Tuesday August 09, 2016

UPDATE: Ottawa designer crowdfunds reprint of 1974 CBC 'Graphic Standards Manual'

Illustration of how a CBC bus should look.

Illustration of how a CBC bus should look. (CBC)

Listen 6:39

[UPDATE: As of Monday, May 16, the Kickstarter for the reissue of the 1974 CBC Graphic Standards Manual has been fully funded with $51,921 from 469 backers. The designer behind the campaign, Adrian Jean, says this will amount to 500 books.] 

The following interview aired on As It Happens August 9, 2016:

Over 1000 people have pledged to buy a limited-edition reproduction of the 1974 CBC Graphic Standards Manual. The retro book, a hyper-specific how-to guide on how to use the CBC logo, has been designated a part of Canada's cultural heritage.

Check out this photo gallery:


Ottawa-based graphic designer Adrian Jean has launched the campaign to create a faithful reproduction of the manual. As It Happens guest host Rachel Giese spoke to Jean about the enormous response: 

1974 Graphic Standards Manual

From the 1974 Graphic Standards Manual (CBC Archives )

Rachel Giese: What was it like when you actually got a hold of one of these 1974 Graphic Standards Manuals?

Adrian Jean: I managed to talk to Burton Kramer about the project, and he was very interested. At the end of it, I said I'm going to need to borrow one of your manuals. He gave it to me, in a bag wrapped in brown paper, and I pulled it out of the bag and peeled back the brown paper and it was almost like I was instantly transported back in time. I spent the next hour and a half just flipping through each page slowly and losing track of time. I thought to myself, if there was any doubt in my mind that other designers would be interested in this, it melted away after the first or second page. 

1974 Graphic Standards Manual

The 1974 Graphic Standards Manual also includes an audio identification for all CBC Broadcasting. (CBC Archives )

Here's what that sounds like: 

RG: It's amazing to me how well it stood up, I think the typeface is Helvetica medium, which is one of the most enduring typefaces...

AJ: People ask me why this logo, why this identity, and it really is that timelessness of the work. That's how you can tell truly great design from just even good design.

CBC Graphic Standards Manual - TV Gem

From the 1974 CBC Graphic Standards Manual, a storyboard of CBC's five-second network ID. (CBC Archives)

Listen to our full interview with Adrian Jean and go here to learn more about the manual.