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ROBERT L. PETERS

canadian designer alyssa love pangan december 8, 2011 ross sundmark


From left to right, top to bottom: Winninpeg Free Press news article, two posters for Lest We Forget Posters for Peace, Canadian Recording Artists Stamps corresponds to news article above, Fishing Flies Stamp, GDC@50 Poster, Written Agreements Poster

Time line 1954 May 26 born

1974 immigrated Winnipeg, Canada

1984 -1986, taught Creative Communications at RRC

1988 - 1990 Graphic Design instructor at UofM


ROBERT L. PETERS

brief biography

This internationally known designer, advisor, juror, guest lecturer – just to name a few titles – has started his journey in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. He was born on May 26, 1954 to John Jacob and Amanda Marie Peters, Mennonite missionaries. In 1957 Robert’s family moved to Europe and he was schooled in Germany, Switzerland, and England. Robert immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, and married Beverly Guay Pauls in 1974. He worked as an artist and freelance illustrator, and studied design at Red River College and the University of Manitoba. In 1976 he co-founded the design studio CIRCLE. Under his direction CIRCLE has helped hundreds of clients worldwide conceive effective strategies, implement distinctive corporate identities and brands, and deploy targeted information and communication tools. Since 1982 he has lived in a low-energy, passive solar house that he designed and built in the woods of Eastern Manitoba and enjoys the company of his two cats. Robert and Amanda separated in 1999 and divorced in 2001. When not submerged in design, Robert enjoys nature, mountain climbing, and human-powered outdoor activities – he even hikes his climbing wall within his home. Robert is the past president of the Icograda, the vice president of Design for the World, a foreign correspondent for Communication Arts magazine, editor of the GDC Graphic Design Journal, and is a GDC Fellow. He keeps himself involved in design education, writing, speaking, advocacy, and professional develo’pment. He had the opportunity of living, working, and traveling in more than 50 countries as a design juror, policy advisor, guest lecturer, and author. 1990 to 1993 1990 to 1992 Assistant Professor GDC Manitoba’s and Chair of Graphic founding president Design, at the School of Art.

1990s guest lecturer at schools in North America, Asia, and Europe.

1991 Icograda World 1992 and 1999 1994 to 1997 Design Congress in GDC’s official member of The Montreal delegate and liaison Design Sector Steering Committee

since 1995, regular foreign feature contributor to Communication Arts magazine


ROBERT L. PETERS

my personal insight

From researching his successful career as various positions I have come to appreciate all the time and effort that Robert has put into his design. His accomplishments are phenomenal and consistent – take a look at the footer. He really put himself out there and got involved to become what he is today. Robert seems to be largely influenced by nature, his upbringing and his driven motives. He has the drive and passion that all designers should have, also supported with strong moral values. “I look for people with integrity, solid core values and demonstrated mannerisms that are consistent with their beliefs. The ability to play well with others (team players) is also very important in a studio setting. Of course, analytical dexterity, creativity, literacy, design talent and a high standard of quality are also important - but I would say that these latter traits are in much greater supply than the former.”

Robert Peter says in an

interview. I find very motivating for myself is that although he is an innovative international designer he does very well with his design management. He stays current with techniques and technology yet he lives a ‘normal’ life where he still has time to do various things he enjoys. – time for recreation and time to himself. Throughout the 50 countries that he travelled to he says he “was always more interested in the journey than the destination (though that sounds so cliche).” This

is where drive and passion takes over and I aspire to have the

same attitude in my career. The 3 qualities he feels necessary to succeed are vision, faith and perseverance. Robert states,“Vision. In order to look ahead, it’s important to look beyond what is to what could be. 2. Faith. Belief takes you further than doubt, just as honey attracts more bees than vinegar. 3. Perseverance. If you don’t have the will and intestinal fortitude to make it through the tough times, you simply won’t succeed.”

until 1999 served on the GDC National council.

1998 the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada named him a Fellow

1998, compiled ‘Sample Contract and Standard Terms and Conditions’ for the GDC,

1999 - 2005 on the Icograda board

2001 to 2003 serving as President Icograda

2001 to 2005 official liaison of Icograda and WIPO, UNESCO

2002 to 2006 editor of The Graphic Design Journal


From left to right, top to bottom: Two samples from the presentation at FITC Toronto 2011 ‘Work By And Live By’, Portrait of Robert L. Peters, NorthWest Company Campaign by CIRCLE, two posters for Buy Nothing Christmas campaign, “Green Design” article that includes excerpts of an interview with Robert L. Peters, Applied Arts Magazine Vol. 24, No. 4, August 2009

2002 Vice President of the international humanitarian organization DW

Since 2003 GDC’s national Ethics Committee.


Robert’s pull-quote featured on the cover of Applied Arts Magazine Vol. 25, No. 4, October 2010

I have researched his work and I have found that he is a

I feel that his work is unique because although it very

very inspired, emotional writer. In his artwork though, he

simple, it has a great impact. The concepts are strong and

has a very different approach. His posters are very strong,

easily distinguished.

with clear legible typography, the message is very direct, and contains simple imagery. A grid is definitely obvious with the shapes he uses along with the alignments in his content.

This paper on Robert L. Peters gives an overview on how successful designers spring up from anywhere around the world as long as you have the drive to succeed. This

The colour schemes are well planned out, with examples

Canadian Designer had associated himself with many

of the Lest We Forget Posters; use of dark colours, written

design-based organizations and has climbed to the top. The

contract Poster very bold impact with the yellow, and pays attention to the audience Buy Nothing Christmas Posters. He has designed many stamps, and through what I can see it

graphic development in his work results well in the final outcome. With many years of experience, his work is definitely unique.

is very consistent with the style, composition and mood. The simplicity in his work is very successful.

2003 – 2005 member of the founding executive of the IDA

2004 Honorary Member of the Brno Biennale Association

2004 & 2006, regular guest lecturer at the ICIS Center in Denmark

2005, authored the book Worldwide Identity: Inspired Design from Forty Countries

2006, recipient of the Hartford Art School’s Georgette & Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in Visual Arts.

2008, edited and published the book Gray Matter Graffiti

2009, received the Icograda President’s Award


Glossary ACID/M Manitoba Chapter of the Association of Canadian Industrial Designers CIRCLE Circle Design Incorporated DW Design for the World Icograda International Council of Graphic Design Associations IDA International Design Alliance INDIGO International Indigenous Design Network RRC Red River College U of M University of Manitoba UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization

2010, essay “Designing the Future� appeared in Applied Arts Magazine

2010, appointed ambassador for INDIGO



Canadian Designer