The city has three official symbols: the coat of arms, the flag and the logo. Montréal's first coat of arms was created by Jacques Viger, the city's first mayor. The version presently in use was adopted on March 21, 1938 and was stylized according to heraldry standards. The use of the flag is subject to certain restrictions in order to ensure limited and respectful displays. The logo is used for different municipal activities: communications, buildings, offices, vehicles, stationary, printing, etc.
The city adopted its official logo and visual identification program in 1981 and the mandate to create them was awarded to the graphic design firm Georges Huel et Associés Inc.
The logo was created to show the city’s dynamism and to promote communication with Montréalers as well as its image on the national and international scenes.
The emblem, which takes its inspiration from the city’s coat of arms, is a minimalist logo that is shaped like a flower, in which each petal forms the letters V and M, the initials for “Ville de Montréal.” The intersecting lines at the centre of the logo symbolize the city’s vocation as a crossroads of communication and civilization.
The four heart-shaped petals signify the deep attachment Montréalers have to their city. An undulating line encircles the whole, representing the island, while the intertwining of plant and aquatic symbolism expresses the wealth of Montréal’s natural environment and the care Montréalers take to preserve it.
At its June 17, 2003 meeting, city council approved a recommendation to give Montréal a new visual identity. The new signature will update the current logo (rosette), created by the graphic design firm Georges Huel et Associés Inc. in 1981. Taking advantage of the notoriety of the rosette, the new version will use the word “Montréal” rather than “Ville de Montréal.”
The rosette will be maintained and placed to the right of the word “Montréal,” following the same design scheme as the government logos of Québec and Canada, whose names appear alone (without the word government) with a visual element placed to the right.