So I read in the paper today (yes I still get the Saturday paper) and discovered that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird did some rather surprising things on his business cards. For some reason he had the Canadian coat of arms gold embossed, removed the Canada logo (and what looks like the recycled logo as well), took out reference to the Lester B. Pearson Building and had the card in only one language.

As a designer, I’m pretty upset about this. Canada’s visual identity is rather hallowed ground amongst the Canadian design community. Canada’s visual identity is one of the most recognizable in the world. Not to mention removing all reference to Canada on the Foreign Affairs Minister’s business cards is rather odd. And the one language. Like it or not, (and as a typesetter I do not) Canada has two official languages and as a representative of the country, I think the business cards should reflect that. Want to change the policy? Fine. Change the policy and then change the card.

There’s other things I could say, like the extra cost for the gold emboss, the dirty pool politics about removing the name of a building that was named after a Liberal PM (Baird is a Conservative) but I won’t. I’ll leave that to others. I’m just saddened that once again, someone in power just craps all over good design strategies and sends out rather mixed messages in the process.

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