First Logo 1919

Herewith is illustrated the new hat badge for the use of Ward Aides- Messrs. S. T. J. Fryer and N.L. Brunette, of the Vocational Office for Ontario, being responsible for the design, which is shown enlarged to double size.

Its significance is sufficiently obvious: the triangular form is representative of mind, body and spirit.  The clenched fist – holding a hammer and resting on the bar – signifies the nobility of Work.

Behind the rising sun – the whole being emblematic of the nobility of work lighting up mind, body and spirit – which broadly speaking, is the Vocational Idea, not only the Ward Aides but of all our work.

The Vocational Bulletin, June 1919

CAOT added to the logo in 1960

As the crest did not include the name of the Association, a new design was officially adopted at the annual general meeting in October 1960, The Latin motto was placed on the three sides of the triangle and the name of the Association replaces the motto on an adapted scroll. The Latin motto was placed on the three sides of the triangle: per mentem et manus ad sanitatem: through mind and hand to health. and the name of the Association replaces the motto on an adapted scroll.


THE CREST SAYS- "Per Mentem Et Manus Ad Sanitatem"

Through mind and hand to health has been the motto of the Canadian Occupational Therapist since the triangle crest — the badge of the first three hundred "Ward Aides" as occupational therapists were called in 1918 — was adopted by the national association.

The crest on the cover of this Spring 1964 issue has been modernized and present-day occupational therapy has been modernized too.

Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy

VOL. 31 SPRING, 1964 NO. 1

New logo in 1988

The three dimensional perspective was designed to indicate the hope and advancement we wish for the people we treat. The physical, mental, socio-cultural and spiritual components which interact effectively to create a "whole person" are represented by the four cubes. This reflects the goal of occupational therapy to promote a healthy lifestyle with a balanced integration of these components. The four cubes also represent the goals contained in the short definition of occupational therapy. The use of activity to - promote health, develop skills, restore function and maintain ability.

Colours of this logo over the years included green, purple and blue.


Current logo 2004

The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) unveiled its new logo at the 2004 annual Conference opening ceremonies in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on June 24. The logo, with a Canadian maple leaf as the backdrop and two dynamic figures active on a horizon, was a result of four months of development and consultation by a committee struck specifically to develop a concept for approval by the CAOT Board of Directors.

The first task of the committee was to identify specific and objective criteria upon which to judge the proposed concepts. These criteria not only aided the committee’s decision making but also provided the structure for market testing and will continue to guide the Association in the development of future promotional materials. The logo had to…

  • Demonstrate the interplay between person, environment and occupation;

  • Convey all aspects of health and well-being, not just physical health;

  • Contain humanistic, client-centred elements;

  • Convey equity and respect in a therapeutic relationship;

  • Frame the organization and profession in a Canadian context;

  • Be positive and appealing; and

  • Depict the Association as dynamic and progressive.

This was not an easy task and committee members asked appropriately, “Do you think we are trying to do too much? Is this possible?”

Nevertheless, the logo slowly began to evolve with committee members taking draft concepts back to their respective groups for comment. Key elements began to emerge such as the horizon as a symbol of hope and new endeavours and the figures as symbols of the therapeutic relationship. The sun image, which had been part of CAOT’s original logo and a commonly understood symbol of health and well-being, was in close competition with the Canadian maple leaf. In the end, the maple leaf won out as it is the key symbol for Canada.

The style and feel of the logo was driven by a key message that Danielle Stevens Peak, who designed the logo, remembered when first starting to work at the CAOT National Office: “Someone said to me that physiotherapists were instrumental in getting people moving and mobile but it was the occupational therapists who helped them to dance again. I wanted to capture that in the logo.”

Occupational therapists frame this as meaningful occupation and this essence obviously caught the imagination of our designer.

The development of the logo was a very rewarding project. The wise input from of our life members who have seen the profession grow over the years was insightful, inspiring and universal. The students’ sharp and acute focus on the person, environment and occupation model assured me that our future is secure and our era of role confusion truly over. Clarity and honesty from our consumers and stakeholders  made sure that the logo was respectful to those we serve but also understandable. And finally, the input of the front-line therapists and National Office staff who on a daily basis build the brand of occupational therapy helped us to develop a logo that they would be proud to use.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the reviews. We now have a logo that reflects a profession that is clear about its purpose, proud of its values and ready to serve.

The CAOT Logo Committee members included: Sandy Delaney (CAOT board representative), Randy Dickinson (Board and consumer representative), Marilyn Conibear (life member representative, Susan Varughese (student member representative), Tracy Taylor (staff representative), James Watzke (partner – stakeholder representative), Danielle Stevens Peak (logo designer) and Mary Clark Green (Chair).