The Evolution of Our Logo
25 FEBRUARY 2022 — In celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary, Nature NB debuted a new logo in January 2022. This new iteration is actually the 4th logo the organization has had since its foundation.
The New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists/Fédération des Naturalistes du Nouveau-Brunswick, or NBFN, was formed at the end of 1972. By early 1973 new Naturalists’ clubs were joining the organization alongside existing clubs from Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. Although often abbreviated as “the Federation”, it was soon decided that the NBFN would need a symbol to represent itself without having to spell out the lengthy, bilingual name every time.
In a 1973 issue of the NB Naturalist, Dr. Bev Schneider wrote:
It was decided early in 1973 that the federation needed something to represent itself pictorially. This symbol had to be something we could use as a letterhead with potential for other uses such as a decal for automobiles or a crest for jackets. In January and February guidelines were circulated with encouragement for a large participation from the membership. An extensive search was made of existing symbols used by other natural history, bird, parks, wildlife, sportsmen, animal, and trail groups to avoid duplication. A study was done to determine what mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates and plants were typical or characteristic of New Brunswick. Forty-four entries were received. Judging was done by the Board of Directors. All entries, which were identified by number only, were considered carefully both as they stood or if altered somewhat. The winning design was done by our president [David Christie]. Runners-up were Mr. Ted Pulford of Sackville and Mr. J.P. Francis of Fredericton. The Board thanks all who participated so well in this undertaking.
This design served as symbol for the NBFN from 1973 to 1982. In 1983, the Black-capped Chickadee was officially announced as the provincial bird for New Brunswick, following a contest conducted by the Federation. The chickadee became a symbol used to represent the organization at big events but was not an official logo for the NBFN.
The Federation went on without a logo between 1983 and 1989. At a Board of Directors’ meeting on July 16, 1988, then-president Peter Pearce raised the matter of a new logo for the Federation. To stimulate interest, it was suggested that along with information about the annual meeting, a request to members to bring logo ideas should be included with the mailing.
No record was found of suggested logos brought to the annual meeting, but at a Board meeting on February 11, 1989, it has been noted that Mary Majka moved to use the concept of the chickadee to be refined professionally.
In his Message From the President in an issue of the NB Naturalist later that year, Peter Pearce wrote:
After years of indecision, we now have a formal federation logo. It depicts a stylized chickadee (black on white) surmounting a straight green bar (the land) and a wavy blue bar (the sea). The logo has been hailed (by some, at least!) for its simplicity, attractiveness, and ability to express the nature of the organization it represents.
That is how the chickadee came to be the identifying symbol of Nature NB.
In 2004, the official trade name of “Nature NB” was adopted, not to replace the New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists as the organization’s official name, but to allow for better branding for the organization. Nature NB was influenced by the Canadian Nature Federation’s name change to Nature Canada, and this choice had the added benefit of being bilingual, unlike the current (and lengthier!) name of New Brunswick Federation of Naturalists/Fédération des Naturalistes du Nouveau-Brunswick.
As we continued to refine the organization’s branding, the logo was modified slightly between 2007 and 2008. The Board, during a branding exercise spearheaded by Sabine Dietz, felt that the logo needed an upgrade. Although there wasn’t any willingness to stray too far from the original chickadee design, there was a desire to look more professional as the organization grew. Working with a designer, the Board agreed to a logo with a more modern, smoother looking bird.
And today, as the organization celebrates 50 years of conservation work, the logo has been updated to mark the occasion. We have agreed that keeping the chickadee — for which the organization has come to be recognized — as well as the green and blue of the earth and water is important to our brand. To this we have added the purple violet, New Brunswick’s official provincial flower. While a large part of our membership are keen birders, we know that birds are not the sole interest of our member base, and that our province offers much more natural history than birds alone. As a nod to all New Brunswick naturalists, we have included both provincial symbols in our new logo.
We hope you agree that this is a wonderful new image that will help carry us through the next 50 years of celebrating nature in New Brunswick!
Correction (25/02/2022): Runner-up Mr. Ted Pulford of Sackville was erroneously written as Tod Pulford