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THE BIBLIO FILE is a leading podcast that examines "the book" and book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with writers, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners who busy themselves with the world of books.

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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 talk about with Canadian literary journalist Robert Fulford who knew and was influenced by him. 

Books referenced include:

Canada: A Year of the Land
The National Film Board of Canada, Lorraine Monk, Bruce Hutchinson, Allan Fleming
Published by Roger Duhamel Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 1967

Collected Works of Erasmus, University of Toronto Press