Designing The 1 LOVE T.O. Logo

Once Mayor David Miller and his advisory committee approved the concept of ‘1 LOVE T.O.’, we had to create a logo. The logo was going to be used as the official brand and message for the City of Toronto while celebrating the 40th anniversary of Caribana.

Tyrone had originally sketched out a very rough idea on a napkin and I managed to transform that idea into the now iconic logo and brand known as 1 LOVE T.O.

The message was simple - ‘One Love’, but the approach to design was a lot harder. At the time, our city didn’t have an identity. Unless you were a die-hard Leafs or Blue Jays fan, there was no symbol that represented Toronto as a whole. 

Drawing on inspiration from Milton Glaser’s famous “I heart NY” logo, I wanted our symbol to embody the same passion New Yorker’s had for their city, but with a different message all together. Our message wasn’t singular or about one person's opinion, it was an inclusive message that involved everyone.

The logo consists of the number 1, followed by a heart symbol (love), and below are the capital letters T. and O., including a dot after each letter. The logo was designed using the bold typeface Arial Black, with customization made to each letter or number form to make it unique. For example the number 1 has a base that was added to match the width of the letter T below it. The dots between the letters T.O. were added as a way to pay homage to the generation before us that had dubbed Toronto as the T dot. For example, Kardi has a line in his song “Bakardi Slang” that will help you understand...

“Ya’ll think we’re all Jamaicans when nuff man are Trini, Bajan, Grenadian, a whole heap of Haitians, Guyanese, and all of the West Indies combined to make the T dot O dot one of a kind.” - Kardinal Offishal

The day this logo got printed and t-shirts were made was the day we sparked a movement that none of us could have predicted. 10 years later and now look…

Posted by Bryan Brock