Allan Fleming (d. 1977)
H.L. Rous (Hon. Fellow, d. 1964)
Leslie Smart (d. 1998)
Carl Dair (1912–1967)
Carl Dair, designer and typographer, was born in 1912 in Welland, Ontario. He was essentially a self-taught designer and in 1930 began his career as an advertising layout designer for the Stratford Beacon-Herald. During the 1930s, he worked as a freelance printer and, in 1940, while living in Montréal, Quebec, he worked as a department store art director. He became the typographic director in 1945 for the National Film Board of Canada. Through mutual friends, Dair and Henry Eveleigh met and between 1947 and 1951 they were partners in the design studio Eveleigh-Dair Studio. In 1951, the partners were preparing to take on a third partner and expand when Dair suddenly left Montréal for Toronto, thus severing his partnership with Eveleigh. It was not an amicable split.
Except for a brief time at the Toronto agency of Goodis, Goldburg, Dair, he would never work for anyone except himself. Dair travelled to the Netherlands and Europe between the years of 1956 and 1957, and this experience afforded him the opportunity to study hand punching of metal type at Joh. Enschedé, which led to the typeface “Cartier.” It was to be Canada’s first domestic typeface and was designed as a personal gift to Canada for its centennial.
He achieved international recognition when he received a silver medal at the Internationale Buchkunst-Austellung in Leipzig, East Germany, in 1959. The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts awarded him its Arts Medal in 1962. In 1967, he became a Fellow in the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada and died that same year in Toronto, Ontario, on September 28. York University has the Carl Dair Memorial Scholarship for the Department of Visual Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Allan Fleming (1929–1977)
Allan Fleming was barely 30 when he was recruited to come up with a fresh new logo for CN. Yet the young Canadian designer had already made a name for himself with the bold, lyrical quality of his graphic designs.
Born in Toronto in 1929, Fleming followed a rather unorthodox route to professional excellence. He left art studies at Toronto’s Western Technical School at 16 to work as a kind of apprentice designer at various firms in the city. Then came further learning experiences in England, where he gleaned as much as he could from leading figures in the design world. Back in Canada, he joined the typographic firm Cooper and Beatty Ltd. in 1957 and was working there when the CN opportunity came his way in 1959.
Fleming left Cooper and Beatty in 1962 to become art director for Maclean’s magazine. He was vice-president and director of creative services at MacLaren Advertising from 1963 to 1968, chief designer at the University of Toronto Press until 1976, then joined Burns and Cooper.
Fleming’s work won him numerous awards throughout his career, not only in Canada but in the United States and at the international level. Yet he is no doubt best remembered as the creator of CN’s logo. The inspired design certainly entrenched his reputation as one of Canada’s most talented designers. At the same time, it heightened the profile of his profession, opening the way to greater creativity in countless design applications across the country.
Allan Fleming died after a long illness on December 31, 1977, at just 48.
Herbert Laurence (H.L.) Rous (1879–1964)
H.L. Rous was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1879. He was the fourth child of Frederic Rous and Ruth Maria Mallory. His Quaker father put a high value on books and education. Frederic Rous (1848–1888) wanted his five boys not only to learn a trade but to have a university education. Unfortunately he died in 1888 at the age of forty, leaving his wife with six children. Only the youngest son, Colin Constable Rous (1884–1970), received the university education that his father had planned, and only after he had worked for many years.
All of the Rous boys went to work as soon as they were able. Laurence Rous entered the printing plant of the Belleville Intelligence, owned by Sir Mackenzie Bowell, where he learned his trade in the job printing department. He studied at the Ontario Business College at night and gained a sound knowledge of business practice. After five years of apprenticeship and training in Belleville, H.L. Rous came to Toronto in 1901 and joined the firm of W.J. Gage as invoice clerk in the shipping department at $4.00 a week. His weekly expenses of $1.00 for room and $2.50 for board soon forced him to move to a better-paying job at Davis and Henderson Stationers. By 1902, however, he had left Davis and Henderson and joined the Mail Job Printing Company, which was owned by Southam’s. After some years as a traveller, H.L. Rous became sales manager in 1907. He left the Mail Job Printing Company in 1909 with his fellow employee F.J. Mann, to found Rous and Mann Limited. In the first years of the new firm, H.L. Rous was in charge of purchasing and supervised the factory machinery operations and technical work of laying out jobs for the factory, in addition to his duties as president and director. In April 1915, he joined the Canadian Army Service Corps as lieutenant and was posted overseas. He was discharged in March 1919 with the rank of captain.
