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$82,455 pledged of $80,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

The story of graphic design in Canada has never been told. Until now.

Greg Durrell of Hulse&Durrell in Vancouver, Canada and Jessica Edwards and Gary Hustwit of Film First in Brooklyn, New York have teamed up to produce the first documentary about Canadian graphic design.

Where did the idea come from to make Canada’s symbol a maple leaf? Who were the creators of this visual language that brought Canadians together in a time of great change and growth? 

Design Canada brings this little known history to the world. Join us!

The Film

Canada Wordmark designed by Jim Donoahue
Canada Wordmark designed by Jim Donoahue

Design Canada is a feature length documentary examining Canadian history through the lens of graphic design, detailing the creative processes and icons that defined generations and created a sense of unity in the 50s, 60s and beyond.

The film tells the story behind some of the most familiar visual design elements in contemporary Canada. We examine symbols like the maple leaf, the CN Rail logo, the CBC logo and many more, to explore how graphic design changed the face of Canada and how it continues to influence us today. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada, Design Canada reconnects the country with this unique aspect of its heritage.

 Press

"The Surprising History of Canada’s Most Iconic Designs" - Wired

"The Golden Age of Canadian Graphic Design" - Fast Company

"Vancouver designer Greg Durrell's new documentary aims to celebrate one woefully underrepresented area of Canadian creativity: graphic design." Globe & Mail

"Design Canada: the documentary exploring a nation’s design story" - Design Week

"Here’s something we can really get behind. Greg Durrell...producer Jessica Edwards and design documentary maestro Gary Hustwit have teamed up to produce a film focused on Canadian Design. And boy does it look good." - It's Nice That

"It's the untold story of the images that shaped Canada's identity — and it's not just for design nerds"  CBC Arts

"This needs backing. Hard!" - Under Consideration

Who's in the Film?

We've shot in-depth interviews with Canadian design legends like Burton Kramer, Rolf Harder, Fritz Gottschalk, Pierre-Yves Pelletier, and Raymond Bellemare, as well as contemporary Canadian and American designers. The film also features one of the last interviews with the late Massimo Vignelli, who helped put Canadian design into an international context.

Lorne Perry, Former Design Manager, CN Railway
Lorne Perry, Former Design Manager, CN Railway

 

Burton Kramer, CBC Logo, 1974
Burton Kramer, CBC Logo, 1974

Rewards

Our team has amassed a vast collection of design objects over the years, including archival posters, manuals, books, and more. We couldn’t think of a better time to release them than through this campaign, and want to offer them exclusively to our backers before anyone else.

To honour Canadian history and make sure its influence will be here for years to come, we’ve reissued some of its most iconic posters from designers like Burton Kramer and Ernst Roch, that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. 

Letter from the Prime Minister of Canada to the flag design team 1965, Original CN Railways Identity Presentation Slides 1958
Letter from the Prime Minister of Canada to the flag design team 1965, Original CN Railways Identity Presentation Slides 1958

 

Signed 5x7" letterpress by Burton Kramer, Expo 67 Animal Pictogram Pins by Burton Kramer
Signed 5x7" letterpress by Burton Kramer, Expo 67 Animal Pictogram Pins by Burton Kramer

 

Bundle Set for $120!
Bundle Set for $120!

 

24” x 30” Canada Collected poster, signed by designer Aaron Draplin
24” x 30” Canada Collected poster, signed by designer Aaron Draplin

 

Ernst Roch. Quebec/Canada - Poster Reissue
Ernst Roch. Quebec/Canada - Poster Reissue

 

Ernst Roch. Expo67 - Poster Reissue
Ernst Roch. Expo67 - Poster Reissue

 

 

Burton Kramer Print - Hearts
Burton Kramer Print - Hearts

 

1967 Canadian Centennial Flag, Signed by Stuart Ash
1967 Canadian Centennial Flag, Signed by Stuart Ash

 

Signed Montreal 1976 poster by Raymond Bellemare, 2011 Canadian Olympic Team Standards Manual signed by Hulse&Durrell and Still Brandworks.
Signed Montreal 1976 poster by Raymond Bellemare, 2011 Canadian Olympic Team Standards Manual signed by Hulse&Durrell and Still Brandworks.

