Archive for the logos Category

Great Canadian Breakfast stressful for me

Great Canadian Breakfast Invitation

Graphic Design in Barrie brands the Great Canadian Canadian Breakfast

Well, now that the dust has settled, the third annual Great Canadian Breakfast, in Barrie on the 13th of July, was a big success. Success for my local BNI chapter, Simcoe Executives; success for the whole Barrie area BNI group network and finally success for the vibrant, entrepreneural spirit of this fair town. We got almost twice the number to come out (into a blistering morning) than last year…

But I got so stressed out!

I did the invitation with the maple leaf shaped butter. This after my initial idea of a maple leaf shaped pancake petered out. eBay sent the pancake molds to my old Aurora address, well I don’t use the service much, and I hadn’t updated the address since my move to Barrie, now almost 18 months ago. My bad, totally. But when fellow BNIer James Krant added the strawberries on either side, we had an edible Canadian flag, he shot the pic and everything just fell into place.

No, the stress came from the Simcoe Executives putting me up as their candidate to win back Ray Romard’s hand made beaver trophy in the 60 second infomercial contest. It’s essentially an elevator speech with judges and precise timing, with a bell… you get the picture. Worried about the timing, about being able to remember and even to pronounce some of my most complex lryics ever, I chopped most of the funny, alliterative bits out… I spent 20 minutes on the porch of Tangle Creek, in my black suit surrounded by golfers in shorts in the already over 32 degree heat, then in the men’s room, committing to memory my delivery.

I totally missed Rich Grof’s presentation… stress, stress, stress.

In the end I got through it ok, except the bell went off just as I was about to deliver the closing, ‘Life is a journey. You can’t travel without a passport.’

Another shout out to photographer, baker, numbers guy, James Krant for that. And while I am at it, to Ray Romard ‘Barrie’s Best Stripper’ for patience, understanding, verbal help including his great spontaneous sense of humour.

Here’s the text of my final 60 second draft, ending included:

Good Morning. I thought it would be fitting to bring my passport to the Great Canadian Breakfast. (Hold up the passport)

This little document lets me travel the world under the great brand that is Canada, where everyone recognizes the maple leaf as our national symbol. Into it we have poured our pride, our game, our troops, and our innate sense of fair play and that little coffee shop on every corner in the land.

The brand is so strong, it even works as butter on a pancake. When James added the strawberries on either site, we had an edible flag, just as smoothly as a flapjack slides off a flipper.

Here’s Canada’s brand. (Show the passport in my right hand again) Here’s my brand. (Take my business card out of my pocket with my left hand)  This is my passport to the world of business. I work with business people just like you (point to the audience with the business card) to find out what makes your big business hearts go boom. Then I pack it all into a brand, like a well-tailored suit – it just fits.

Your brand is your passport to everywhere your business needs to go, like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

My name is Mike Beard. I make brands. Life is a journey, you can’t travel without a passport.

I didn’t win. My friend, natural speaker and all around great guy, Rob Delacourt did. However, stress relieved.

Just give me the burger, hold the ‘old fashioned’

Wendy's New Logo deletes much of the brand in search of the 'new'.

Is less really more? Just askin’

Is less really more? Just askin’

Wendy’s branding hasn’t changed in decades, which I think was partly the point. So here’s the new logo. I can’t help but think it is somewhat less than the old, simpler yes, but a bit pedestrian as a design. I haven’t seen the new restaurant interiors (I’m a drive-thru guy), but from tis article they are a great improvement and an overdue, required answer to McDonald’s great new stores. I have to admit the typography is lost on me and I’m a fan of relaxed scripts. Judging from the responses to this article in ADWEEK reviews are mixed. but this does not do the ‘best burgers anywhere’ justice I’m afraid.

Graphic design is just the beginning


I offer my customers high level branding, graphic design, advertising headlines and copy, campaign consultation, local marketing, logo and graphic design, the writing of marketing slogans, press releases, web sites, articles, ad placement, media consultation. I am proud to create and supervise each customer project with great personal care and tact. Some of these technologies are presented in coordination with experts I know and trust in the field.

They started calling me a “one man agency” a few years ago when I was the Marketing Director at ATS, a national transportation company located in Toronto. At the time I was developing the ATS Healthcare brand that turned out to be so successful. One of the testimonials presented on this site is from my senior executive during the brand launch.

But the nickname stuck and is quite apt. I wrote all the marketing materials, the internal newsletter and a variety web sites, had designed and produced them all, including brochures and award-winning calendars (a staple at transportation firms) invented a brand and described what it meant in both Pharmaceutical and Transportation magazines, designed the logo, wrote and placed ads… well, I did it all marketing-wise.

I have mounted some of this work and much else at

I work out of my home studio in Barrie, Ontario. My local Barrie number is 705-984-4752. I never charge for initial conversations and am currently offering a free assessment of all your graphics, sites, ads …. literally anything you would like to throw at me. I will send you a professional report with the results of my findings.

Apple celebrates success with rainbow logo design

NEW APPLE LOGO DESIGN shows graphic design is a roadmark in success marketing.

NEW APPLE LOGO DESIGN shows graphic design is a roadmark in success marketing.