As the years passed and Rous and Mann Limited became well known for the excellence of its printing, the name of H.L. Rous became synonymous with quality. C.A.G. Matthews called him “Mr Perfection,” and the title was apt. On one occasion, 25,000 four-colour booklets were scrapped before the client saw them because they did not meet the Rous and Mann standard. H.L. Rous considered printing to be an art as well as a craft, as did the European printers whom he greatly admired. For him, every printed piece began as an art problem to be considered in terms of form, colour and design. Only when these matters were settled was the job handed over to his printing craftsmen to carry out. H.L. Rous was a stern taskmaster but his compositors, pressmen and binderymen took great pride in the work they did and in the reputation that they had helped the firm establish. They consistently produced work of the highest standards.
H.L. Rous brought an awareness of fine printing to the printing industry as a whole. Many of the men in positions of responsibility in rival firms today are graduates of his “school.” As president of the Toronto Typothetae, the forerunner of the Society of Graphic Arts, he arranged in 1930–31 for a series of twelve lectures on “Art as Applied to Typography” to be given to a special class of employees from member firms of the society, and, later, published the lectures in book form. In 1953, H.L. Rous was awarded the Association of Canadian Advertisers’ silver medal for outstanding service in the graphic arts.
In the 1950s, he sponsored lectures on typography at the Central Technical School and at the Ontario College of Art, of which he was the chairman of the board on two occasions. The three series of H.L. Rous lectures, “Design in Typography,” given at the Ontario College of Art from 1957 to 1960, were published by the Provincial Paper Company in Provincial’s Paper as “The Measure of Typography” (in two parts) and as “Art in the Graphic Arts.” To encourage interest in good printing, H.L. Rous also awarded prizes for design in typography in the various colleges of art with which he was associated. One such competition, held just six months before he died in 1964, was for students of the Jamaica School of Arts and Crafts, where his friend, Carl Dair, was then teaching. H.L. Rous was a member of the UTA Committee on Better Training for Canada and the United States and, in November 1960, was invited to become the first Honorary Fellow of the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada. In his letter of invitation, the president, Frank Newfeld, described this type of membership as being for someone “who by his accomplishment or influence has made a major contribution to typography.”
Printing was both a hobby and his work for H.L. Rous, and he delighted in sharing his knowledge with anyone who was keen to learn. H.L. Rous retired from Rous and Mann Press Limited in 1954 but continued to use a small office in the Rous and Mann Building, as a partner in Rous and Mann Properties Limited, until the business was turned over entirely to the new directors in 1959. He died in Toronto on 1 December 1964 at the age of eighty-five.
— Joyce K. Sowby (nee. Rous)
Leslie (Sam) Smart (1921–1998)
Known as Sam to everyone, inspired, organized, and encouraged the entire emerging design field in Toronto after the Second World War. Born in Hampshire, Great Britain in 1921, he studied at the Portsmouth College of Art, later heading the print school there as well as teaching at Southampton College of Art. Serving in the Royal Air Force during the war, he piloted a Spitfire. He developed an interest in North America on a trip to the United States in the late 1940s, and particularly enjoyed the popular design of such things as record covers. The postwar economic depression in Britain again motivated Sam to look abroad, and he came to Canada in 1954.
His initial accommodations were very basic, and Smart recalled that at the time he felt himself to be on a “missionary expedition.” He loved to recount how the The Manchester Guardian wrote at the time that Canadian book design was, “in dullness, second only to the books of the Soviet Union.” Even allowing for literary exaggeration, there can be little doubt that levels of training and professionalism in Canadian printing and typesetting were lower than those he left behind in Britain. It is thanks in part to his impact that this is no longer the case.
