A documentary film celebrating
the golden era of Canadian
graphic design

A film by Greg Durrell
Produced by Jessica Edwards
Executive Producer Gary Hustwit

Canada's heritage of graphic design

A story never told. Until now.

Through the lens of graphic design, Design Canada follows the transformation of a nation from a colonial outpost to a vibrant and multicultural society.

the trailer

The biggest question we ask ourselves as a country is “what makes us Canadian?” What defines a national identity, is it an anthem? A flag? Is it a logo or icon? How do these elements shape who we are? In the 1960s and 1970s, these questions were answered by an innovative group of Canadian designers, who used design to unify the nation.

Featuring graphic
design by

  • Burton Kramer
  • Rolf Harder
  • Fritz Gottschalk
  • Hans Kleefeld
  • Stuart Ash
  • Heather Cooper
  • James Valkus
  • Jean Morin
  • Jim Donoahue
  • Pierre-Yves Pelletier
  • Raymond Bellemare
  • Ulrich Wodicka
  • Theo Dimson
  • John Lloyd
  • Julien Hébert
  • and more

In association with TELUS
Supported by the Graphic
Designers of Canada (GDC)

With commentary

  • George Stroumboulopoulos
  • Hannah Sung
  • Douglas Coupland
  • Massimo Vignelli
  • Alan Elder
  • Brian Donnelly
  • Hunter Tura
  • Marian Bantjes
  • Diti Katona
  • John Pylypczak
  • John Moses
  • Lorne Perry
  • Ali Gardiner
  • Patrick Reid
  • Rick Archibald
  • Terry O’Malley
  • and more

The Originators

In 2012, Design Canada began with a genuine curiosity about where the designs and symbols of Canada originated from. Director (and graphic designer) Greg Durrell began shooting the film on a Canon 7D. A year later, Greg met Jessica Edwards, a Canadian filmmaker living in Brooklyn and Gary Hustwit. The team spent 5 years crafting the Design Canada story.

“Retracing Canada's design lineage is a reminder that to know a country’s graphic design is to know its history.”
Wired Magazine
“It's the untold story of the images that shaped Canada's identity and it's not just for design nerds.”
CBC Arts
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