Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


The State of Graphic Design in Toronto

The new T.O. rebranding and the decision to go with a New York based design firm has given me cause to really look at graphic design in Toronto. It seems that here in the great white north we have a tendency to resist beginning trends of our own and instead we simply adapt trends generated elsewhere. We all know Swiss modernist, Bauhaus, American, but what is Canadian graphic design? Have we authored any aesthetic movements of our own? Toronto is an international city and one of the most multicultural cities on earth. Perhaps our amalgamation of different international trends is Toronto’s aesthetic contribution to the world.

The typography scene is definitely an area in which Canadians have excelled. Rod McDonald’s redesign of Canada’s first typeface, Carl Dair’s Cartier, is a phenomenal undertaking and inspiration for graphic designers in Toronto. Vancouver’s Robert Bringhurst is arguably one of the world’s foremost authorities on Typography. Toronto was home to TypeCon 2002.

If we can take our success in typography, use our voice as a multicultural city, and exploit the obvious well of talent in design, I see no reason why graphic design in Toronto can’t become the next harbinger of aesthetic style which Tokyo and New York strive to imitate. I feel we are already well on our way. There is already no reason to go to New York for the rebranding of our fair city with our enormous talent base, let’s make it unthinkable.