Robert L. Peters

28 March 2014

Do not put the names of those you care about in a heart; place them in a circle. Hearts can be broken, but circles go on forever.

“Thought of the day” from Karen Ng-Hem, a young design intern from Toronto that we took in at Circle back in 2001.


24 March 2014

Dirty water. Bad branding.

(Yesterday was World Water Day. Will Novosedlik, a friend from Toronto, shared a piece from his blog with me, which I have re-posted below with permission. I have always found the issue of bottled water replacing tap water in the so-called “developed” world to be ludicrous).

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Water. Once it’s mined, shipped, packaged and merchandised, it’s more expensive than gasoline. And while we’re busy burning tonnes of fossil fuel to ship it across countries and continents, we’re also spending countless billions sending probes into outer space in search of more. Because where there’s water, there’s life. And where there’s life, there are markets and customers, right?

From Nestle Waters annual 265 million litre harvest of BC groundwater (cost to Nestle? $0) to Dasani being outed as marginally enhanced municipal tap water, some big brands are quietly draining the global well for private gain. And while they’re draining what most would consider a publicly shared asset, they’re not only depleting our H2O reserves, they’re also indirectly responsible for polluting the very same global resource with trillions of empty plastic containers.

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What we have here is branded planetary degradation. Not that brands playing havoc with natural resources is anything new (think bp in 2010), but the extent of this particular kind of cognitive dissonance—  i.e., the contradiction between brand image and actual experience— is off the charts. While ‘purity’ is the pitch, the stats tell a shockingly different story.

To manufacture and ship a one kilogram bottle of Fiji brand bottled water to the US, it takes 26.88 kilos (7.1   gallons) of water, 1 litre of fossil fuel, and it emits 1.2 lbs of greenhouse gas per litre along the way. Bottles used to package water take 1,000 years to biodegrade. Incinerating them produces toxic gases. It’s estimated that 80% of plastic water bottles end up in landfill instead of being recycled.  In the US, water bottle manufacturing requires 1.5 million barrels of oil annually. And 90% of manufacturing costs are for the bottle, the cap and the label.

Stats like these give the lie to the language used to sell these brands. Science has proven that tap water is not only just as clean, but much more rigorously and frequently tested for impurities. That explains why brands like Dasani just turn on the tap to fill their bottles. It’s why Aquafina can say “Purity Guaranteed.” Then they add a few nutrients and sell it back to us at an obscene markup.

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According to Dr. Michael Warhurst, Friends of the Earth‘s senior waste campaigner, bottled water “is another product we do not need. Bottled water companies are wasting resources and exacerbating climate change. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and transporting water adds to that. We could help reduce these damaging effects if we all simply drank water straight from the tap.”

It is a classic case of the devil chasing his own tail. The bottled water industry not only depletes an already available and fundamental resource, but its manufacturing and distribution are contributors to the climate change that is on track to drive more drought, greater environmental degradation and escalating conflict as parched populations fight over our most precious resource. It’s a lose-lose if ever there was one.

This is an opportunity for these brands to show some real leadership. They are global giants with the power and capacity to absorb the short term losses that would result from exiting the business. What they would gain is hero status for doing so. wn


19 March 2014

Evelin’s latest… (work in progress).

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Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

Ev’s working on some great new sculptures… here’s a teaser.


10 March 2014

If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.

Chief Dan George (1899-1981)

Thanks for the quote to my sistah/elder friend Alma Kakikepinace… she knew the good man in person.


9 March 2014

News Releases were sent out on Friday…

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Winnipeg, Canada

Circle has announced that it will be wrapping up day-to-day operations at its Princess Street studio in Winnipeg at the end of March, 2014. Circle will partner with Tétro Design Incorporated (Tétro) to ensure clients continuity of service and maintenance of the high quality design standards that they have come to expect.

