Why Did They Re-Brand the CN logo
In 1959, CN conducted a research study to find out what Canadians perceived of the CN brand. The findings turned out ugly. The perception Canadians had of CN was “old-fashioned, backward organization and hostile to innovation”. This wasn’t the reputation they wanted, and so the decision was made to innovate.
Who Designed the CN Logo
The mastermind behind the creation of the CN logo was the young lad, Mr. Allan Robb Fleming. He was barely 30 years old when he sketched out the famous logo concept on an airplane napkin. Fleming described the concept as “the movement of people, materials, and messages from one point to another. It’s a route line that incidentally spells CN”. Fleming stated 17 years after the release of the identity that “this symbol will last for 50 years at least. I don’t think it will need any revision, simply because it is designed with the future in mind. Its very simplicity guarantees its durability.” Allen Fleming was a brilliant designer and true to his word. The identity is just as strong as ever, and is still recognized for the simplicity and powerfulness.
The Logo Elements
The CN logo represents motion; this is achieved by the continuous flow between the “C” and “N”. The colour palette is one colour – it’s Pantone 485, a vibrant red. Although, in the brand guidelines they allow the logo to be switched out for black or white when need or when it can’t be produced in red (which is usually standard in any brand guidelines).
Now you know the rundown about the CN identity a great part of Canadian heritage. In a nutshell, we discussed why CN rebranded, who created this iconic identity, and the key elements of the brand. And just so you know, every time I’m stuck at a train crossing and I see the CN caboose or shipping crate I think to myself, I love that logo and I wish designed it!
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