The Ville de Montréal, the Société des designers graphiques du Québec (SDGQ) and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) announced the creation of the Prix Frédéric-Metz during last night’s Prix Commerce Design Montréal Awards presentation at St. James United Church.
Frédéric Metz (1944–2014) was a defining figure in design in Québec. A professor at UQAM’s École de design, member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and recipient of the prestigious Icograda Achievement Award from the International Council of Communication Design (Icograda), he spent 15 years directing the university’s undergraduate graphic arts program and worked collaboratively on the creation of UQAM’s Centre de design and École supérieure de mode.
“The design community has lost a great teacher, excellent communicator and passionate advocate for quality design. This award pays tribute to a great Montrealer for his outstanding contribution to the metropolis and his influence on the international scene,” says Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre.
“Frédéric Metz was charismatic. He had an effect on everyone. Above all though, he knew how to communicate his passion to his students and motivate them to push the limits,” says Louise Poissant, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UQAM.
The Prix Frédéric-Metz is part of Commerce Design Montréal, a program that was especially dear to Metz’s heart and in which he collaborated for many years. The award recognizes a business from among the winners of the 20 jury awards, whose design concept (interior, graphic) is seamlessly integrated, inspiring and efficient and, to quote Metz, “makes life easier, elevates beauty, function and meaning, facilitates experience, and brings added value to daily life.” This award, which reflects the vibrant personality of Metz, will be presented to the owner, designer and graphic designer of the winning business during a special ceremony on September 14.
A video has been produced for the occasion by Gabriel Lajournade and Amélia Blondin, two graduating students in the communication arts program at UQAM, under the direction of Philippe Lamarre, the outgoing president of the Société des designers graphiques du Québec. In it, Metz’s closest collaborators and friends speak of their friendship and admiration for his work and the legacy he left for future generations. See the tribute here.
Lamarre was a student of Metz, and he recalls how Metz encouraged his students to question the relevance of human actions and to look at things coherently. “His greatest achievement was training hundreds of graphic designers who are today’s leaders in their field,” says Lamarre.