Town of Collingwood Adopts New Universal Icon

Town of Collingwood Adopts New Universal Icon

Human Space, in collaboration with BDP, applied our multi-disciplinary expertise in accessibility, inclusion, precedent research, facilitation and graphic design to deliver the new universal icon to the Town of Collingwood.


Standing true to its commitment to building an inclusive, equitable and accessible community, Collingwood wanted to ensure that its logo was also illustrative of inclusion beyond physical needs in public space. The goals and objectives included:

  • Universal icon informed by community engagement with interested parties.
  • Accessibility education and awareness reflective of all interested parties.
  • Develop a recognizable icon.
  • Evolve beyond the International Symbol of Access.
  • Accompanying tag phrase or slogan to communicate the intent of the icon.

The process involved several phases including a co-design workshop with the Town of Collingwood Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), and with other interested parties, draft universal icons, AAC and interested party review and feedback, updates, and a finalized new universal icon.


The icon was informed by community engagement with the AAC, and various interested parties including Simcoe Muskoka Deaf Access, March of Dimes, Breaking Down Barriers, Canadian Hearing Services, and Collingwood Public Library. The new universal icon replaces the International Symbol of Access (ISA), an internationally recognized symbol dating back to 1969.

Human Space facilitated a co-design workshop in 2022. We began by reviewing the social model of disability, data on disability in Canada, typical existing and new symbols of access. We discussed questions including, but not limited to:

  • What do these icons intend to represent?
  • How do we evolve beyond the ISA?
  • How do we develop a recognizable symbol?
  • How do we communicate the intent of the icon?

Following the co-design workshop, we prepared a total of four options for the draft universal icon.

  • Option 1 – A+C Combination
  • Option 2 – Vitruvian Person
  • Option 3 – Many as One
  • Option 4 – Map

ACSI - Combined

The ACC and various interested parties reviewed the options for the draft universal icon, and provided one round of feedback. The project team implemented feedback received and completed a new universal icon for the Town of Collingwood.