Electing a different typeface

New logo for NSW Electoral Commission

NSW Electoral Commission logo before and after
Logo before and after

The NSW Electoral Commission (formerly Electoral Commission NSW) is legislated to conduct, regulate and report on general elections and by-elections for the Parliament of New South Wales. It is responsible for the administration of the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act, 1912 and reports to the Department of Premier and Cabinet. It also provides electoral services for a range of government, public and commercial organisations, including registered clubs, statutory boards, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and State-registered industrial organisations.

Old Electoral Commission NSW logo
Old logo

The old logo was set in Myriad, the neutral, general-purpose typeface that’s as democratic in its design as the government is in its political system. But the way it was used wasn’t doing it any favours. The word commission was improperly aligned under electoral and, much like the government of the day, NSW was too far to the right. The icon, formed from the letters EC, was interesting in concept but poorly realised. The round-capped and butt-capped strokes were at odds with one another and the terminals of the C projected irritatingly beyond those of the E. Aside from the colour scheme – which was suitably anodyne for a logo for a government department – the old logo was decidedly unresolved.

New NSW Electoral Commission logo
New logo

The new logo trades Myriad for another humanist sans-serif typeface in the form of Lato. The semi-rounded details of the letters give Lato a feeling of warmth, while the strong structure provides stability and seriousness. There’s no messing around here – the words are flush left in a single size, with the boldfaced Electoral adding texture to the otherwise simple typesetting. Anchoring the design is the updated icon, whose curvature conforms to a more pleasing circular arc. (Incidentally, the curvature resembles part of the seating arrangement in the Legislative Assembly Chamber of the NSW Parliament House.) I’m irked by the still inconsistent caps of the strokes, though; could the horizontal stroke not have been round-capped? Last of all, the darker colour scheme lends the logo a stronger presence.

Overall, this is a good update that corrects (most of) the flaws of the original logo and better reinforces the integrity of the commission.