Don’t freak out. Or maybe freak out just a little. Kensington Market does not have a new logo—but the group that represents its businesses does.
That logo, up there, is not Kensington Market’s new logo.
This morning, though, marketing company fisheye put three different-coloured versions of it on their blog in a post titled “We’re branding the unbrandable,” and got a lot of angry people thinking otherwise. They wrote:
When we were hired to help develop a brand for Kensington Market, we knew that we had to tread very lightly – after all, part of the charm of the market is that it is a bastion of individualism.
Rather than approaching the design work with the usual screen based tools, we decided to express the values of Kensington Market using a very different technology, letterpress printing.
A selection of beautiful letterpress typefaces expresses the variety of the businesses that make the Market what it is, in five carefully selected colours. The result is an identity that is a respectful and integrated part of the community it helps to define. It’s another example of what we call Marketing with Meaning.
It was not received well. And, as it turns out, it was a mistake.
“It was just one of those fuck-ups on our part where it shouldn’t have gone out, but it did,” Andreas Duess, a partner at fisheye, tells The Grid. Who fisheye actually designed logos for was the neighbourhood’s Business Improvement Area (or BIA), and the ones that the marketing company published on Friday morning were not only unfinished, they weren’t supposed to have been released yet at all. Shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, fisheye updated the blog post with several different-coloured versions of the Kensington Market BIA’s new logo that the BIA’s board had approved:
“The reason it’s all these different [type]faces,” explains Duess, “is because Kensington is made up of all these different businesses and different histories and different stories.” (One of those businesses is fisheye, who are headquartered in the thick of the market near Augusta and Oxford streets.) Commenters weren’t buying it, though: one wrote that “this looks like a logo for a farmer’s market at Sherway Gardens.” Another: “This is bad and you should feel bad.”
“We were expecting opinions, because everybody in Kensington’s got one, and that’s not a bad thing,” says Duess, who’s taken to inviting the people criticizing the logo online out for coffee to “address the criticism,” as he puts it. “The subcontext was: ‘Let’s see if you’re prepared to back up your words face-to-face rather than spouting off in social media.’…We’ll listen to you, and maybe we’ll make changes. Maybe we didn’t have the right answer. Who knows? If, like, 50,000 people say ‘you suck,’ then I’m not gonna say, ‘Boo, you’re all crap.’ I’m more than happy to listen.”
You’ve got until early July—that’s when the logo was supposed to be officially released, according to Yvonne Bambrick, coordinator of the Kensington Market BIA, and when it’ll likely start appearing on posters around the neighbourhood for Market Sundays.