Preserving Canadian Design

Coming up to Canada Day, and celebrating 150 years of Canada, we wanted to discuss Canadian design.

Like language, as well as many disciplines including writing, painting, and even architecture, every country over time has developed its own voice and aesthetic – its own dialect, so to speak.

Filmmaker, and director of the design documentary Helvetica, Gary Hustwit notes a lack of design history within Canada.

He doesn’t believe that it doesn’t exist, only that no one has bothered to preserve it. Hustwit cites crucial designers from Canada that should, as he puts it, “ be house hold names in the design world” in an article recently published in WIRED on Canada’s Most Iconic Designs.

You’d think they would be – designers such as Allan Fleming, who created the Canadian National Railway logo; Georges Huel, the guy behind the symbol for the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal; as well as Burton Kramer, whose work includes branding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Pretty impressive stuff. Not to mention designs we are all familiar with.

This is a topic we are rather invested in, given the fact that we are a Canadian digital marketing agency who work with Canadian businesses and design logos to align with Canadian target audiences.

It is important to us that a legacy of Canadian design history be set. We hope to one day be a part of it.

One thing highlighted in the article was that all major designers of yore tended to have immigrated to Canada, bringing with them the unique styles of their motherlands and integrating them into our culture.

Canada’s unique multiculturalism certainly contributes to the variation we see in graphic design today – and hopefully what will cement Canadian design into the history books of tomorrow.

What are some of your favourite famous Canadian designs? Leave a comment below!

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