Being a young designer in Canada it is nearly impossible to not have felt the influence of Burton Kramer. With putting together my portfolio I looked back on some of my early work as well as thinking back to my first ever website that was designed with the help of Nic Borel and Greg Durrell. When I landed on Greg’s portfolio site A Brief History Of I came to find out that he is the Art Director and Editor for the finely designed book ’Burton Kramer - Identities’.
Greg is currently working on a documentary on Kramer and describes the book as “An important and comprehensive book on the work of a leading Canadian designer, educator and painter, who practiced for over 50 years”. He goes on to say “Within the Canadian design community, Burton Kramer became known as a staunch advocate of fully integrated design at a time when such an approach was virtually unknown in Canada. As a functioning part of this advocacy, Kramer was one of Canada’s first graphic designers to courageously promote the use of Helvetica type, organizational grids, symbols, systems design and other visual manifestations of the “International style” in a Canadian design environment that was then steeped in a different tradition and often hostile to this radically new approach”.
Kramer began his design career in the New York office of Will Burtin and went on to work at Geigy under Gottfried Honegger. In 1961, he moved to Zurich, Switzerland, as Chief Designer at the E. Halpern Agency, where he created award-winning work. In 1965, Kramer moved to Toronto to work on graphics and signage for Expo 67. In 1967, he founded Kramer Design Associates, creating identity programs for the Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Educational Television and in 1974, his well-known logo and identity program for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
His logos and corporate identity work have been published in numerous books and journals worldwide. In 1999, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from ArtsToronto; in 2002, the Province of Ontario awarded him the Order of Ontario for his cultural contributions; and in 2003, the Ontario College of Art & Design granted him an honorary doctorate, D.Des.
An icon of iconography, this book is a shelf and coffee table must have. Order it online at burtonkrameridentities.com