How many NDP Logos feature a heart? NDP Logos sorted by Graphical Elements
The tradition of having a logo represent a National Day Parade (NDP) first began in 1998. Each logo has a complementary identity system which helps to brand parade paraphernalia and props.
With NDP 2020, 23 logos have been created to celebrate Singapore’s birthday. Graphical similarities start to appear when you examine all 23 logos, which could be classified into three broad categories: flag, people and geography.
This category consists of NDP logos with graphical elements of the Singapore flag, which include the crescent moon and five stars.
The crescent moon represents a young nation on the ascendant, while the five stars represent Singapore’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
Logos with the Canton
The canton of the flag refers to the upper-left portion of the flag. Similar to the flags of Malaysia and Taiwan, the most recognisable graphic of Singapore’s flag lies in the canton.
Seven NDP logos feature the canton, where the crescent moon and five stars are arranged in the same way as in the flag. Most of these cantons were designed to be in motion to simulate a waving flag.
Logos with Five Stars
Unsurprisingly, five stars appear in many NDP logos as they are easy to incorporate into almost any design. They take on different meanings in their respective logos, including fireworks (2004), fingertips (2009) and heads (2011).
Without counting the logos which feature the canton, close to half of the 23 logos have five stars in their designs.
The NDP 2003 logo is an interesting case as star-shaped figures were used to emulate the canton design. However, according to the strict definitions of flag designs, it would not be considered a canton; using ‘stars’ to form a crescent shape would make vexillologists riot in anger. Hence, the logo is classified under this subcategory.
Logos with Crescent Moon and Five Stars
This subgroup of logos with five stars also features the crescent moon, contrasting logos with the canton design. These logos essentially showcase the elements of the canton but are arranged differently.
Standout logos include the rising movement of the stars forming a crescent in 2010 and the use of negative space to create a lion in 2019. More of such reimaginings of the canton is what I look forward to seeing in future NDP logos.
Lee Kuan Yew once famously said that Singapore’s only natural resource is its people, and this statement is still true to this day. This category includes logos with hearts, hands and human-like figures.
Logos with Hearts
The second most popular logo element after the five stars is the heart. In NDP 2012’s logo, the heart doubled as orchid petals, and remains the only logo to reference the national flower so far.
Logos with Hands
Three logos prominently feature hands in their logos, with NDP 2017’s logo taking inspiration from racial harmony designs.
Logos with Human-like Figures
Early NDP logos seemed to highlight the country-wide celebrations, evidenced by human-like figures with lifted hands. The figures range from realistic (2008) to abstract (2000).
It is worth noting that there has not been a logo with human-like figures since 2011, perhaps because logos are becoming increasingly minimalistic in the digital age.
The smallest category consists of logos with the silhouette of Singapore and water bodies.
Logos with the Silhouette of Singapore
The silhouette of Singapore is prominently shown in most logos in this subcategory. You would think that a country this small would be self-conscious about its size, but the NDP 2006 logo actually highlighted this fact. The silhouette was dwarfed by the gradient-filled globe in reference to the slogan “Our Global City, Our Home”.
Logos with Water Bodies
Singapore’s water bodies have brought much financial success to the country as a port city, but have only made appearances in two NDP logos.
NDP 2007’s logo celebrated the first NDP at the Floating Platform - the water body in the logo was Marina Bay. NDP 1998’s logo had a more ambiguous water body, but a clever guess would be the Singapore River. I cannot unsee the diamond-shaped Age of Empires minimap in the logo though.
The most cliché logo award goes to...
By sorting the logos into these three broad categories, NDP 2003’s logo has all three elements - crescent moon and five stars, human-like figures and the Singapore silhouette. This is proof that cliché designs do not automatically mean good designs.
In summary, this chart shows a majority of logos with five stars in their designs, followed by hearts:
In the next part of this series, we would look at NDP logos sorted by their colour schemes.