cwf poster  

In 1984 I was given advance standing in the Communication and Design program at the Ontario College of Art(OCA), Toronto. There, my formal education in graphic design began. I was tutored in letterforms, typography, editorial design, layout, publications, and systems/graphics.

In the summer of 1985 I took a job with a local design firm, Hamilton Trevelyan Design. I helped them design a YOK[2], a vacuum-formed modular dock system, which they went on to manufacture and market. In 1987 Throughout the college years, I designed brochures and flyers[3] for Hart/Murdock Artist's Management. I graduated from OCA with an associate degree and, as a freelance designer, worked in-house at advertising and design studios doing layout and design for marketing[4](Coka Cola), packaging(Kraft/Purina), and communications campaigns.

In 1990 I moved to Ottawa and worked for several months as a freelance art director at Mediaplus Advertising, creating ads, brochures, direct mail[5], flyers and posters. In the same year I devoted time to a poster for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario[6].

Ron Butler was a typographer of the old school. His clothes had a faint wiff of printing ink and machine oil mixed with the smell of tobacco smoke. At the Ontario College of Art, where he taught, he measured a class by the number of coffees it took to get through them. He would say, "I can see this is going to be a three-coffee class". He knew the craft of typography. He knew how to shape the experience of the reader, and, from hours working in proofing rooms, he knew how to read copy upside-down, which I thought was pretty cool.

Armed with a little knowledge I elected to take Burton Kramer's System's Design class. The first assignment was a non-smoking campaigne(a radical topic at the time). I proposed a typograhic solution. My copy suggested that no poster would ever have the power to persuade a reader to stop smoking(The opinion of a reformed smoker!). Mr Kramer took the words to be a criticism of his class project and threw me out of the class. I learned that designers have egos. And I revised my design approach[8].

Then there was Huntley Brown, an illustrator. Very good at giving real-world assignments and providing direction on them. There was the theatre poster, which was adapted and entered into a Stratford Festival poster competition, which it won[7]. I was invited to Statford to meet John Neville, the artistic director-designate(and rather famous theatre and movie actor). And the book cover[9].

1. Poster design: the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
2. Designs for a modular floating dock system called YOK. Client: Hamilton-Trevelyan Design. yok
3. Promotion sheets. Client: Hart/Murdock Artist's Management(85-87)  
coka Cola brochure
  4. Brochure. Client: Coka Cola.
royal bank  

5. Direct mail card.
Client: Royal Bank.



cheo poster
6. Poster for the Children's Hospital of eastern Ontario.
stratford article stratford poster

John Neville, artistic director-designate and myself in a photo for the Beacon Herald, June 7, 1985(above)

7. Winning poster design for the Stratford Festival Young Company.
smoking campaign 1   smoking campaig 2   smoking campaign 3  
  8. Student assignment: Non-smoking campaign. The artwork is oil paint, hair, dirt and sand on board, arranged with lit cigaretes suspended in front of the art and photographed.    
animal farm   9. Student assignment: Book cover, George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'.