Calgary TikToker designs Canada's new moose crossing sign 'out of boredom'
Chloë Chapdelaine was inspired to redesign the moose sign during a drive in Alberta
A Calgary TikTok star has designed a new moose crossing sign that will now be used on Canada's highways.
Chloë Chapdelaine, a social media influencer with around 89,000 followers on Instagram and 300,000 on TikTok, says she messed around with the design of the moose a few years ago.
"It did come out of boredom," she told the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday. "I was working in a little small farm town and I was living by myself in a trailer.… And I was looking for ways to keep myself entertained really after work."
At the time, Chapdelaine was studying to be a visual designer and had a summer job in the village of Foremost, Alta. — located roughly an hour away from Medicine Hat.
While driving through the Prairies, she would often come across moose crossing signs, she said.
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"I was just thinking about how maybe it's not quite how I would want it to look. So I brought it up with my coworkers at my summer job," she said.
Since she already had a passion for graphic design, Chapdelaine — who was 18 at the time — decided to sketch out her own version of what the sign should look like.
"I took my Sharpie and I sat down and I drew out a brand new moose. And I ended up mailing letters to as many different departments of the government and transportation as I could just like hoping to hear back," she said.
Over the next few years, graphic design took a back seat and Chapdelaine has now explored other forms of multimedia, like blogging and photography.
But this year, the Transportation Association of Canada announced it will be going forward with Chapdelaine's moose design in its next set of signage.
"I had no idea that it was going to lead to this. When I took on this project initially, it was kind of just something I was doing for fun."
While she doesn't want to put down the original design, she thinks her moose includes more characteristics of the animal.
"I tried to make my moose feel a little bit more majestic. It's standing a little bit more proud. It's taller and aside from the anatomical differences that I made sure to include, I feel like it's just overall a happier looking moose."
It will take a few more years for the signs to be updated on Canada's roads, but Chapdelaine said social media users have told her they've already spotted a few.
"I actually posted a TikTok about this, which is kind of what sparked people talking about it, and overnight it got millions of views, which is super cool."
And while she didn't end up getting a payout from the government for the design, she has created some "moose merch," or a collection of T-shirts and sweaters that include the updated logo.
She says a portion of these proceeds will go toward wildlife rehabilitation, specifically the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation.
"It's cool that I was able to take some of that momentum that I've seen from online and just like the positive feedback and transition it into a cause that's helping," she said.
With files from Calgary Eyeopener