From swimming lessons to the world championships, Swimming Canada is responsible for a massive range of programs, properties and events. The brand is also tied to high-performance centres and provincial governing bodies. As a result, the brand was remarkably diversified, with different strategies, naming structures, themes, and aesthetics for every initiative.
We rebuilt the bilingual brand around a non-verbal emblem, extrapolated a consistent system for all sub-brands, and positioned Swimming Canada as an elite organization that is relevant to millions of Canadians.
The refreshed brand has turned the heads of top athletes, design blogs, and new partners.
Hulse & Durrell developed a launch campaign that unifies the place and passion for swimming in Canada: it's in our nature. The sentiment was organically shared on social media by swimmers of all levels, as well as the creative community, where the brand was reviewed by some of the world's biggest design blogs.
When we began the process, each of Swimming Canada's key events had wildly different names and brands. Every event represented a missed opportunity to increase brand awareness for the organization, add value for sponsors, and most importantly, to make these events even better for athletes and supporters.
Our systematic reposition unified the event series to enhance public impressions of the sport, the organization, its partners, and athletes at every level of competition, from Age Group Championships to the Olympic Trials. It also enabled many of the same materials to be used for multiple events – saving money and reducing waste in the process.
Like Swimming Canada's events, each separate program had a disconnected sub-brand with little or no connection to the organization — from encouraging children to swim to honouring the country's top athletes.
We unified all levels, ages, programs, and partners through a consistent, yet unique system of marks and guidelines. The result builds more recognition not only for the sport, but also for the organization and its partners, sponsors, and athletes.
Hall of Fame
Touched by three oceans and connected by grand waterways, Canada and water are emotionally and geographically inseparable. Canadians are not intimidated by the elements. We embrace them. We conquer them. When it's frozen, we skate on it. When it's warm enough — and sometimes even when it isn't — we swim in it.
From backyard and community pools to cottages at lakes and rivers. From first swimming lessons to summer lifeguarding jobs to the thrill of standing on the racing blocks. Moving in, through and around water is ingrained in who we are.
In 1912, George Hodgson won Canada's first two Olympic swimming medals and set a world record in the 1,500m freestyle. His achievement came just a few years after Canadians began competing on the international stage, but our nation's swimming iconography didn't gain wider recognition until the late ‘60s.
The swimmer, circle, and maple leaf appeared in a variety of styles and arrangements with varying success through the ‘70s and ‘80s, when Baumann, Davis, Ottenbrite and Tewksbury became Olympic champions and household names – ushering in a golden age of Canadian swimming.
— Brent Hayden, 2012 Olympic Medallist & 2007 World Champion
— Chris Wilson, Director of Marketing, Swimming Canada