John Gibson, co-founder of the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (later the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada), passed away at his home in Toronto on Saturday, July 23, 2011. Gibson was first introduced to graphic design at the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts in London, England, where he held an apprenticeship as a typesetter for seven years. He then went on to teach typography at the school, and also at the South East Essex Technical College.
A few years after immigrating to Canada in 1952, Gibson and friends Leslie (Sam) Smart, Frank Davies and Frank Newfeld formed the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (TDC), with the intention of promoting good typographic practice. The Society grew rapidly, and Gibson was also influential in forming a Quebec chapter of the TDC in 1960.
Through the years, Gibson worked with many major advertising agencies and typographic companies, including Cooper and Beatty, Young & Rubicam, and MacLaren Advertising. Earlier this year, type foundry Canada Type released the Gibson type family, created by well-known Canadian type designer Rod McDonald to honour Gibson’s love for and contributions to the typographic arts.