 

Signed Marian Bantjes Laser-Cut Poster, Signed 'I Wonder' book by Marian Bantjes
Signed Marian Bantjes Laser-Cut Poster, Signed 'I Wonder' book by Marian Bantjes

Where We Are Now

We’ve been filming Design Canada for over five years now, and have collected hundreds of hours of interviews, historical archives, and amassed a treasure trove of the rarest examples of Canadian graphic design.

We began editing the film at the end of last year and we’re committed to getting the film out to audiences before 2017 comes to a close. That’s where you come in.

We're deep into our edit, and need finishing funds for post-production, sound mix, colour correction, and music licensing. We're anticipating a World Premier this fall, followed by a limited theatrical rollout in Canada, and then a broadcast as well as an online and digital release worldwide this winter.

The Team

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 in his spare time, if only to have a record of these designers’ stories before they passed away. A year later, Greg met Jessica Edwards, a Canadian filmmaker living in Brooklyn, and Gary Hustwit, who directed the Design Trilogy (Helvetica, Objectified & Urbanized).

The three of us have come together, from different backgrounds, over the unifying force of film and design. It’s been an incredible ride so far––and we can’t wait to share this rich, hidden history with you.

Greg Durrell, Jessica Edwards, Gary Hustwit
Greg Durrell, Jessica Edwards, Gary Hustwit

Why Kickstarter?

Our team has five successful Kickstarter campaigns under our belts. Over time, Kickstarter has helped us not only bring our dream projects to life, but also build an incredible community. With each project we’ve done, the community we find on Kickstarter has been paramount to our success, and has lived long after the campaign is funded. We’re happy to be able to return to these communities to share something new and exciting.

Ultimately, design is communication, and it is with that ethos that we’re returning to this platform to help us share this unsung history with the world.

Follow Design Canada on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Cheers!

Greg, Jessica & Gary.

Expo 67 Animal Pictograms by Burton Kramer
Expo 67 Animal Pictograms by Burton Kramer

 

CN logo being sketched by Massimo Vignelli
CN logo being sketched by Massimo Vignelli

 

1967 Centennial Graphics Standards Manual by Stuart Ash
1967 Centennial Graphics Standards Manual by Stuart Ash

    

Risks and challenges

We’re happy to share that there will be minimal risks here––we have a lot of experience in film, and with Kickstarter, so we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver our project on time.

Of course, there are always uncalled for challenges with any project, and we will be completely transparent about our progress and keep everyone in the loop through our updates.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Film

    A digital download of Design Canada once it's released.

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    Exclusive Kickstarter-only bonus video.

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    Film+CN Style Slides+Maple Leaf Letter

    A digital download of Design Canada once it's released. Plus Kickstarter-only bonus video.

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    A digital copy of the CN identity presentation slides unveiling the iconic Canadian National Railway logo designed by Allan Fleming and James Valkus.

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    A digital copy of the letter from Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson congratulating the design team behind Canada's iconic Maple Leaf flag in 1965.

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    Canadian Logos Letterpress

    A 5x7 letterpress card featuring a selection of our favourite Burton Kramer Canadian logo designs. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Canadian Centennial T-Shirt

    A Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt reissuing Canada's centennial logo, originally designed by Stuart Ash. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)
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    Expo 67 Pictrogram Pins

    4 pin pack! 3 soft-enamel pins of Burton Kramer’s animal pictograms from Expo 67, featuring Canadian native animals (a polar bear, a squirrel and a moose) plus a bonus Expo 67 logo pin. Each pin is 1.5" wide and specially made for this campaign. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Design Canada Poster

    The exclusive poster for the film, co-created by director and designer Greg Durrell and designer Raymond Bellemare. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Signed Canadian Logos Letterpress

    A 5x7 letterpress card featuring a selection of Burton Kramer's Canadian logo designs, signed by Kramer. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Private DX Tour + Year Membership

    A one-year membership to the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada, along with a private tour of their forthcoming exhibition honouring 150 years of Canadian design. For a group of up to 20.

