In April 2012, Bruce Mau Design set out to rethink how Canada appears in the world, creating a new identity for the 21st century Canada free of any stereotypes such as hockey, beavers and maple syrup. The "Know Canada" identity and campaign, based on a creative brief from WNYC's radio show Studio 360, begins with the assertion that people beyond our borders simply don’t understand Canada. BMD’s view is that Canada doesn’t need a redesign; rather, people need to be educated.
To that end, the "Know Canada" concept highlights the country’s dynamic exchange of ideas, creativity, natural resources and people. BMD created a visual language that leverages the two red bars on each side of the Canadian flag. Without the maple leaf in the centre, these red bars act as a container for a rich array of viewpoints, imagery and understanding, while also paying homage to the country's rich history. The visual system may pertain to government, industry, arts and culture, science and technology and agriculture. The brand is designed to be flexible and inclusive, ultimately highlighting aspects of the country that make it unique, vibrant and prosperous.
Since its launch, "Know Canada" has been featured by countless media outlets including the National Post, Globe and Mail, CTV News, Huffington Post, Yahoo News and Fast Company. Furthermore, "Know Canada" was included in the 2012 Moscow Global Biennale of Graphic Design. Following the launch of the "Know Canada" speculative campaign in 2012, BMD released the KnowCanada Photo App for iOS devices, allowing users to share postcard-like images of their 21st century Canada.