A graphic designer rates Vancouver’s political party logos

It's time to judge some parties by their covers.

Vancouver political parties

It’s time to judge some parties by their covers

This year’s Vancouver municipal election feels especially daunting. There are a whopping nine parties with candidates up for election on Saturday, October 15. So, how do you sort through the mess? 

Well, if you want to be completely shallow about the whole thing, how about judging them by their logos? We enlisted Vancouver native and freelance graphic designer Carson Gallagher to give us her thoughts on how the city’s political parties are presenting themselves. 

Gallagher, who recently moved to Calgary (I guess those “move to Alberta” ads worked??), doesn’t have working (read: any) knowledge of municipal politics in Vancouver, but does love graphic design and has worked with a bevy of clients in both B.C. and Alberta. 

Below are her thoughts on the parties. 

(DISCLAIMER: These opinions in no way reflect opinions of the political parties in question. Also, this is for fun and you shouldn’t take it seriously.)

Vancouver political partiesForward Together on Twitter

Forward Together Vancouver

I like the overall brand concept here. The use of gradients in the arrow feels modern and fresh, and I like the way they have carried the arrow icon throughout as a graphic treatment for brand consistency. But they could lose the drop shadow and pixelated image underneath. Less is more. 

Rating: 7/10

Vancouver political partiesWikipedia

TEAM for a Livable Vancouver

Is this a logo for a community centre?? The lowercase bubbly font of ‘team’ feels juvenile and the sans serif choice doesn’t feel special enough to be a logo—just a font anyone could easily find in a Word document. The tagline underneath looks as though it’s been squished for no reason and they had lots of room to keep its original height. Squishing a typeface is a huge no-no in the design world. Lastly, the ghost people on top feel seasonally appropriate but that’s about it. 

Rating: 2/10

Vancouver political partiesABC Vancouver

A Better City Vancouver (ABC)

This reminds me of a retro record store and I’m going to be honest, I love it. The colours are fresh, the stencil letters remind me of a subway map, and the spacing in ‘Vancouver’ aligns with the spacing in ‘ABC’. The addition of the angle was a great design move; if this was straight it would feel stiff and boring. The angle modernizes the stencil and gives a feeling of moving forward.

Rating: 8/10

Vancouver political partiesNPA VancouverNon-Partisan Association (NPA)

Immediately, I liked that they chose purple. In a sea of blue, green and red, this is a nice detour. A good logo always starts by analyzing its competition to find the space where it can stand out. The circle is easy branding but it works—it’s clean and can double as an icon or seal for sub branding without the Vancouver. They did a good job of making sure the ‘Vancouver’ feels connected to the circle by using the same typeface as ‘NPA’ and mirroring the ‘O’ in the centre of the word with the purple circle. 

Rating: 7/10

Vancouver political partiesCOPE

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE)

It’s just an italic typeface with curved edges, no addition of a tagline or sub marks. It’s clean but I want more (surprisingly). Maybe they add what the acronym stands for on their logo or say Vancouver somewhere? There is really nothing wrong with this logo—it’s timeless, but it’s boring. 

Rating: 6/10

Vancouver political partiesVision Vancouver on Facebook

Vision Vancouver

If an optometrist is out there looking for a new logo, I found it. The arc on top makes me think of a contact lens immediately but I wonder if their intention was to mimic the Dome of BC Place? Solid concept but you can’t pair ‘Vision’ with that white arc and not get optometrist. The typeface, spacing and colours are great. My suggestion: remove the arc and you have a much stronger logo.

Rating: 3/10

Vancouver political partiesProgress Vancouver on Twitter

Progress Vancouver

I’ve seen this logo before but can’t figure out where. At first I thought it was Sesame Street, but now I think it might be a Vancouver coffee shop?? Either way, it feels like a city with its nod to a street sign, so I will give them that. And the feeling of seeing it before (somewhere) adds a comfort and brand trust. The logo itself is built beautifully, spacing is clean, it all lines up, no critique there. The red is harsh but it gives a feeling of intensity and change which is what I’m assuming they were going for.

Rating: 7/10

Vancouver political partiesVote Socialist

Vote Socialist Vancouver

Nothing feels modern, the colour choices are archaic and they squished ‘Vancouver 2022’.

Rating: 3/10

Vancouver political partiesVancouver Greens

Green Party of Vancouver

This is modern, clean and, overall, the spacing is very satisfying. Though the font might feel simplified, there are subtle connections that make it work so well together. The thickness of the letters in ‘green’ match the thickness of the lines in the leaf icon. The ear on the top of the g, r and n have a slight angle to them, adding movement to the word and mirroring the angles in the leaf icon. ‘Party of Vancouver’ Lines up beautifully with the ligatures of ‘green’ and the tracking (spacing between each letter) of the tagline itself makes it easier to read at a smaller size. 

Lastly, the leaf icon doubles as an icon and monogram with the use of the hidden ‘G’, creating something unique and recognizable as part of the brand.

Rating: 8/10

Vancouver political partiesOne City on Twitter

OneCity Vancouver

Now don’t get me wrong, some great designs can come out of Canva, but this is not one of them. The whole logo is difficult to read because they removed the vowels from Vancouver. If they had kept the vowels, they would have had more letters to curve around their ballot icon, allowing for less of an intense arch on the letters and increasing legibility.

2022 could have been smaller and not curved—it’s only four characters to try and curve, so it feels pointless. The whole logo feels like a missed opportunity to do something interesting with a unique name.

Rating: 4/10