GDC Fellow

Back to Fellows

Dave Mason, FGDC

Dave Mason was born in Baginton, a tiny village outside Coventry, England. His family immigrated to Montreal in 1967 and eventually settled in Vancouver in 1970.

He found his way to a career in design through a combination of genetics – innate abilities to draw, think creatively / analytically, and to pay attention to details likely inherited from his aeronautical engineer father – and accident –  a chance meeting with a friend of a friend who shared some of his work as a graphic design student. Dave's formal design education began at Kwantlen College (now Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and continues to this day.

Taking the sage advice of his then future wife, he formed Vancouver-based Dave Mason & Associates Inc. immediately upon college graduation in 1982. Working first as an illustrator / retoucher, Dave ultimately moved into the field of corporate communications design, where his work gained attention in the business and design communities in both Canada and the US.

In 1993 he was invited to sit on the advisory board of a US paper company, an experience that connected him with Greg and Pat Samata, accomplished and respected designers based in West Dundee, Illinois. Following two years of friendly harassment / persuasion, Dave partnered with Greg and Pat to form SamataMason Inc. From its offices in Vancouver and West Dundee, SamataMason became synonymous with excellence in corporate communications design through its work for an international clientele that has included Tupperware, Intrawest, Swiss Army Brands, BC Telecom, Whirlpool, Sesame Workshop, QLT and NCR. Today SamataMason is a multidisciplinary design firm that meets challenges related to identity and brand, corporate communications, human resources, marketing and innovation for clients ranging from start-ups and not-for-profits to some of the world's most admired organizations.

Honored for excellence in numerous design publications and competitions, Dave's work has appeared in Communication Arts, The Mead Annual Report Show, AR100 Annual Report Show, Graphis, Applied Arts, AIGA 365, Graphex, How, Step and Designer's Workshop Japan, and has been exhibited at The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany. He has served as a juror for many international competitions including Communication Arts Design Annual, The Mead Annual Report Show, AR 100 Annual Report Show, Taiwan International Poster Competition and Applied Arts, and he has served as a guest speaker at numerous design and business schools, conferences and events throughout Canada, the United States and Asia.

Beyond his accomplishments as a designer, Dave is co-founder of a number of successful businesses including OpinionLab Inc., the leader in web and mobile voice of customer feedback systems, Noisemaker Films LLC, a documentary film company whose films have been recognized at numerous festivals and broadcast on public television, and Cusp Conference LLC, an annual Chicago-based conference about 'the design of everything.'   

Dave became a member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in the early nineties, serving first as Events Coordinator and ultimately as President of the BC Chapter. The organization's efforts to present a credible and cohesive message about the value of design to business, government and the broader public helped shape his approach to the business of design, and his experiences with the GDC were invaluable in connecting him to the broader design community within Canada, and eventually to peers in the United States and elsewhere.