Milton Unveils New Modern Logo

The Town of Milton is now over 100,000 people and rapidly growing as a community, and yet there is still some of that authentic small town charm that it has been historically known for. As Milton changes in the next few decades, what exactly should Milton be, how should it present itself to the wider region as to what their community stands for are questions that are sure to be on the minds of people living in one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities.

A rebranding is definitely necessary, and after some 27 years of having the same town logo, Milton recently undertook a study and came up with a new one.

The previous logo was launched in 1990, but the old logo was recently given a number of reproduction challenges in today’s digital environment. According to the town’s Vision Identity Project, it was time for Milton’s brand to better reflect the young, vibrant, growing and diverse population living in the town today.

As you can see from the header photo for this article, used by the town to promote Milton’s Youth Advisory Committee, the old logo looks rather stoic and somewhat out of place for a community that is brimming with youth and new vibrancy. No wonder they needed a change.

The project was divided into three stages: Discovery Phase, Community Engagement Phase, and the Design Phase. The process took more than six months, with 50 stakeholder interviews being conducted and 650 public survey responses.

During the Discovery Phase, the participants took to three key themes for the logo: Natural, Forward-Looking and Diverse. A competitive scan of Ontario municipal logos was conducted, and it was clear that there was a tremendous opportunity for Milton to differentiate itself from other municipalities in terms of brand style and impacts.I guess they took a look at the logos for Mississauga as well as Melbourne, Australia, and thought “we could do the M a little bit better”.

During the Community Engagement Phase, the survey that involved 650 residents asked them to provide words that captured the spirit of the Milton community. From that survey, there were five key words that emerged from this research: Active, Innovative, Refreshing, Growing and Diverse.

For the final Design Phase, Milton selected Scott Thornley & Company to help create a brand that would resonate with residents. Using the research gathered during the engagement phase, consultants worked with internal stakeholders to develop and refine a final design concept. Here is what they came up with:

This final design was given the following explanation by the project representatives:

The Look: The engagement process inspired this colourful, stylized, inclining letter M. It represents possibility and growth.

The Colours: The vibrant colours are representative of Milton’s young, diverse, forward-looking population.

The Natural Design: The M design emerged from two overlapping leaves, inspired by Milton’s ties to nature and the opportunities for future growth in this community.

On June 26, Milton town council officially adopted this new logo with the tagline “A Place of Possibility.” As a member of Milton town council told me, the new branding will be staggered as it goes out. As things are needed it’ll change things like business cards and brochures. When signs need replacing it’ll be done then, instead of all at once which is really expensive.

No doubt this exercise would be expensive; rebranding a whole municipality is not something that comes relatively cheap. The councillor wasn’t sure exactly what the total costs were, but I have a friend in graphic design and she estimated that something to the tune of $170,000 (which is approximately what Mississauga spent when redesigning their logo a few years ago) is an average price for this scale of a project.

What do you think of the new logo, Milton? Does it reflect the changing nature of your community….or do you like the old one better?

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