Circle’s principal, Robert L. Peters, is stepping back from the full-time role he has held with Circle since its formation as Circle Graphics in 1976, 38 years ago. He will continue to act in a consulting and collaborative capacity through Tétro, while focusing more time on international design advocacy, writing and publishing, and personal creative projects. Senior designer Adrian Shum, who has worked at Circle since 2004, will join Tétro’s team. Carol MacKay, our beloved long-time coordinator and “house-mother,” is looking forward to retirement.

Tétro is an award-winning graphic design firm formed in Winnipeg in 1998 by husband and wife team Paul and Andrea Tétrault. Their stunning downtown office is located two blocks west of Circle in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. Tétro credits its success and reputation to “small-town good manners, hard work, good design, and great client relationships.”

Prior to forming Tétro, Andrea worked as a designer with Circle for five years in the mid 1990s. “In addition to our shared history, I believe we share a common ideology, which made this a natural fit for us,” Andrea explains. “We are honoured to be entrusted to carry on the work of a firm with such high credentials,” Paul adds. “This expansion will mean an increase in both capacity and expertise that will benefit our combined client base.”

Besides the standard-setting professionalism and best practices shared by Circle and Tétro, another common trait is their commitment to and ongoing investment in the design profession. Adrian Shum, a senior designer at Circle, is the current president of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Manitoba Chapter; Andrea Tetrault served as president from 1994-1996; and Robert L. Peters was the GDC Manitoba Chapter’s founding president from 1990-1992.

You can read or download Friday’s News Release (PDF) here.

For more information about Tétro visit www.tetrodesign.com 

To view Tétro’s offices, watch a Globe & Mail video online here.  

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6 March 2014

Air Inuit… as the goose flies.

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Nunavik, Quebec

Established in 1978 with a lone, single-engine De Havilland Beaver aircraft and collectively owned by the Inuit, who have occupied the territory for thousands of years, Air Inuit is the sole airline providing passenger, charter, cargo, and emergency air transport services to Quebec’s northernmost coastal communities known as Nunavik. Its small fleet of 26 airplanes is well known in the airline industry for having “one of the most enviable safety records in Canada” despite the “challenging and often hostile conditions” under which it operates. The new identity and liverywere designed by Montreal-based FEED in collaboration with brand consultant Marc-André Chaput.

The orange-and-white goose design was created to reflect the Inuit’s love and respect of nature and the abundant wildlife that have allowed its people to survive for thousands of years in one of the planet’s harshest environments. It was also intended to underscore the company’s distinctive corporate culture and bold new vision for the future which includes improving efficiency to cope with rising operating costs, the addition of new routes and specialized services, and a careful expansion into new markets…

Read more and see more of this outstanding re-brand at Brand New, here, where you can also see a “before and after” identity comparison.


6 February 2014

See you at the vernissage tomorrow?

Manitoba Craft Council vernissage

Winnipeg, Canada

Ev is showing two sculptural pieces. We’ll be there around five.


16 January 2014

Winnipeg welcomes native son Neil Young…

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Before the ‘Honor the Treaties’ concert in Winnipeg this evening, here’s what Neil and his righteous posse had to say…


12 January 2014

Neil Young… Honor the Treaties

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(cross-Canada tour)

Neil Young is touring across the country in support of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, raising funds to help the northern Alberta aboriginal band in their fight to preserve their land from oil sands development. The Canadian tour dates include: Jan. 12 Toronto, ON- Massey Hall; Jan. 16 Winnipeg, MB- Centennial Concert Hall; Jan. 17 Regina, SK- Conexus Arts Centre; and Jan. 19 Calgary, AB- Jack Singer Concert Hall.


28 December 2013

Awaiting Serendipity

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Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

Evelin Richter‘s latest commission, Awaiting Serendipity, was completed and delivered just in time for Christmas. The hand-built ceramic sculptural piece (345mm x 180mm x 435mm) is glazed in antique silver and includes an old hand drill, mounted on a wooden base.

You rock, Girlfriend!


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