A Logo Worthy of 75 Years

March 7, 2022
Van Kam 75th Anniversary Logo

Making our Mark

When you have a big milestone in anyone’s life, you naturally try to commemorate it with something worthy of the occasion. It’s no different for us here at Van Kam! In case you haven’t heard yet, this year marks our 75th Anniversary, so we wanted to create a commemorative logo that would be used to represent our diamond anniversary.

The trick was to make the logo unique, but be complementary alongside our other brand marks, such as other logos found on our company communications and fleet equipment – most notably, our vintage Van Kam logo found our tractors and trailers. These have been regularly seen on the roads and highways throughout Western Canada since 1947.

A Bit of Introspection

After days of brainstorming ideas and concepts, we decided on creating designs that would echo our story of a three-generation, BC family-owned business operating in Western Canada. Initial designs included everything that one would assume when thinking of Western Canada, like trees, mountains, lakes, and trucking/transportation themes. Ultimately, we felt the designs were too literal and did not match the simplicity of our two current company logos.

75th Anniversary logo concepts for Van Kam
As various logos were developed and tested over several months, the logos above wound up on the cutting room floor.

Two For One

To accommodate the vintage logo on our fleet equipment, we would need two logos: one for our trailers and another for everything else (“non-trailer”). Even though we were going to have two different designs, we still needed to have some continuity between them on their own. To do this, we went back to the drawing board and stripped away the literal components of our initial designs and instead incorporated subtle graphic hints to support our historical story.

The Many Facets of a Diamond

Since 75th anniversaries are traditionally known as “diamond anniversaries,” we mimicked the facets of a diamond into the stylized “7” and “5”. This chiselling effect also projected a sense of tradition and history and added depth to the numbers – – which were ordinarily flat on our previous commemorative logos.

An Obtuse Bridge

For added continuity between these two new 75th logos, we wanted to use the black, red, white, and green colours, which are collectively found on our vintage and current Van Kam logo. The challenge was how do we incorporate the green into the non-trailer logo without it being overpowering?

This dilemma was solved by adding the green obtuse triangle below the red ribbon. This obtuse triangle is found exclusively on our trailers as a backdrop for the vintage logo, and it’s the same green used on the bumper striping that our tractors are renowned for. It was perfect for incorporating the green and bridging all our logos while still retaining some individuality. (Finalized logo shown at top of page)

Vintage Van Kam logo matching tests
Preliminary logos were tested on actual trailers to see if they complemented the “vintage” Van Kam logo sporting the obtuse green triangle.

A Riveting Tale

Rounding out the design is the reversed maple leaf to represent our Canadian roots and a nod to our three generations of family ownership by placing three rivets on the top corner points of the shield logo. The rivets also signify the solid foundation Van Kam is built upon, and doubles as a representation of how most of our freight trailers are held together… with rivets!

Logo Version #2: The final 75th logo for use on Van Kam trailers, with relationship to other logos on the left as depicted from the initial design presentation document.

What’s Your Story?

To celebrate our 75th, we’re inviting you to contact us with your most memorable experiences with Van Kam! We would love to hear your stories and comments, and upon consideration, we may even request to feature your story in an upcoming newsletter or blog/social post. You can reach out to us at marketing@vankam.com.

We look forward to hearing from you, and be sure to keep an eye out for more stories and online content as we celebrate throughout 2022!

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