Derwyn Goodall: Making Work That Matters

GraphisMay 31, 2024

Derwyn Goodall is a highly regarded Canadian graphic designer and educator in Toronto. With over 35 years of award-winning design experience and 20 years of teaching, Derwyn has built a reputation for his meticulous approach to branding and design. His firm, Goodall Integrated Design, is celebrated for its strategic, ideas-driven process and dedication to craft. It boasts a diverse portfolio covering a wide range of design areas. Derwyn's work deeply involves understanding and translating complex ideas into compelling visual narratives.

Introduction by Andrej & Katarina Jenik Owners, Jenik Art Consultants

A few years ago, we decided to modernize our brand and realized it was crucial to find a professional designer who’d accurately capture the context of our business and also satisfy our aesthetic criteria. We chose Derwyn as our designer and are thrilled that we did! Derwyn is an attentive and patient listener. He became very familiar with our business and used this knowledge as the foundation of his design process. Derwyn’s process is very iterative, and we were involved in it every step of the way. We love our new visual identity and brand refresh; it’s literally everything that we wanted. On top of that, Derwyn was just so pleasant and straightforward to deal with, which made the whole process extremely enjoyable. We remain his happy customers and are always glad to recommend his services.

What inspired or motivated you to have a career in design?

Record album artwork was the gateway to my design career.

What is your work philosophy?

Combine concept and strategy with beauty in meaningful ways that help clients reach their communication goals.

Who is or was your greatest mentor?

My mentors are my design heroes: Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Wim Crouwel, Paul Rand, Alex Steinweiss, Reid Miles, and David Stone Martin.

Who were some of your greatest past influences?

See mentors above.

What is it about design that you are most passionate about?

I’m passionate about creating socially conscious designs that help people and organizations and working with my clients to succeed by helping them achieve their communication goals.

Goodall Integrated Design covers various areas of design, including interactive design, packaging, print communications, and more. Do you have a particular favorite field, and if yes, what?

I like branding programs that include all communication touchpoints.

What is the most difficult challenge you’ve overcome to reach your current position?

Maintaining a viable business through COVID-19.

Who among your contemporaries today do you most admire?

Paula Scher, Jonathan Barnbrook, Brian Collins, Micheal Bierut, and Jennifer Sterling.

What would be your dream assignment?

To rebrand an art museum or large-scale gallery.

Who have been some of your favorite people or clients you have worked with?

Canada Post, Ministry of Canadian Heritage, Phil Newman (COBMEX), Jenik Art Consultants, Continuum Contemporary Music, REVIVAL Analytics, Integrated Asset Management, and Dr. Jeff Wilson (Brain Shift).

What are the most important ingredients you require from a client to do successful work?

I require trust (knowing that I am a partner, not a supplier), enough time to develop the best work, and a realistic budget.

What is your most outstanding professional achievement?

Winning a Platinum Award for my poster in Graphis’ Designers for Peace competition and being elected as a member of the Governing Council to the RCA/ARC (Royal Canadian Academy of Arts).

What is it like running your own design firm compared to designing for a bigger company?

Time is an issue: There’s more pressure to balance creative work with business goals.

What is the greatest satisfaction you get from your work?

Knowing that I have been a part of a client’s communication team and helped them achieve their business goals.

What part of your work is the most demanding, considering your position?

Business development and time management.

What professional goals do you still have for yourself?

To continue to do meaningful work that matters.

What advice do you have for students starting out today?

Find your passion; it will take you where you ultimately want to be.

What interests do you have outside of your work?

Travel, music, audio, and fitness.

What do you value most?

Honesty, integrity, and collaboration.

What would you change if you had to do it all over again?

I would have started my own business earlier.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Art, literature, music, travel, and close friends.

How do you define success?

I don’t define it in monetary terms, but in knowing that I have contributed to society in meaningful ways.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Still being creative. Where and how? I cannot predict!

Derwyn Goodall is a Canadian graphic designer and educator living in Toronto. Professionally, he is an accredited creative director and designer (RGD) with 35 years of high-profile, award-winning design and 20 years of post-secondary teaching experience. His firm, Goodall Integrated Design, is a full-service, strategic branding and design studio. They embrace an ideas-driven design process, meaningful collaboration, and rigorous attention to craft. They specialize in branding, corporate identity programs, print, packaging, environmental design, signage, wayfinding, and interactive experiences in numerous categories: science and tech, finance, arts and culture, and government. Derwyn’s job is to help clients tell the world who they are and why they’re essential—why they matter—not just to their target audiences but to real people. He takes complicated ideas and makes them understandable. He then makes them memorable so they resonate.

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