The following text is from Ontario Hydro on the release of its new logo and corporate identity, launched in 1962.

Hydro’s New Look

We all want to have the world recognize us as we really are. Through our appearance, our manners, and our behaviour, we try to present a conception or image which will realize our desire to be well thought of. The same applies to a family, club, school, or business organization. As members of the Hydro family, it is important to us that we can be proud of being Hydro people. Impressions left by our executives, service personnel, telephone receptionists, elevator operators, electrical inspectors – indeed all of us at Hydro – color the opinions that collectively make up our public image.

What sort of image do we want to present to our customers, our competitors, and the world at large? It has long been taken for granted that a flick of the switch provides instant light, warmth, entertainment, and countless other services.

Dependability has become a word closely associated with Ontario Hydro. We are known, too, for our engineering achievements. Interviews with people inside and outside Hydro supplied valuable information about our present position. The increasing participation of Ontario Hydro and electricity in the province’s daily life and the pace and pressure of modern society made one fact immediately apparent – a stronger corporate identity is essential to maintain Ontario Hydro in the public mind as a progressive, efficient, service-conscious organization dedicated to the interests of its customers.

Ontario Hydro and the associated municipal utilities have been identified in various degrees by many unrelated symbols, signs, illustrations, and so on-which had failed to display the overall unity of purpose and meaning which is characteristic of our unique Hydro enterprise.

Allan Fleming, one of Canada’s foremost designers, was commissioned to create a symbol which would graphically reflect Hydro as it is today. Although perhaps best known for the new CN symbol, Mr.Fleming has undertaken corporate identity programs with many other organizations, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, Mutual Life, and Montreal Trust. As you can see, our new symbol is dignified and distinctive, yet dynamic. Its clean, contemporary form was designed to stand the test of time. To a remarkable degree, our society has come to appreciate that simplicity is the essence of good design, whether in buildings or bikinis. The symbol proposed for the municipal utilities bears a close similarity and offers a means of establishing a strong, readily identified relationship to the community.

An organization presents its visual image in many ways through its trademark, advertisements, promotional material, letterheads, vehicles, uniforms, and the multitude of business forms with which it communicates with the public. The adoption of a new symbol is the first step in a program to implement the symbol’s many applications. A group will be established within the Public Relations Division to introduce Hydro’s New Look.


This text has been sourced from Ontario Hydro’s identity launch document, posted by the Alliance Graphique Internationale.