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Generator Design - Canada In Colour
return to posts June 26th, 2024

Canada In Colour

When we think of Canada, the iconic red and white of the maple leaf flag often springs to mind, symbolizing the nation’s heritage, values, and unity. At Generator, we are accustomed to both working with a full palette of colours and challenging the norm. We had to ask: without our country’s branding, what is Canada’s palette? In celebration of Canada Day, we’re exploring the vibrant tapestry of colours in our landscapes, art, and cultural expressions across the country.

The Splendour of the Canadian Landscape

Canada’s natural beauty is a kaleidoscope of colours that shift with the seasons and geography. From the deep blues of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the golden prairies of the Midwest, every province and territory offers a unique palette.

From coast to coast Canada offers awe-inspiring natural colour and diversity.


Starting at the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia’s rainforests and coastal waters are a blend of greens and blues. The emerald shades of ancient cedars and firs blend analogously with the turquoise waters of the Pacific.


Moving eastward, the prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba burst into golden hues during the summer. Fields of yellow canola flowers stretch as far as the eye can see, punctuated by the striking blue skies.


In autumn, the deciduous forests of Eastern Canada erupt into fiery red, orange, and yellow from Ontario through the Maritimes. This natural spectacle draws visitors from around the world, eager to witness the vibrant hues that define Canadian autumns.


In the North, the Canadian Arctic offers a realm of stark contrasts. While shades of white, blue, and grey of the ice, snow, rock and waters dominate the landscape, the northern lights provide a dazzling spectrum of colour. In summer, the snow retreats to reveal the green and brown of the tundra browns, dotted with colourful wildflowers. The Arctic Ocean, often frozen, reveals patches of deep blue water.

Artistic Expression Across the Nation

Canadian art is as diverse as its landscapes, capturing the essence of the country’s multifaceted identity. Many artists draw inspiration from the natural world, traditions, and contemporary urban life, blending these elements into works that resonate with both local and global audiences.

Indigenous Art

Indigenous art in Canada is a profound expression of history, culture, and identity. Rich in symbolism, indigenous artists use bold colours and intricate patterns to tell stories passed down through generations. The vibrant reds, blacks, and blues in Haida carvings from the West Coast, the earth tones in Inuit sculptures from the Arctic, and the colourful beadwork of the Métis are just a few examples of the diversity and richness of Indigenous art. Iningat Ilagiit, a website created by Generator Design, features an archive of over 80,000 Inuit drawings housed at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Various Indigenous art styles. Fourth from left: credit TOimages,

Painting The Landscape

The Group of Seven, a collective of Canadian landscape painters of the early 20th century, aimed to capture the rugged beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Through bright, vivid colours and dynamic compositions, they brought the natural splendour of Canada to life. The deep greens and blues of northern forests, the purple hues of the Laurentian Mountains, and the warm tones of Algonquin Park remain iconic in Canadian art history.

Art Beyond Nature

Colour in Canada permeates everyday life, influencing fashion, architecture, and festivals (like The Carrousel Of Nations and The Colour Run here in Windsor-Essex). Canadians embrace colour as a form of expression and celebration. In cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, contemporary urban art infuses modernity into the traditional colour palette. Street art and murals turn urban spaces into open-air galleries, featuring designs that reflect the multiculturalism and dynamism of Canadian cities.


Canadian fashion reflects the country’s diversity and climate. Bright, warm clothing in the northern territories contrasts with sleek, cosmopolitan styles in major cities. Indigenous designers blend traditional motifs and colours with modern designs, creating pieces that honour cultural heritage.

Architecture: Blending Tradition and Innovation

Canadian architecture blends colours, from Eastern Canada’s historic red-brick buildings to Vancouver’s sleek glass skyscrapers. Quebec’s colourful houses reflect French heritage, while modern designs use sustainable materials and vibrant colours to enhance urban landscapes.

Celebrating with Color

Canada’s festivals are an explosion of colour, celebrating our nation’s cultural diversity. The Calgary Stampede bursts with the bright colours of cowboy hats and rodeo gear. Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival lights up the city with bright banners and street performances. Indigenous powwows feature dancers in vivid regalia, adorned with feathers, beads, and ribbons, showcasing their rich cultural heritage.

Festivals, powwows, building materials, art installations and murals are just a few of the human contributions to Canada’s colour palette.

In conclusion, Canada’s red and white flag may be the symbol of the nation, but our country’s true identity is painted with a full spectrum. From the natural landscapes to artistic expressions and everyday life, Canada is a vibrant mosaic where every hue tells a story. To see Canada beyond the red and white is to appreciate its full beauty and diversity. We are a nation where colour and culture intertwine to create a rich, dynamic, and inspiring tapestry. That said, be sure to check out the new Canadian passport which spotlights colour as intrinsic to everything our Country has to offer!

Established in 1996, Generator is a complete graphic design and advertising agency. We specialize in design, print, web, social media and email solutions for businesses of all sizes.