The Ex-Puritan Rebrand


The Ex-Puritan



The Puritan began in 2007 as an independent print journal dedicated to publishing fiction, essays, and interviews in Ottawa, Ontario, and was sold in bookstores across the province. In its early years, The Puritan was Ottawa’s only quarterly prose journal. After a brief hiatus, the magazine returned to publishing, now in the form of an online magazine based in Toronto.

The Ex-Puritan (formerly The Puritan) changed its name, and updated its mandate and structure to better reflect the publication’s equity-seeking values and experimental approaches to advancing and supporting Canadian literature.

The Need

To solidify the name-change, we were invited to re-imagine the digital publication’s visual identity and design a new website to:

  • lean into the publication’s legacy of excellence while re-centering writers and readers on the margins;
  • more closely align the visual identity to the editorial and programming changes at The Ex-Puritan;
  • challenge and re-imagine a history of exclusion; both historically within the publication and more broadly in CanLit spaces;
  • highlight the uniqueness of The Ex-Puritan as a place for emerging and more established writers to connect; and
  • build readership.

The Approach

To more clearly define the publication, we developed a creative framing and strategy that positioned The Ex-Puritan future as an open-ended conversation; one of many possibilities.

The Idea

To be written

The Ex-Puritan’s visual identity offers an opportunity to represent the publication’s legacy of literary excellence, while also acknowledging (notably in its early days), a culture that reinforced some of the more exclusionary and marginalizing aspects of CanLit. The addition of the Ex signifies an interrogation and this complex history and reminds the writer/reader that the “story” of the publication is yet-to-be-written.

This story is collective, collaborative, never static, and always up for responsive, experimental and community-accountable change; focusing on the idea of movement and play, and celebrating the unknown.

Through this framing, we created a new logo, website, and social media posts. The typographic approach implies an active disruption or unsettling, while inviting new possibility.

Visit the site at, and follow The Ex-Puritan’s work on Instagram at @‌ex_puritan

Two social media posts side by side. The left post shows a smiling person with glasses, brown hair, and the text "Announcing the Austin Clarke Prize in Literary Excellence" and "BACKYARD FENCE by Teá Gezibiza." The right post features text: "The Ex-Puritan" with different styles.

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