Is There Anything Canadian About Our Design?
As the evening continued, the mediator’s queries began to feel more like pleas for validation as a reaction to an identity crisis – a seemingly popular topic among Canadians. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud to be a Canadian designer, but it began to feel that the fundamental components of the graphic design equation, such as the brief, brand strategy, target audience, and creative process were passed over to focus too closely on the weak proposition that geographic or cultural idiosyncrasies in Canada would overpower our educations or design process. I’m sure all Canadian designers would be very proud to be recognized for a progressive style or design movement as an important moment in the history of graphic design, but do we want to credit our mountains, oceans, maple trees and colder climate for the way we use form elements and design principles in our compositions? A better argument might be that our ideology, politics and cultural biases tend to create an underlying tone in our work, but I think that might be more a result from the influence of our European ancestry and reaction to our ‘Big Brother’ south of the border as we struggle to find our own identity and voice.