ACC Logo - A Closer Look
It was an incredible honour for me to be asked to design a new logo for The Alpine Club of Canada. I’ve lived and loved the ACC for many years, as a Club member in my hometown of Cranbrook, BC and as an athlete traveling around the world representing my country. The logo reflects the long history of the ACC and incorporates updated elements from previous versions of the official logo. The look is intended to be modern while clearly referencing past logos, representative of the current Club activities, and unique. I've studied the four previous versions of the logo and tried to put myself in the place and time of their creators in an attempt to understand what the different elements represented and how they stood for Club activities and values of the day. I can't know any of that for sure, but I've learned a lot about the Club's long history and that's informed my design on a very basic level.
The three coloured panels on the main shield are the same as on the previous ACC logo and represent the forest, the rock and the snow/ice of the alpine environment. The colour of the top plate on the shield is the same colour green as is seen on the shield.
Shields have a long history being the focal point of a coat of arms, originally representing an actual shield used for protection and identification by a knight in combat. In modern times it can represent protection in other senses and is often kept as a nod to historical design usage. It's impossible to know what type of protection inspired the first appearance of the shield 90 years ago, but the overall idea of protection is still a strong one with our Club. The Shield I've included in the 2013 version represents support and protection in the mountain environment; support of a Club to its members, and protection by individuals themselves through continuous development of mountain skills, experience and judgement.
The Plate, the top most section of the Shield, represents the Club’s many interests and areas of involvement. It can become the focal point of depicting a particular usage of the logo with the application of Alternate Colours.
The Sheep is the literal head of the logo, a representation of the bighorn sheep, a strong and hardy natural climber. Its position in the logo provides the design focal point and communicates the essence of the ACC brand.
The Alpine Axe
The alpine axe has been the symbol of the alpinist for over 150 years and its inclusion in the logo is both historic and natural. As a design element, the axe adds strength to the logo while representing self-sufficiency and mountain safety.
Skis are both the means to be self-propelled in alpine environments in winter as well as the tool for recreation in the snow. The inclusion of skis in the logo reflects the current activities of the Club and creates confidence in the self-propelled alpine pursuits for which the Club stands.
The skis crossed with an ice axe echos the logo of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. That started accidentally, but was quickly accepted by the Club: the design is very natural, the ACC and ACMG associate closely on many fronts and as organizations they are great friends.
The oval element, both the black line and the implied continuation, wraps the logo and creates cohesion while representing the ACC’s year-round involvement with the outdoors.
The type and its positioning creates consistency with the other elements of the logo. The wrapping effect is intended to show flow while bringing ease to the viewer. The font usage (Arial Regular) is subtle enough to not overpower the main elements, but at the same time giving a clear, concise understanding of the ACC brand.
On a personal note, this has been an extremely rewarding job for me and I was honoured to have been asked to take on the responsibility of working on something that has long been a part of my life. I've been extremely fortunate to be able to represent Canada as an ice climber — not a lot of people get to do that — and wearing the maple leaf and the ACC logo have been some of the proudest moments of my life.