Design Optimist

Due to be released this spring is a film on the life and work of leading Canadian graphic designer, painter and educator Burton Kramer.  Kramer, who’s career spans over 50 years, is recognised as a significant and influential force in the design community, and was one of Canada’s first graphic designers to promote the use of Helvetica type.

Kramer’s career began in New York after his exposure to Bauhaus movement led to a keen interest in graphic design.  He spent time during the 1950s in Yale’s graphic design program with some of the greatest practitioners and educators in Modernist design (Paul Rand, Alexey Brodovitch, Joself Albers), followed by a period in the studio of Will Burtin.  This was followed by time spent in Zurich at the Halpern design agency, and in the midst of a starkly utilitarian movement, and then to Canada where he established his own studio, and earned a reputation for his integrated approach to design and graphic identity.  His clients included the Royal Ontario Museum, the Eaton Centre (Toronto’s most famous urban mall), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, while his work can be seen in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian and Library of Congress.

The documentary produced by Greg Durrell, a well-know designer and art director in his own right (and already a fan of Kramer’s work having published Burton Kramer Identities in 2011), reveals an intimate look at the designer and his prolific career.

NB.  Apologies to Here & Now subscribed followers if you received an email update twice, a tricky internet connection meant the post was published before it was finished!

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