Oh Canadiana

Highlights of the Canadian Design Resource

By David Balzer
April 18, 2006
Windsor salt. Image courtesy of the Canadian Design Resource.

Chris Yaneff’s beautiful packaging design for Windsor Salt, seemingly inspired by formalist painters like Piet Mondrian, Konstantin Malevich, and Ellsworth Kelly, became a staple in Canadian households for more than 40 years. “This is why the CDR is important: Yaneff is hugely influential, a groundbreaking graphic designer — anyone who has lived in Canada since the ’60s has seen his work — but you don’t find much written about him,” says Erdmann. Yaneff also created logos for Canada Trust and the Beer Store in Ontario, among other clients.

Windsor Salt recently abandoned Yaneff’s model in favour of a more representational approach, a move that’s caused mass hand-wringing within the Canadian design community. Falkowsky relates an amusing story about Toronto designer Helen Kerr, who, when asked to help re-envision the box, told the company not to bother — it was already perfect.

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