Metrographics is a small but mighty design and advertising studio, where graphic design and fine art each hold an integral role and “have something to say”. Founded in 1981 by Doug Driediger and John Twaddle, Metrographics is a vibrant combo of artistic vision and communications savvy.
We checked in with Doug for a little meet-and-greet to get to know him and the work he does at Metrographics alongside his business partner, John Twaddle.
Q: What is your and your businesses partner’s background in a nutshell?
A: Mine is some schooling at ACAD, with additional juried memberships into the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, and the Graphic Designer of Canada. John’s background is business from the University of Calgary, Communications from Mount Royal University, and further training in marketing and social media.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: Metro is known for fine-art problem-solving. Our clients range from Parks Canada to Alberta Health Services to not-for-profits and a local distillery. They all appreciate our thoughtful, experienced, highly engaged approach. This means client-specific, refined solutions that often involve custom illustration and/or structural elements. Additionally, I maintain a personal art practice that often informs our commercial work – paintings are usually acrylics, and lately I have explored an interest in birds, specifically magpies, and often incorporate gold leaf.
Q: What’s integral to the work of an artist?
A: I’d say a belief in the value of the process. Not every day can be the ‘best’, but the commitment to keep thinking and working — respecting the process — is integral to a successful body of work. Steady production, and the value of reflection over a period of time, has refined my body of work into something I’m proud of.
Q: How does Calgary nature and support your work? And at the same time, are there obstacles to overcome working in Calgary, what are they?
A: I think Calgary’s entrepreneurial climate has always fostered a dynamic culture of ‘can-do-ness’ and candor: engaging with the business and the arts communities through honest, passionate dialogue has been supported and rewarded.
Q: What role does the artist have in society?
A: The artist has a hugely important role in society, even if society doesn’t always understand or recognize it. My firm has had many opportunities to contribute to local culture through public art making — when successful, this is community-building at its best — people engaging aesthetic statements that support, or challenge, or expand, their world view, promoting dialogue. Dialogue connects us and makes society stronger.
Q: What role does the creative sector play in Calgary – how does the creative sector nurture the city and play a part in its evolution?
A: Metro has a distinctive reputation for excellence in Calgary, completing literally thousands of projects for hundreds of clients. My extensive career in public art has similarly had a wide-reaching and transformative impact, delivering art to new audiences and turning cities into galleries. In both these paralleling careers I am committed to fostering vibrant, creative and connected communities.
Q: What will you bring to cSPACE and why do you feel it’s the right fit for you?
A: Metrographics represents the successful cross-fertilization of the traditional painter in studio with the ‘outside’ world of visual communications. Straddling both the commercial art and fine art camps, Metro provides answers to questions of sustainability of profession, as well as solutions for how to move artistic ideas forward into the public realm. This kind of expertise is shareable and enlarged through the sharing. As the founder and Creative Director of Metrographics, I look forward to the creative platform that cSPACE offers, that is providing an artistic hub where I can grow both my personal and professional careers while engaging with a high-impact community of like-minded creatives.