What is a Northeastern Trillium Archive? It’s a question we’ve been getting a lot this season. Let’s start with the basics; a trillium is a flower.

It comes in many forms, but the one that’s important to us is the white trillium, or trillium grandiflorum. It gets its name from being in the lily family and having three distinctive large pedals. It’s also the official flower of Ontario, the province where many of the Group of Seven lived and worked. Native to the forests and woodlands of Ontario, it was chosen to represent the provincial flower by a vote of Ontario school children in 1937. It’s an austere yet beautiful flower that dies when picked so leave them be if you ever see one.

The Adsum SS18 Trillium graphic - Adsum
The Adsum SS18 Trillium graphic.

In 1964 the Ontario government commissioned its first logo design of the trillium. It received slight tweaks over the next 40 years, the most significant being in 1972. A true symbol of a modern, forward-looking, and hopeful Canada that had just begun to create it’s visual vocabulary (remember Canada didn’t adopt their current flag until 1965), it became a source of pride for many. Unfortunately, the logo was redesigned in the early aughts with some disappointing results. A common gripe amongst Ontarians is that they now see three people hanging out in a hot tub instead of the distinctive flower.

Evolution of the Ontario Trillium over the years - Adsum
Evolution of the Ontario Trillium over the years, including the current hot tub version.
Trillium flower stamp - Adsum
Trillium flower stamp on some Canadian mail from 1964.

As an ode to home of the Group of Seven we used the trillium logo closest to the the 1972-2002 years but flipped it “upside down” to resemble an A. The graphic appears as a back print on both long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, in 3 summer color ways. All of our tees are made in the USA and produced in 18/1 open-end, dry handfeel 100% cotton jersey.

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