Apr 24, 2012
Allan Fleming was born in Toronto in 1929. At 16 he left studies at the Western Technical School to apprentice at various design firms in Toronto. He then went to England, where he soaked up lessons from some of the great British book designers. Back in Canada in 1957 he joined the typographic firm Cooper and Beatty Ltd., and was working there when the opportunity to redesign Canadian National's logo came up in 1959. In 1962 he became art director at Maclean’s magazine. He was vice-president and director of creative services at MacLaren Advertising from 1963 to 1968, and chief designer at the University of Toronto Press until 1976, when he joined Burns and Cooper.
Suave, handsome, well-read, eloquent and confident, Fleming epitomized 'cool.' His design work won many awards in Canada, the United States and around the world. Though best remembered as the creator of CN’s corporate logo, Fleming was also a superb book designer, and this is what I talked about with Canadian literary journalist Robert Fulford who knew and was influenced by Fleming.