Paul Arthur Limited was commissioned to create the new corporate identity for the Permanent, one of Canada’s oldest financial institutions, in 1973. Glenn Fretz was the design director of the project, including the graphics standards manual seen here, while the symbol was designed by Bud Linschoten, a designer who worked with Fretz in the studio. After Paul Arthur Limited closed its doors in 1975, Glenn continued to work for the client, implementing many of the applications and communications.
“The Permanent” was a marketing term used to encompass the Canada Permanent Trust Company and Canada Permanent Mortgage Corporation. Originally called the Canada Permanent Building Society, it was founded in 1855 by Herbert Mason. What made it different at that time was its stated aim of being a permanent institution, rather than a temporary one designed to operate for a limited period before being dissolved.
This identity program was designed to consolidate a confusing set of identities and graphical styles that had evolved over the 120 year history of the corporation. A single strong and unified identity to replace a multiutude of different wordmarks. The resulting symbol, a cube designed to look like the letter P, represents security and solidity, while functioning as the company’s distinctive monogram.
The manual itself covers six broad subjects: the symbol/logotype, stationery, forms, publications, advertising and signage. An additional appendix contains a glossary of technical terms, production proofs and colour swatches. The complete set is assembled in a loose leaf binder to enable easy incorporation of future updates.
The Permanent was eventually bought by Canada Trust, which in turn was acquired by TD, at that point becoming TD Canada Trust.
“Corporations, like people and nations, are subject to the inexorable laws of change. If they don’t adapt themselves to these laws, they die, or go out of business.”
Eric J Brown (from the Letter from the President)