CBC + Radio Canada

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 in Material & Visual Culture

I was searching the Canadian Design Resource for my next lecture, and came across a concept radio by Toronto-based designers Science + Sons that shows how great culturally inspired design can be.

RADIO CANADA: our home and native waves
Materials: Maple, Aluminum, Electronics
Size: 8″ x 4″ x 4″

“This radio console design was inspired by the dedication of the many CBC listeners who keep their radio dials permanently set to our national broadcaster. After setting the radio to local CBC frequencies, listeners can toggle between CBC Radio One and CBC Radio Two without hearing the static in between. The elegant design of RADIO CANADA celebrates the immediacy of the medium and reflects the quality of the broadcasts it receives. Additional features include MP3 player compatibility [for all your Radio 3, DNTO, Quirks & Quarks, Search Engine and Spark podcasts].”

I love everything from the prescribed stations and use of Canadian maple wood and aluminum to how the speaker cut-outs are inspired by the (1992-present) CBC/Radio-Canada logo:

And while we’re on the topic, the CBC/Radio-Canada logo has a lovely design history:

Left to right, top to bottom: 1) 1940-1958; 2) 1958-1966; 3) 1966-1974; 4) 1974-1986; 5) 1986-1992

The CBC Gem logo (4) is an icon of Canadian design and cultural identity: “The C in the middle stands for Canada, and the radiating parts symbolize broadcasting.” Designed by graphic artist Burton Kramer in 1974, it marked the CBC’s full transition to colour television broadcasting. Plus, check out this gorgeous station identification storyboard: