A beloved Canadian designer and professor, Horst Deppe FGDC, passed away on October 28, 2011. His contribution to students who attended courses at NSCAD and to the entire Canadian design community is hard to summarize. The following tribute is compiled from the GDC website, NSCAD University website, The Canadian Encyclopedia and his obituary.
Professor Emeritus, Horst Deppe FGDC says a few words in 2009 at a retirement party honouring his collegue NSCAD design professor Hanno Ehses.
Horst was born in Hannover, Germany on September 18, 1929. His youth and studies in Germany, as well as travels in Scandinavia, significantly influenced his work. He credits as his mentor Walter Kubbernuss, an artist and designer in the nearby town of Bodenwerder, who tutored him as a young adult with sparking his interest in visual expression and in nature which resulted in hour after hour of sketching. It was not until his college years, attending the Werkkunstschule in Hannover, that he was exposed to graphic design and developed his interest in typography. Horst started his extensive career in the graphic arts while still in Germany in 1945, working as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator.
Horst arrived in Canada in 1955 at the age of 26. His first job was with Royal Print & Litho Ltd. At the time Halifax lacked much in the way of facilities and work for a designer. Horst recalled with great amusement: “The typeface Cable was the only sans-serif available... in two sizes! My major achievement during my first year was the introduction of Futura to the Maritime region.”
In 1962, he was appointed as an instructor at the former Nova Scotia College of Art. There, he remained the only faculty member to teach design courses until the addition of a design division in 1968.
Professor Deppe in class room, circa 1972. Photo: John Knapp.
“When I arrived in 1967...” says Garry Neill Kennedy, former president of NSCAD University, “...we were searching for design personnel to expand, Horst came up with the names of top people, several of whom joined the faculty and remained for many years.” These designers included Anthony (Tony) Mann FGDC, Frank Fox, and Gerhard Doerrié FGDC. It is no small wonder that Horst is credited as putting the “D” in NSCAD. Horst retired as head of the design division in 1995 and was well-loved by his fellow teachers and his many, many students alike. The Canadian Encyclopedia lists Horst among the European-born designers who came to prominence in Canada during the 1960s and ’70s. Over the course of his long career, Horst worked for clients such as the Atlantic Symphony, Saint Mary’s University, Dalhousie Law School, and the Atlantic Canada Institute.
Horst was also able to continued to pursue his artistic endeavours. His love of the outdoors inspired a lifelong body of work in graphic illustration, printmaking, woodcut and watercolour. According to his obituary, he acquired the nickname “the bog man,” as the foggy Canadian swamp was his favourite subject for water colours. He has an impressive record of international exhibitions and is represented in numerous collections. “My painting is for personal expression,” he said, “while design is my way to be productive in society... one balances out the other.” However, despite highly recognized successes in both areas, he chose teaching as his first priority.
In 1990, Horst was recognized with the highest honour that the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada can bestow, GDC Fellowship.
An ecologically and socially aware individual, and an active community volunteer, Horst believed that designers have responsibilities to their environment, community, society at large, and to their profession. The key to successful design, he insisted, was to stay interested in literally everything that surrounds us.
As one of my professors and mentor, Horst’s philosophy of responsibility to our environment, community, society and profession resonated with me and has had a great deal of influence on me personally.
Horst’s family has indicated that donations in Horst Deppe’s name can be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (Atlantic). NSCAD University is also accepting donations for the Horst Deppe Alumni Award, which was created in 2007 “as a token of the high esteem” for Professor Deppe. The award is given annually to a full-time student studying design.
Some of Horst’s design work can be viewed at: www.ccca.ca/designers/
Some of Horst’s artwork can be viewed at: www.secordgallery.com
A Celebration of Horst Deppe
A gathering to reminise and celebrate his life was held Friday, November 18, 2011, in Halifax.
By Richard Osborne CGD
- May 05, 2013Design leader, typographer extraordinaire & educator passes away.
- April 13, 2013World Communication Design Day April 27: how will you celebrate it?
- March 26, 2013Applied Arts is Canada's premier magazine of the communication arts.
- March 13, 2013New National Scholarships Announced for 2013
- February 27, 2013Application deadline April 15, 2013
- February 25, 2013Carl Dair (1912-1967) Typographic Designer
- February 19, 2013Don't miss the P22 Underground type sale for members!
- February 19, 2013Take a Digital Media Labour Market Survey.
- February 14, 2013University of Toronto responds to demand
- February 08, 2013Canadian typography mates with Canadian technology.
- December 17, 2012How many shopping days left?!?! Yikes!!!
- December 13, 2012Special eNews edition for all you Holiday Givers!
- November 23, 2012$15 for 16 cards!!! Holy Black Friday Batman!!!
- November 14, 2012Designers, designer cards, designer prizes, designer members, designer sales, designer ethics, all things designer.
- November 03, 2012GDC well represented in the Student Awards
- October 22, 2012Great cause, great prizes to be won!
- October 11, 2012
- October 10, 2012Historic news from across the country and around the globe.
- October 01, 2012Working together to raise awareness of the value of the certification of designers worldwide
- September 29, 2012Want to create the new identity & brand platform for Canada's national design association?
- September 25, 2012
- September 12, 2012Welcome back to school!
- August 08, 2012Acknowledgement for Lifetime Contributions to Design
- August 07, 2012...a significant step forward in unifying, refining and enhancing visual communications certification in Canada.
- August 07, 2012Tasty design news from across the country.
- July 16, 2012National Survey closes at midnight tonight
- July 01, 2012Vintage poem and Canadian letterpress typography to commemorate Canada Day.
- July 01, 2012Canada Type builds a legacy for Canadian typography students with a new GDC National Scholarship Fund
- June 15, 2012Calling all Canadian Creatives!
- June 15, 20122012 National Scholarship Recipients Announced
- May 30, 2012GDC@50 Poster Sale to Benefit GDC Foundation
- May 30, 2012GDC is proud to support this inaugural workshop organized by Rod McDonald FGDC and Patrick Griffin of Canada Type.
- May 23, 2012New National Executive & Fellows Announced
- May 07, 2012First election in memory to decide president.
- April 13, 2012Get ready to commemorate World Communication Design Day
- March 27, 2012BC Design Leader Loses Battle with Cancer
- March 20, 2012It must feel like spring somewhere out there...
- March 15, 2012Sales from font to support GDC design education programs.
- March 02, 2012Don’t let your certification inadvertently lapse.
- February 29, 2012Long time collaborative relationship formalized.
- February 20, 2012Sharing the love of design.
- February 20, 2012A Canadian icon who followed his own unique path and style.
- February 15, 2012GDC Foundation Announces the Ray Hrynkow Scholarship
- January 31, 2012January marks the launch of the GDC’s Annual Chapter Member Surveys
- January 25, 2012New Group Benefits Plan includes dental, medical, life, disability and critical illness insurance.
- January 16, 2012Deadline of January 20, 2012
- January 13, 2012All the news that is design-worthy!
- December 12, 2011Donate and your name will be entered to win!
- December 01, 2011GDC Fellow, graphic designer, illustrator, artist, NSCAD Professor Emeritus and mentor, Horst Deppe, has passed away at the age of 82.
- November 30, 2011Only 25 days until Christmas... get working on that office promo now!!