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Nov 09, 2020

Nothing to Buy Here: Experiential Graphic Design for the Public

Susan Mavor

About this video


In 1964, graphic designers banded together to encourage each other to do more than “sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles.” In this talk, Susan shares successes and failures of working on multi-disciplinary design projects that aren’t about selling anything except ideas. Picking apart some of PUBLIC’s award-winning exhibits and way-finding design projects, Susan reveals how small moves have big power and how the rubber hits the road on social change when it comes to the design of the “simple” sign.


Susan Mavor

Susan is a founding partner of PUBLIC and an expert in communication design. Her work is about weaving cultural and brand visual messaging into the built environment—indoors and out. Originally trained as a theatre designer followed by communication design studies at Emily Carr in Vancouver, Susan’s work ranges in scale from postage stamps to billboards and in ambition from recognition of a donation to shaping the way we understand culture, memory and identity. She leads the multidisciplinary firm, PUBLIC: Architecture + Communication, in projects including interpretive exhibition planning and design, brands for spaces and wayfinding signage strategy. Susan has been working to re-tell the story of Canada, one inch at a time, through her role on the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee and, previously, as an award-winning stamp designer. She is proud of her role as creative director and design mentor at PUBLIC, nurturing and encouraging the team in the creation and execution of bold and beautiful ideas.