Toronto Symphony Orchestra



Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s leading cultural institutions. Today, more than 225,000 patrons and over 50,000 students visit the Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall each year, and an additional five million Canadians tune in to concert broadcasts on CBC Radio. The Orchestra continues to develop its international presence by being an active commissioning body for new Canadian and international works, as well as attracting distinguished guest artists and conductors to performances at Roy Thomson Hall.



The TSO was looking to grow relevancy with emerging audiences and continue to lead North America as one of the most successful and financially stable orchestras.

The TSO also required alignment of their communication materials due to the volume of inconsistent materials across their communication channels.

Research and Strategy

Through an extensive range of inputs including stakeholder interviews, survey and social media conversations, it was discovered a substantial brand disconnect between the internal passion for excellence and the external brand image.

In collaboration with strategy consultants, The Connected Brand, a ‘refreshed brand’ was developed that clearly articulated the brand essence found in the organization. The clarity reflected in the new brand structure enabled the TSO to change their messaging to convey the brand externally.

The brand structure and strategy was then translated into a visual brand landscape giving consistency and flexibility to the communication materials, bringing the strategy to life.

Research conducted for the TSO involved an extensive internal brand audit across all platforms and sub-brands of the organization. External competitive research included gallery, dance, opera, and theater as segments competiting for similar audience demographic.




Aligning key strategic pillars with the design of the brand system was key in ensuring a clear connection between the promise of the experience and the experience itself.

The system was built to be ownable, modular and supportive. The primary graphic element “O” in the new TSO identity served as a graphic framing device for communications and a centre point to pull viewer interest. Our process also addressed the practical challenges faced by the internal design teams. Access to custom photography for the number of performances had a long standing issue. The graphic system allowed the internal designers to use an array of imagery that could be integrated into the brand graphic to express an unified, connected concept and a larger context to the experience.

Colour and Typography





Black and White


Mono Colour Variations




Web Application

Brand Application

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics /
University of Toronto

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