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News

Our New Brand Identity

May 16, 2018

Dear friends, 

I am thrilled to announce the new brand identity of Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF), Canada’s largest and longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair. At TOAF the artist is always present, accessible, and excited to engage with their audience; our new identity is just as exciting, accessible and as present as our artists.

Since 1961, many artists have launched extraordinary careers from a single white tent on the City of Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. These pop-up tents have acted as temporary homes for thousands of artists who wholeheartedly invite and welcome the public to peek into their way of thinking, seeing, and creating. Many notable Canadian artists have passed through those welcoming tents including Ken Danby, David Blackwood, Joanne Tod, Jennifer Stead, Harlan House, Barbara Astman, Edward Burtynsky and many others.

We are proud that for the past 57 years, we have put the artist at the front and centre of their works and created a viable economic platform for the artists to launch and sustain their careers. We are also honoured to have played a significant role in bringing art into the everyday lives of the public.

Every year, there is an influx of fresh talent, original works, and new ideas at the Fair. As an organization, we have also refreshed many aspects of our work and have taken big steps in strengthening our infrastructure, providing innovative services to our artists, and creating exciting new programs for the public.

It was about time that our brand identity reflected our renewed vision and excitement with a contemporary design. The slightly modified name, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF), is a more accurate and contemporary positioning of what we do and who we are. It also makes us easily recognizable and relatable outside of Toronto, across Canada and internationally.

Capturing, refreshing and reinterpreting the essence of a 57-year-old organization is not an easy feat. It has been something that TOAF has been grappling with for a few years now and we needed the right moment, the right process, and the right firm to realize it.

Monnet Design has successfully branded some iconic cultural organizations in the city. We’ve had our eye on them for quite some time and admired their work for the Theatre Centre, SummerWorks and many of their other projects. However, it was the branding of in/future that completely swept us off our feet for its genius marrying of the old and new with bold elegant elements and timeless colours (Monnet won the prestigious “Best of Canadian Design of 2016” award for in/future).  

Monnet's design of the TOAF logo expresses the radiant energy of the fair in a striking and dynamic way. The design is timeless and sleek. We absolutely love the rays of the sun and the sense of movement it creates when placed on different backgrounds. The open tent captures the welcoming essence of our artists and our fair.

Hear from Monnet Design about the concept behind the new TOAF logo:

Since 1961, this amazing event has become a beloved Toronto summer tradition and an important showcase for emerging and established artists. We wanted the new branding to communicate the palpable energy and excitement at the event every year. We developed a logo with a versatile square mark (representing Nathan Phillips Square) which incorporates the initials of the festival. The letter “O” is a stylized sun, representing the open-air venue and the letter “A” is a stylized tent, representing the iconic white tents that are used by the participating artists to display their work. In developing a colour palette our main goal was to bring bright, fun pops of colour to the otherwise grey landscape of the square. We were inspired by colour schemes of the 60’s and 70’s when combining the TOAF red, orange and blue. The result is an adaptable graphic system that can be used by the Fair for years to come.”

We are incredibly grateful to Monnet Design for this incredible journey. I really hope you enjoy our new fresh look and brand identity.

Sincerely,

anahita azrahimi

Executive Director

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