“Wow” is all you can say about Apple these days. But here’s the visual gift and a bit of a twist on the rainbow theme from the original Apple logos of the not-so-recent past. This one is all digital, button-like but still Apple. By that I mean so cool.  Post from Robert Mead-Greene at Computer Arts UK
Research In Motion where are you??

A night to remember in Aurora

I have been recently ‘gifted’ as some would say these days, in meeting and working with a group dedicated to helping Queen’s York Rangers by staging this prestigious event. This regiment goes back to American revolutionary times and their history is deep in the DNA of Aurora. Follow me as QYRbugleboy on Twitter!
Shown is the logo for this event, graphic designed as part of an overall design, marketing and social media strategy for the event.

Steady as she goes for Shell’s aquatic logo

Shell presents a treasured symbol shown here evolving over the last century and now celebrating it’s  100th birthday. Each single, evolutionary step is careful never to land so far away from the previous iteration that the audience is lost or the customer taken for granted. Yet, as every picture tells a story, here the design ethos of each decade is rendered fresh, literally blended into the corporate identity. The changes are so subtle, probably most went unnoticed, yet each managed to keep pace with ever changing public perceptions of taste and modernity. I love the most recent one where even the company name is declared superfluous. When the name goes yet the meaning remains, it’s a proud display,  proof the mark has attained universal icon status.


I’m a fan I admit for the new Starbuck’s logo. It’s a natural evolution of the old one, although I’m not sure what the mermaid is all about. In Starbuck’s eyes it’s a ‘siren’. Also understood is that we all recognize the siren for what it is. In McDonald’s terms, it’s the double arches seen up the street, recognizable by most of the planet even from a distance and without necessarily reading the restaurant’s name, therefore we turn in. Kids know it too. The golden arches are the perfect substitute for the name of the chain. The siren, perhaps not so much. Starbuck fans will surely respond to the image of the siren, but when only fans recognize the logo, you have reduced the relevancy of the brand.

Big changes coming this year from the brand after a disastrous few years which saw hundreds of stores er, swallowed whole.

“Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all,” Howard Shultz, Starbucks’ president and CEO, said in a post on the company’s website Wednesday.

“Now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage and also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth,” he said. The new logo will rollout beginning in March.

Read more at CNNMoney: January 5, 2011

Distinctive Branding Boosts Business: National Post, October 10, 2010,


A GAP IN LOGIC, ILLUSTRATED The Gap’s infamous go at a logo change screamed ‘why?’ and that cry went unanswered… for about a minute and a half. Best described in this article by Julie Weiner in Vanity Fair, the logo floated up and came down with a thump in less than a week and pretty well said everything about the infallibility of expensive design studios, and laughable but still expensive missteps in branding.

Remember the fabulously ill-considered NEW COKE? Would you buy your jeans in a store corporately labeled ‘Annual Report’? Then this would be the logo for you. This fiasco is well documented. Here are some links.

Vanity Fair: In Memoriam, actually listed the Gap logo as among the dead… however they must have reconsidered. This link still goes to the article tho.
New Gap Logo, Despised Symbol of Corporate Banality, Dead at One Week

A follow up on ‘Gapgate’ the logo controversy that pretty well summed up the consternation of modernizing, genericizing… and ‘helvetica-izing’ a storied brand. The blogosphere just getting used to its own growing traction. Off to Underconsideration: a fabulous design site and their baby: BRAND NEW, which tracks these things, well worth the trip.

At CNN/Money, Gap reverts to classic logo after outcry.

Do your own crap logo, I did.


Your Logo Makes Me Barf

Trying to collect the worst logos of all time in one convenient location. A lot of bad logos seem to involve eagles. Or for Canadians, maple leaves and the industrious beaver.

ASTRAL MEDIA goes ‘au naturel’

Topographical? Indigenous? Canadian? Do you see the natural spirit of the revised Astral Media logo being revealed here? The softer side of digital media giantism? Perhaps this new look captures the aspirations of the company now and displays their progress away from former, more stilted ideals whose representation (see below) it replaces.

Gone now are the hard edges (so 90’s), the ‘eclipse’ of the ‘A’ (that meant… universal?) and even the proper caps. To my eye this smooth hand crafted styling brings back images of last year’s Vancouver Games with their intent (at least) of native, spirit-driven focus. Love the blatant, multicolor aspect. There’s no need today to be limited to a one or two color palette, since black and white, or three-color printing has gone the way of well… old spirits. Nearly everything is digital, and the online world is all color, all the time. Still if this was their intent, perhaps something really hand-drawn would have served the concept better.



Newspaper chain Canwest’s evolution into Postmedia Network now sprouts a new identity, whose logo underwhelms even the most forgiving viewer. “We wanted something that was bold and dynamic. Something that exemplifies a first to the future view,” said Paul Godfrey, President and Chief Executive of Postmedia Network. “It had to jump off the page, whether that’s a web page or a printed page, and this really does.”
Jeff Harrison, spokesperson for Vancouver agency ReThink claims, “The forward slash cursor in the logo represents the posting of information and the movement towards a digital future.”

See what readers think at designedge canada.