Frank Davies studied art and architecture in England before serving in the Royal Navy from 1942 to 1946, and first came to Canada among Winston Churchill’s naval escort to the Second Québec Conference. Later, Frank studied typography at Camberwell, book design at St. Bride’s, history of art at London University, and designed and painted stage sets before joining the firm of Coleman, Prentice and Varley. As a protégé of Beatrice Warde, he became the designer of publications for the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells Ballet, and art director of Sacheverelli Sitwell’s “Foyer.” He immigrated to Montréal in 1951; designed for IATA; joined Rolph, Clark, Stone in Toronto a year later; became art director of Liberty magazine in 1953 and of MacLean-Hunter Business Publications Division in 1955.
In the founding years of the TDC he was elected president in 1958; co-directed the first annual Typography awards shows; was later president of the Art Directors Club of Toronto; directed “Design for Editors” at the University of Toronto; and taught typography and related subjects at the Ontario College of Art.
In 1962 he started his own design company and with Carl Dair, became a director of Cape and Company, jointly designing for several universities, including York, Brock and Trent. His work, along with that of Carl Dair, represented Canada at l’Association typographique international in Paris. Among some 18 major awards won for Cape, Frank’s work took the top Creative Printer of the Year Awards in Los Angeles in 1965.
In 1965, a one-man exhibit of his work for Clairtone was held. In 1968, his award-winning book designs became part of the Leipzig Collection. Other awards include exhibition design for Olivetti, Clairtone and Bowring—the work for Bowring receiving the Chairman’s Award of Excellence for Design management from the National Design Council of Canada—and awards for annual reports, newspaper and magazine design.
His work for international clients took him to many exotic places, hence the name of his communications company Unimundus International Projects, Toronto, in which he was a partner and creative head for over a decade.
Davies became a founding member of the Canadian Resort Development Association (signatory to the multinational Global Alliance for Timeshare Excellence) and currently edits Resort Report. He promotes tourism, Canada’s number one industry, as a contributor to world peace.
Frank Davies’ work is featured at the Design Centre in Toronto.