Born: May 16, 1930
Location: Southampton, England
St. Martin’s School of Art, London (1954—1957)
Dolan, Ducker, Whitcombe & Stewart, London (1957—1959)
International Newspapers, London (1959—1960)
Anthony Hobbs Design, London (1960—1965)
Hathaway Templeton, Toronto (1965—1966)
Opus International, Toronto (1966—1967)
Anderson & Hiller, Toronto (1967—1968)
Girard, Bruce & Associates, Montréal (1968—1973)
Perception Design, Montréal (1974—1997)
Member, National Excecutive, (GDC) Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (1969)
Member, Ethics Committee, (SGQ) La Société des Graphistes du Québec. (1970)
Member, Fine Arts Committe, Concordia University, Montréal
Member, Board of Directors, Visual Arts Centre, Montréal
Member, Arts Selection Committee, City of Westmount
Hornsey College of Art, London (1962—1963)
Bath College of Art, Bath (1963—1964)
Dawson College, Montréal (1973—1997)
Concordia University, Montréal (1985)
Dayton Art Insitute, Dayton, Ohio (1974)
Anthony Hobbs was born in Southampton England in 1930. Unable to follow his dream to art school, he began a career as an apprentice chef, with a view to having his own restaurant, working in London, France, Switzerland and aboard the Queen Elizabeth. Then, in 1954, he reverted to his first love and enrolled at St Martin’s School of Art in London to study Painting. Soon after starting the course he switched to study Design and Illustration.
Early influences were the designers that had risen to prominence through 1951’s seminal Festival of Britain, including Abram Games, Tom Eckersely and FHK Henrion. At the same time a new wave of young designers such as Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes and Ken Garland were starting to make their mark having graduated from London’s Central School of Art.
Anthony’s own graduation from St Martin’s in 1957 led to three years spent working in advertising, after which he formed his own agency, Anthony Hobbs Design, which he ran successfully between 1960 and 1965.
In 1965 Anthony took the decision to leave England and move to Canada. On arrival in Toronto he was fortunate to meet Hugh Spencer, the designer of Clairtone’s iconic ‘Project G’ stereo system. Hugh introduced Anthony to Toronto’s design community, and these introductions led to offers of employment at two of the city’s top design firms — Stewart and Morrison (under Hans Kleefeld) and Hathaway Templeton (under Don Watt). Hobbs accepts the position at Hathaway Templeton.
The next 3 years were spent working in Toronto, at Hathaway Templeton, Opus International and then Anderson & Hiller. Then, in 1968 with England calling in the background, Hobbs receives an offer in Montréal as design director at Girard, Bruce and Associates, where he quickly rose first to senior partner and eventually president. Montréal was fast building its reputation as a creative center, and Hobbs became a leading practitioner at that critical time, alongside the likes of Ernst Roch, Rolf Harder and Fritz Gottschalk.
“There was, at that time,” Anthony said, “a way of doing things that delighted me in Montréal. A much more European mentality, where the ideas came first”
In 1973 the partnership at Girard, Bruce and Associates was dissolved and Anthony founded Perception Design. The name Perception was chosen for its ability to communicate in both English and French. At this time, it was a unique, and at times limiting situation being an ‘Anglo’ in Quebec.
“I came to Montréal at a turning point just after the 1967 world fair, the local designers were mainly European, the GDC was limited to a very few members here, a fairly close knit group. When the SGQ formed, Rolf Harder and I went to Ottawa to try to amalgamate the two societies, however at that time it was not politically acceptable.”
It was also in 1973 that Anthony resumed another major part of this career, as a design educator, something he would go on to do for some 25 years. He started as a part time lecturer at Dawson College in Montréal, and the following year became a visiting lecturer at Montréal’s Concordia University and the Dayton Art Institute, Ohio.
Perception Design enjoyed a progressive business model. Hobbs was lead practitioner, ably supported by former students that he mentored and instructed while teaching at Dawson College. This way he could still deliver larger projects, while at the same time controlling the creative output and avoiding the burden of running a larger firm.
Notable projects completed during Anthony’s career include the complete corporate identity system for Voyageur Bus Line and the application of the directional signage to all the stadiums for the 1976 Montréal Summer Olympic Games, as well as work for Unity Bank, Delisle Yoghurt, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Laser Sailboats, as well as numerous postage stamps for Canada Post. He is a past member of the National Executive of The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada and past member of La Société des Graphistes du Québec which included roles on the ethics and design selection committees, as well as design programmes for various exhibitions.
Anthony’s lifelong love of painting has, since 1997, been his chief vocation, and his work has been exhibited widely. A retrospective exhibition of his work in 2013 revealed an artist who has honed his craft over the years, as his work transitioned from figurative to more abstract work, encompassing oils, watercolours and even digital images. Anthony still lives in Montréal with his wife Nicole.
Anthony Hobbs For support, co-operation, conversations and donations.