating this artwork (Fleischer).

Both the front cover and back cover of the ANTI album consists of many “layers.” (Fleischer). The focus on the cover is an image of Rihanna as a child from Barbados. At the same time, she is holding onto a black balloon, a gold crown is covering her eyes, and in the background: a flood of red covers about the top half with a layer of Braille going across the surface (in the physical album, the viewer can feel the raises of the Braille). The colour palette of using red, black, white, and gold as the focal point is simple, allowing the viewer to perceive the inner intentions and meanings of the album. The portrait of Rihanna holding the balloon has a glitch effect, creating a motion movement-trippy like experience for the viewer. Nachum tells the Rolling Stone the black balloon is “…lighter than air, [it] embodies the possibility of escape and human need to transcend physical reality”. Nachum explains to Vice, the crown symbolizes “… power and success, which blinds people to the real values and important things in life”. The crown is the only component that is not composed to be 2-D, which lets the audience recognize its portrayal is significant. Nachum says to MTV in an interview, “… [Red is] very bright and dramatic, and that symbolizes the music,” which is immersing in the background with Chloë Mitchell’s “If They Let Us” poem in Braille. The content of the poem is notable to Rhianna’s motif, being powerful yet misunderstood.


Anas, Marielle. “Rihanna Cover Artist on How He Crafted 'Anti' Imagery.” Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018,

Cragg, Michael. “Rihanna Unveils Album Cover That 'Changes the History of Album Art'.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Oct. 2015,

Fleischer, Adam. “The Artist Behind Rihanna's Anti Cover Tells Us How It Came Together.” MTV News, 8 Oct. 2015,

Nachum, Ray. “ABOUT.” Roy Nachum, Accessed 10 Feb 2020,

Nachum, Ray. “Series Page: Crown Copy.” Roy Nachum, Accessed 10 Feb 2020,

Sargent, Antwaun. “[Exclusive] Decrypting Rihanna's Braille Album Art.” Vice, 14 Oct. 2015,

Taylor, Elise. “The Artist Behind Rihanna's Anti Cover Explains What It Means.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, 14 Oct. 2015,

Vancouver Olympics: A Graphic Design Success, Aly Singh

Vancouver Olympics: A Graphic Design Success

In preparation for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, the skills of graphic designers and Vancouver locals Elena Rivera MacGregor and Gonzalo Alatorre were relied upon to create a fitting logo for the games. A task trusted upon them due to their win of a nation wide contest. Rivera MacGregor runs a prominent Vancouver design company and Alatorre is known as a recipient of a “lifetime achievement in applied arts award by the Government of Mexico” (Creative Engine). Their work for the 2010 games is a notably Canadian example of graphic design.  It is a symbol to be shared nationwide which portrays the strength, unity, and pride of all of Canada’s diverse regions. 

The unmistakable symbol of the Olympics is the five, multicoloured, interlocking rings dating back to 1912. The original design was created from the Stockholm Games by the French aristocrat and intellectual Pierre de Coubertin. These rings are symbolic of the five inhabited continents interlocking to represent the “universality of Olympism” (Glantz Design, 2019) which at its core is about nondiscrimination and inclusion. The never-ending circles represent continuity with the idea of welcoming the international community. This symbol can be considered a huge success of graphic design as it is both unchanged and widely recognizable more than a century later.  The host country for each Olympic games is tasked with creating its own individual logo that incorporates these Olympic rings. This

logo of the Olympics when first introduced
The Logo of the Olympics when first introduced in 1912 (The Olympic Rings, 2019).
The unchanged logo for the Olympic Games over a century later.
The unchanged logo for the Olympic Games over a century later (The Olympic Rings, 2019).

host logo should be simple yet distinctive as well as representative of the home country. 

The Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic design appears to fit the criteria of a simple yet striking and memorable logo. A country as large as Canada, with its ten provinces and three territories, 9.98 million square kilometres, and a population of over 37 million people, is difficult to portray all in one design. The chosen design is that of a multicoloured Inukshuk, which is “a traditional stone sculpture used by Canada’s Inuit people” (CBC news, 2005), sitting atop the writing ‘Vancouver 2010’ and the official Olympic rings. Although some argued that the use of the Inukshuk was cultural appropriation, it remains an important symbol of Canada’s Indigenous history and this ongoing pride shows the growth of our country. The different colours used in the stones of the Inukshuk were purposely chosen to indicate the different geography, climate and culture of such a vast country, in an effort to include the entire population. The green and blues represent the coastal forests, mountain ranges and islands, the red being a nod to the maple leaf, and the yellow representing the sun. Although difficult to represent the entirety of an expansive country like Canada, in the words of designer, Rivera MacGregor, it was concluded that “the Inukshuk was in fact one character that could pretty much tell the whole story” (CBC news, 2005). The Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 were considered a success both in Canada and abroad, the logo playing a part in this. This logo is distinct, memorable and truly Canadian, overall a graphic design success. 

Official Logo of the Vancouver Olympic Games, 2010
Official Logo of the Vancouver Olympic Games, 2010. Designed by Elena Rivera MacGregor and Gonzalo Alattore  (Kaste, 2010).


Works Cited

“A Symbolic Logo: History of Olympic Rings.” Glantz Design, 3 May 2019,

“Gonzalo Alatorre, Founder and Creative Principal.” Creative Engine,

Kaste, Martin. “Vancouver Olympic Logo: A Smiling Marker Of Death?” NPR, NPR, 18 Feb. 2010,

“Population Estimates.” Statistics Canada,

“The Olympic Rings.” International Olympic Committee, 31 Jan. 2019,

“Vancouver 2010 Logo Unveiled | CBC Sports.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 24 Apr. 2005,