In Toronto, he took a job with MonoLino Typesetting, one of the largest type firms in the city, worked as a freelance designer, and spent his evenings teaching type at Ryerson College. Seeking out similar enthusiasts for design led to regular lunches with Frank Newfeld, Frank Davies, and John Gibson, and together they founded the Typographic Designers of Canada. Smart was its first president. His work always typified restraint, refinement, and often humor, and won medals at the prestigious Liepzig International Exhibition of Book Arts: a bronze medal in 1959 for a small personal work which he typeset and printed by hand, the single-fold folio of The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Robert Service; and another bronze medal in 1965, for Old Markets, New World, when Canada took eight awards all together, including 3 for Newfeld.
Beginning in the late 1950s, he wrote a regular column, “Design Workshop,” for Canadian Printer and Publisher. In it, he often argued that form must follow function, and each design must directly reflect its content, product, or service. His only fixed principles were simple: can anything be omitted; are the color and paper choices appropriate; is the layout of type in pleasing arrangements, and so on. His critique of other designers’ work was not always appreciated in the small Toronto design community; his sense of humor and lack of pretension cut against the tendency of professional societies and publications to be overly self-congratulatory or business-oriented
Incorporating himself as Leslie Smart and Associates in 1966, he began to specialize in book design, and received many commissions from William Toye, the influential Editorial Director of the Oxford University Press. Smart has suggested that his career evolved naturally, seemingly without conscious direction. He sought a “Scandinavian” simplicity, seeing the use of intelligent restraint as “good discipline,” even if he later thought it seemed to be “a bloody bore.” But the typographic traditions and training of British publishing were a more direct influence, although he did not have a signature style or approach that one would label as such. If anything, his influence was part of the typical Canadian ambivalence to any specific design doctrines or movements, with a strong British influence moderating the impact of German and Swiss thinking. His 1958 dust jacket and interior designs for The Arts in Canada, for example, are simple and powerful, but with a looser, more intuitive dynamism than the more logical or rigorously grid-based typography which was newly emerging in Europe.
Of the three books produced by the National Film Board to celebrate Expo 67, all were designed by Smart, with photographic selection by Smart and Lorraine Monk. This skillful collaboration is particularly evident in the striking photo essay, Call Them Canadians. “Good taste is a practical thing,” Smart said, “not a spiritual one. If it works, you can read it and it looks pleasing.” In 1975, he was made a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, which had only just begun to admit graphic designers. Smart’s work exemplifies the practical application of traditional knowledge in classically modern ways.
— Brian Donnelly
- August 20, 2012Hanno Ehses
- November 07, 2011Casey Hrynkow
Ray Hrynkow (d. 2012)
- May 26, 2010Dave Mason
- December 23, 2009Susan Colberg
- May 28, 2008Stuart Ash
- January 20, 2008Jim Rimmer (d. 2010)
- November 25, 2007Peggy Cady
- November 25, 2007Georges Haroutiun (Hon. Fellow)
- November 25, 2007Matthew Warburton
- November 25, 2007Carole Charette
- November 25, 2007David Coates
- November 25, 2007Michael Marshall
- November 25, 2007David Berman
- November 25, 2007Mary Ann Maruska
Robert L. Peters
- November 25, 2007Paul Arthur (d. 2001)
Frances E.M. Johnson (Hon. Fellow, d. 1998)
- November 25, 2007Don Dickson
- November 25, 2007Frank Davies
Horst Deppe (d. 2011)
- November 25, 2007John Gibson
- January 20, 2008Jorge Frascara
Charlie Harris (Hon. Fellow)
Ernst Roch (d. 2003)
- November 25, 2007Peter Bartl
Walter Jungkind (d.2013)
Jan van Kampen (d. 2008)
Jules LaPorte (Hon. Fellow)
Anthony Mann (d. 2013)
Chris Yaneff (d. 2004)
- November 25, 2007Giles Talbot Kelly (d.2006)
- November 25, 2007Carl Brett (d. 2009)
Theo Dimson (d. 2012)
Gerhard Doerrié (d. 1984)
- November 14, 2007Carl Dair (d. 1967)
Allan Fleming (d. 1977)
H.L. Rous (Hon. Fellow, d. 1964)
Leslie Smart (d. 1998)