Organization: National Film Board of Canada
Designer: Georges Beaupré
The design consists of a human figure with outstretched arms that are connected overhead. The placement of the head, surrounded by arms and body, symbolizes a visionary eye.
The NFB is a federal agency that operates under the authority of the National Film Act. Originally known as the National Film Commission, it was created in 1939 and worked alongside the Government Motion Picture Bureau.
The following information has been sourced from archived web material.
NFB’s initial mandate was to make and distribute films designed to help Canadians in all parts of Canada understand each other’s lives and problems. It was also responsible for coordinating the film activities of government departments.
NFB’s founder and the first Government Film Commissioner, John Grierson, wanted to make the NFB the “eyes of Canada” and to ensure that it would “through a national use of cinema, see Canada and see it whole: its people and its purpose.”
The Visionary Eye
Designed in 1968 by Georges Beaupré, then Creative Head of the Publicity Department, the NFB symbol, which is now an integral part of the logo, instantly identifies the NFB and its films, in Canada and in other countries.
It conveys a sense of seeing, of vision, of life. The drawing represents a human figure; the head resembles the eye’s iris. The upraised arms and joined hands suggest celebration. Its bold lines conjure up the art of the Inuit and First Nations peoples. The logo embodies Canada’s commitment to the art and technology of communications, but most of all it embodies the NFB’s commitment to people.
In 1993, the NFB logo was modified to accommodate the NFB’s English and French initials. As always, it is the first image to appear on the screen during any viewing of an NFB film or video.
Until 1985, it was the visual symbol designed by Georges Beaupré that introduced all NFB productions. That year, filmmaker Ishu Patel animated the symbol, adding colour and movement to the familiar silhouette to enrich the NFB’s corporate image.
In 1993, the NFB adopted a new animated logo, selected by a competition among its filmmakers. Produced by Yves Leduc and the French Program Animation Studio, this 8-second sequence was directed by animator Zabelle Côté. The symbol recognized across Canada and around the world – remains the central figure of the new animated logo, which also incorporates the new elements. The 3D computer animation was done by computer graphics artist Georges Mauro, while the soundtrack is the work of Ginette Bellavance and Daniel Toussaint.