I had written about my hometown of Vancouver in this blog before; it served as a contrast to New York in my colour study earlier. So when I decided on it for my city logo brief, I already had some ideas in mind: greens and blue, woods and glass, rivers and mountains. I thought I should still elaborate on my associations with the city, so I started by making a word cloud to emphasize the concepts with which I associate Vancouver.


There are a few running themes that I clearly associate with Vancouver. One is nature: Vancouver is a city with a lot of natural beauty. You can go surfing in the morning and skiing at night, just with a car or by transit. There are also a lot of water-related words; the Georgia strait runs alongside Vancouver to become the Burrard Inlet. There are so many different bodies of water nearby that I didn’t think to include any in the word cloud. There are also a lot of outdoor activities, as well as alternate forms of transportation– Vancouver is not a car-centric town, and many city planners worldwide admire it for opting not to have a highway that cuts through downtown. Finally, I’ve included a few different cultures and foods in here; Vancouver is fairly diverse, and the food reflects that.

Initial Sketches & Refinement


I started off by drawing a number of sketches drawing from the themes of my word cloud. I played with whitespace and shapes, but overall I gravitated towards the idea that Vancouver is a modern city embedded in nature.


I favoured my fourth logo concept, but then I decided to look at existing logos for Vancouver to get an idea of the ecosystem my logo would exist in. As it turns out, my logos were often very similar to existing logo concepts– they seeped into my subconscious. Consequentially, I decided on logo concept #2– a literal take on a city embedded in nature.


I drew a clearer sketch of the idea on my tablet, and then took it into Illustrator for vectorization.

Final Concept

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The final product is slightly different from the refinement. I tilted the buildings to give the logo a bit more depth, and paired with the city’s name in Metro, a geometric typeface that was designed to compete with Futura, yet be a bit more humanist. It was created in 1929– around the same time Vancouver was amalgamated with Point Grey and South Vancouver– and was popular through the 1950s when Vancouver was developing its signature city planning policies.

Logo in Context

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