Dair, Carl

Carl Dair, typographer, typographic designer, teacher, writer (b at Welland, Ont 14 Feb 1912; d on flight from New York C to Toronto 28 Sept 1967). Dair became interested in typesetting as a child and by age 18 was doing advertising and layouts for the Stratford Beacon-Herald. He moved to Montréal and opened a design studio in 1947. He also began to teach design and typography and to write on typographic design and its relationship to commerce, art and communication. There followed 10 years of commercial design, teaching and writing in Montréal and Toronto, during which he built an international reputation.

In 1956 he was awarded an RSC fellowship to study type design and manufacture in Holland, where he began to design the typeface he called Cartier. He continued to work on this intermittently until 1967, when he published the First Proof of Cartier Roman and Italic, the first typeface for text composition designed in Canada. It is now widely used and appears to have achieved the status of an identifiable national type.

Over 3 decades, he inspired a generation of graphic designers, not only with standards of excellence in design but with his personal philosophy, which saw "inspired typography" as an important "means of visual communication." Among his many publications is Design with Type (1952; 2nd ed 1967), now a standard text on the subject.