Drawing on Type

Front Cover
Porcupine's Quill, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 333 pages

Drawing on Type is the life-story of one of Canada's more colourful book-world characters -- Frank Newfeld, designer, illustrator and storyteller extraordinaire. It is a wide-ranging account, beginning with Newfeld's youth in England during the Second World War and leading to his involvement in the book trade in Canada. Eventually becoming Art Director, and subsequently, Vice-President of Publishing at McClelland & Stewart, he went on to co-found the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (now the Graphic Designers of Canada), and to run the illustration program at Sheridan College. Newfeld pulls no punches: he is critical of a college system that infantalizes its students; of childrens'-book illustrators that insult young readers' intelligence; of authors, artists, designers and editors who condescend to their collaborators. Yet he is as unflinching in his evaluations of himself as he is in his evaluations of others, for Drawing on Type is also a reckoning of self.

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About the author (2008)

Frank Newfeld received his art education in England, at the Brighton College of Art, and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Educated in England, Frank Newfeld immigrated to Canada in 1954. Once here, he founded his own design company in a studio on Spadina Avenue in Toronto.


In 1956 Newfeld, Frank Davies, Leslie (Sam) Smart and John Gibson founded the Society of Typographic Designers of Canada (TDC). Frank’s Spadina Avenue studio which was often the meeting place for the Society in its formative years. He was elected President of the Society in 1959, the year that it received its Ontario charter. In 1963 Frank joined the firm of McClelland & Stewart as an art director, and within six years he was to become Vice-President, Publishing and a member of the board of directors.


Over his career Frank Newfeld has designed well over 650 books for publishers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States. Canadian publishers include Douglas and McIntyre, Groundwood, Longmans, MacMillan, Nelson, Oxford and UofT. Authors he has worked with include Berton, Cohen, Davies, Gottlieb, Laurence, Layton, Mowat, Newman. He has won over 167 awards, including three medals from the prestigious Leipzig Book Show, two Hans Christian Anderson awards, and two from Typomundus 20. Other awards include the Canada Centennial Medal, the Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal, and awards from the AIGA, Art Directors and Type Directors clubs of New York, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto. Frank represented Canada at the 1976 Illustration Bienale in Czechoslovakia, and his work was exhibited in Bologna in 1990. He has created two children’s books, both published by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy.


For many years Frank Newfeld was associated with Sheridan College where he served as an educator, illustrator and publication designer.

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