Vancouver, B.C. (May 3, 2006) – The Mayor of Vancouver, local dignitaries and media attended the unveiling of the Vancouver Aquarium’s new logo and to officially launch the season of celebrations of the Vancouver Aquarium’s 50 amazing years in the community. The logo and new identity system was designed by Vancouver-based Subplot Design Inc.


Last year, with its anniversary in view, the Vancouver Aquarium paused to consider its logo which for more than 35 years featured a killer whale – a distinctive symbol for the Aquarium as one of the first institutions to have ever displayed them.


“The Aquarium remains at the forefront of wild killer whale research and conservation today, but we felt the killer whale as a symbol no longer represented the experience of visiting the Aquarium, nor of the broad scope of the Aquarium’s programs,” said Chair of the Board, Dan Rollins. “We wanted our new logo to be distinctive, contemporary, and appropriate to the spirit of our organization which offers an unforgettable aquatic experience for visitors, while being a leader in education, conservation and marine science. We also wanted that new logo to symbolize our commitment to all marine life (not just one or two species), and reflect our values of balance, sustainability, and conservation.”


With that idea in mind, the Aquarium turned to Subplot Design Inc, an award-winning local design firm. The designers were given the challenge of creating a new logo that would be more appropriate to the Vancouver Aquarium of today – an aquarium that strives to engage, amaze and inspire its visitors; an aquarium that conducts ground-breaking research into aquatic animals and ecosystems; an aquarium that manages an ever-growing number of conservation initiatives. After months of hard work, a new logo was born.


“Designing a logomark is one of the most difficult things in brand design”, says Subplot principal, Roy White. “In this single, small mark, the goal is to accurately portray not only what an organization does for a living, but to represent the personality, emotion and essence of that organization.”


White continues, “The Vancouver Aquarium is an intricate organization offering a wide range of services, including scientific research initiatives, partnerships with conservation organizations, education programs, and the visitor attraction. That’s a tall order for a logo to represent. With the Vancouver Aquarium, it was clear that their dedication to aquatic conservation would play the leading role in this new identity.”


Inspired by the shape and spirit of earlier logos, the new icon celebrates the Aquarium’s history and commitment to the conservation of aquatic life in its many forms. The main logomark image is that of a dynamic, leaping fish, and is made up of three smaller shapes, representing aquatic fauna (seastar), flora (kelp) and the world of water (wave).


“We are very pleased that the logomark not only captures this balance of the marine ecosystem, but helps to convey the sense of wonder and excitement that the Vancouver Aquarium experience is about”, says Subplot principal, Matthew Clark. “The identity system that we have created to complement the logo then grows out of this sense of discovery, wonder and the beauty of the aquatic environment.”


From new brochures, to business cards, a refreshed website to new stationery, the Aquarium’s new identity will translate to all branded items and communications over time. Vivid photography of key flora and fauna provide beautiful backdrops to the brochures, main entrance signage, and additional collateral to roll-out across the Vancouver Aquarium experience. Be sure to watch for the Aquarium’s new visual identity on West Georgia Street, where it will be featured on colorful banners celebrating the Vancouver Aquarium’s “50 amazing years”.


About the Vancouver Aquarium

Considered Vancouver’s most popular ticketed attraction and one of the top five aquariums in North America, the Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting non-profit association dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. With annual attendance of over 900,000 and a membership base of nearly 20,000 households, the Aquarium is known for innovative education programs and engaging displays, as well as its many scientific research and conservation initiatives. The Aquarium will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on June 15, 2006.


About Subplot Design Inc.

Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.