GDC Fellow

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David Berman, FGDC

David Berman was born in Ottawa, in 1962. He has over 20 years of experience in graphic design and strategic communications. David brings both graphic design and information technology expertise to his information design work. As early as high school, he created and produced a magazine which was distributed in four countries. Beginning in 1982, while training at the University of Waterloo in computer science and at Carleton University in psychology and typography, he became deeply involved with the student press. It was there that David was responsible for the design and production of The Charlatan, Carleton's weekly newsmagazine. He accomplished a redesign of the paper and overhaul of the production and typesetting system, introducing microcomputers for the first time into the production of a Canadian student newspaper. He also completed dozens of assignments for the students' association including student calendars, handbooks, posters, and brochures, and coordinated the activities of the in-house typesetting operation. David worked in the federal government as a computer systems analyst before turning his hobby of graphic design into his career.

In 1984, David created David Berman Typographics Ltd. The graphic design activities of this firm concentrated on publication and exhibit design. Typographic activity included primarily ad and agency work, with an increasing amount of creative work directed by client designers. The firm was generally considered Ottawa's finest type shop. David's responsibilities there included all aspects of senior management, including budgeting, legal and financial liaison, establishing and improving upon quality and control systems, and selecting and purchasing capital equipment.

Many consider David's knowledge of typography and electronic publishing, which he has taught as part of college curricula, to be unmatched in the National Capital Region. He has worked extensively in the adaptation of printed materials for electronic distribution, including Web design and software interface development. As a graphic designer, communications strategist, public speaker and typographer, David is a senior consultant in information architecture and communications strategy. For over 10 years, David was vice-president of Herrera Berman Communications, amongst the most experienced design firms in Canada's national capital.

His design and consulting clients include IBM (Web accessibility) the International Space Station (corporate identity), the World Bank (publication design), Metropolitan Life (annual report), the Sierra Club (identity), Statistics Canada (2006 census online), CCRA (Web strategy), Treasury Board Secretariat (Web development), and the Department of Canadian Heritage (branding consultation), including extensive work involving applying content management principles and common look and feel guidelines to large government Web sites.

Early in David's career he developed a lasting interest in plain language and information design. His work includes award-winning projects in the application of plain design for the Ontario Environmental Farm Plan Workbook. Other notable projects involving plain design and knowledge management principles include work for Justice Canada, HRDC, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.

David has been involved in designing typefaces for the federal government, Nortel, and the world's most highly syndicated comic strip, For Better Or For Worse.

Presently David is the principal in David Berman Communications, a firm specializing in communications strategy, graphic design, Web site information design, process facilitation, and electronic publishing services to government, NGOs, and private firms. The firm's specialties include identity work, non-profit fundraising, publication systems, typography and Web publishing. David's responsibilities include project co-ordination, continuous improvement of quality management systems, IT planning and management, and graphic and typographic design. David acts as a management consultant and trainer for public and private sector clients, offering public professional development seminars as well as custom on-site training, consultation, and one-on-one mentoring. He holds a training certificate for continuing adult education and has taught core curriculum at the college level.

Since 1984, David has worked to establish a code of ethics which embraces social responsibility for graphic designers throughout Canada. The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada ratified his draft nationally in May 2000. He served as president of the first elected board of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, North America's first accredited graphic design organization, from 1997 to 1999. He drafted the association's General Bylaw and Rules of Professional Conduct, with the help of other dedicated individuals, and authored Ontario's accreditation examination section on ethics and professional responsibility. In 1999, the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada named him a Fellow (the second youngest to have achieved the country's highest professional standing in this field) for his work on the Code of Ethics, accreditation and other national issues. In 2000, he was elected Vice President Ethics of the Society, and is currently the national Ethics Chair. David is dedicated to realizing graphic design's potential to help improve the human condition and the global environment. He speaks at national and international conferences about the important role graphic designers can play: rather than applying their skills to help organizations mislead their audiences, they can help enhance social conditions around the world. He has been a keynote speaker at various ICOGRADA, GDC, and other design conferences and events around the world, with his celebrated seminar Social Responsibility and Graphic Design; How Logo Can We Go?

His others passions include: fatherhood and his daughter, information technology, quality systems, priority management, basketball, softball, environmental issues, logic puzzles, philately, folk guitar, and continuous improvement.