Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis spent much of the 1950s and early 1960s in New York City, gaining design and publishing experience, working with designers such as Robert Brownjohn and Ivan Chermayeff and publishers such as Doubleday. Lewis settled in Toronto in 1963, joining the University of Toronto Press (UTP) as a designer. One of her early projects was to assist Carl Dair in the production of the second edition of Design with Type (1967).

Allan Fleming joined UTP as chief designer in 1968, and when the design unit was formed Lewis became Fleming’s assistant. The unit worked closely as a team (which included Robert MacDonald and Will Rueter) and produced books that were honoured nationally and internationally. Lewis succeeded Fleming as art director after his death in 1977.

Laurie Lewis worked during the early 1970s to transform the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada into a truly national organization. She served as executive secretary during 1973–75, and was elected a fellow of the GDC in 1975. One of Lewis’ responsibilities at UTP was to develop a coordinated visual identity system for the press. She was instrumental in moving the design unit into the digital age, introducing computers (the Macintosh 512K) in 1984, and facilitating the use of new technology in design and production. In 1991, Laurie Lewis took early retirement from UTP to concentrate on other interests, including writing and publishing.

In retirement, Lewis continued to support graphic design internationally. She also encouraged the publication of life writings and memoirs, and is the founder and director of the Artful Codger Press, in Kingston, Ontario. Laurie Lewis has written two memoirs of her own, published by The Porcupine’s Quill, Little Comrades (2011) and Love, and all that jazz (2013).

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