Jim Donoahue

Jim Donoahue has an innate aesthetic sense. It's been said of him that `He could throw a handful of pebbles onto the ground and they would form an elegant, symmetrical arrangement.' After graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1956, where he studied typography under Allan R. Fleming, Jim joined the National Film Board of Canada as an aspiring animator/film director. But it was in 1959 as assistant to Fleming at Cooper & Beatty Ltd. that he blossomed, winning countless international awards. (Donoahue's facility with letterforms may have been due to a part-time job painting signs as a teenager in Hamilton, Ontario.)

Upon leaving C&B in 1962, Donoahue produced work of distinction at TDF Artists Ltd., at Goodis, Goldberg and Soren and at MacLaren Advertising. His knack as a copywriter, stemming from a quick wit and a keen awareness of pop culture, enables him to write much of his own copy.

Donoahue rejoined C&B in 1968 and was their creative director until 1975, when he became part of Burns, Cooper, Donoahue & Fleming. Donoahue & Associates Ltd. was incorporated in 1978, and operated in Toronto (where he now practises) and Vancouver, 1992 to 2002.

Although probably best known for Canada's national wordmark, Jim's continuing relevance to the Toronto cultural scene shows in logos he made for both the Isaacs and the Ydessa Hendeles galleries and, more recently, the Gardiner Museum. Global Television and the Sports Network (TSN), as well as architects Moriyama & Teshima and those triple heights of 1970s Toronto cool — the Courtyard Cafe, Three Small Rooms and Noodles restaurants — all turned to him for marks. His portfolio demonstrates a rich diversity of ads, announcements, promotion pieces and eclectic posters.

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.