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    Bundle - Letterpress/T-Shirt/Pin Pack

    Get it all! This reward is a bundle of the Kramer letterpress logos card, Expo 67 pictogram pins and Ash centennial T-shirt. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Canada Collected Poster - Signed

    The iconic Canada Collected poster designed by Aaron Draplin, featuring famous graphic design logos from Canadian companies. Released through this Kickstarter and exclusively signed, only 25 available! (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Quebec/Canada - Poster Reissue

    A Design Canada exclusive! We've reissued the original out-of-print "Quebec/Canada" poster designed by Ernst Roch in 1979. Limited-edition 21" x 28" fine art silkscreen in two Pantone colours. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

    Limited numbered edition of 100 copies.

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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    Expo 67 - Poster Reissue

    A Design Canada exclusive! We've reissued the out-of-print original Expo 67 Canadian Pulp & Paper Pavilion poster designed by Ernst Roch. Limited-edition 21" x 28" fine art silkscreen in three Pantone colours. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

    Limited numbered edition of 100.

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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    Private Screening+Party Invitation

    You and a guest are invited to a screening and after-party of Design Canada with special guests from the film. Screenings will be scheduled in fall of 2017.

    Locations will include Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, Calgary and New York––we'll be in touch about which screening you'd like to attend.

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    Bundle - Poster Reissue

    Want both poster reissues? Pick this reward to receive both the "Quebec/Canada" and Expo 67 limited-edition screenprints. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

    Limited numbered edition of 100.

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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    Burton Kramer's Pink Hearts

    Burton Kramer's Pink Hearts
    1974
    Serigraph
    Size: 76.2cm × 76.2 cm (30 × 30 inches)
    Signed by the artist
    Unframed
    (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Bundle Letterpress/T-Shirt/Pin Pack

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    Your Own Screening of Design Canada

    A Private screening of Design Canada for your group, school or company, hosted by director & designer Greg Durrell.

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    20 Design Canada theatrical posters.

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    Your name or company name in the film credits.

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    Everything at the $20 reward level.

    *Greg’s travel and accommodations are not included if you are outside the Vancouver area. Scheduling is flexible after September 2017.

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    Screening + Private DX Tour

    A private screening of Design Canada for your group, school or company, hosted by director & designer Greg Durrell.

    +

    A one-year membership to the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada, along with a private tour of their forthcoming exhibition honouring 150 years of Canadian design, for a group of up to 20.

    +

    20 Design Canada theatrical posters.

    +

    Your name or company name in the film credits.

    +

    Everything at the $20 reward level.

    *Greg’s travel and accommodations are not included if you are outside the Vancouver area. Scheduling is flexible after September 2017.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    I Wonder by Marian Bantjes

    A copy of Marian Bantjes' book, I Wonder, signed by the author. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Signed Lasercut Poster by Marian Bantjes

    A beautiful 20" x 28" lasercut poster, signed by designer Marian Bantjes. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    1976 Montreal Olympics Poster Signed

    Original 23" x 33" print of the 1976 Montreal Olympics "Jean-Jacket Buttons" poster signed by designer Raymond Bellemare. Groovy to the max! (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    2011 Olympics Graphics Manual Signed

    Own a part of history with the Graphics Standards Manual that defined the graphics of the 2011 Canadian Olympic Team. Signed by design teams Hulse&Durrell and Still Brandworks.(Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    1967 Canadian Centennial Flag - Signed

    Celebrate Canada with the flag from our centennial year! This full size (approx. 3ft x 5ft) red and white flag is signed by centennial leaf logo designer, Stuart Ash. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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    2011 Olympics Graphics Manual - Signed

    One more! Own a part of history with the Graphics Standards Manual that defined the graphics of the 2011 Canadian Olympic Team. Signed by design teams Hulse&Durrell and Still Brandworks. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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    Everything at the $20 reward level.

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    1967 Canadian Centennial Flag - Signed

    This is the last one we have, and it is now extremely rare! Celebrate Canada with the flag from our centennial year! This full size (approx. 3ft x 5ft) blue and white flag is signed by centennial leaf logo designer, Stuart Ash. (Check it out in the rewards section to the left!)

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    Your name or your company's name in the film's credits.

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