NowPlayingToronto an invitation to experience the rich, vibrancy of Toronto’s arts and entertainment community by providing the most comprehensive events resource of cultural experiences to check out in the city. My goal as a designer was to communicate this new exciting brand to the wider audiences while staying true to representing the vibrant local cultural scene.
This project was commissioned by Destination Toronto, a not-for-profit organization that operates in partnership with the City of Toronto to promote the city to global travellers and support local businesses. NowPlayingToronto had other stakeholders as well, including the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and the Arts and Culture Advisory Council. While it is a net new initiative, the goal was to reflect the current visual identity of its parent organization, Destination Toronto.
My process began with gathering visual references done by other organizations. I focused my research into specifically municipal branding for two reasons: firstly, even though City of Toronto is not a parent organization for neither Destination Toronto nor NowPlayingToronto, this initiative is very much centering around promotion of a city; secondly, municipal branding traditionally has lended some progressive, creative approaches to visually representing the city, which I think was an opportunity that NowPlayingToronto must utilize.
From there, I decided to centre my design exercises on NowPlayingToronto's pillars classified by the six disciplines/event types: Performances (Stage & Theatre), Live Music, Festivals & Events, Art & Design, Culture & Education, and Film. I then conducted a visual research into what Toronto has to offer in terms of the six pillars.
The next phase involved designating a colour to each of the discipline, inspired by the iconic Toronto signage in front of the City Hall in Nathan Philip Square. As a subtle nod to the parent organization Destination Toronto, the yellow from the palette is the same yellow as their brand yellow.
With the colour palette in place, I went back to the initial visual brainstorming board that led me to visually identifying some rough shapes and patterns that I deemed might be useful in the later phases. Even though in the end we ended up going with a different direction, it was still a worthy exercise to go through.
Instead of the varying shapes, the final logomark is made up of six triangles in the six defined brand colours. The triangle was chosen as it visually reflects a play button symbol that represents ‘Playing’ in the brand name. Development of the play button shape takes its cue from the letter V in the Toronto Subway font, put on its side and the negative space filled.
NowPlayingToronto adopts the same typefaces as Destination Toronto in order to be visually consistent with the brand family. The primary typeface is the iconic Toronto Subway, a geometric sans-serif typeface designed for the original section of the Toronto Transit Commission subway line signages.