Back to basics
Work and information


An endless obsession with problem solving, fostering collaboration, an accute eye for details and design that truly matters. A modernist creative and driven entrepreneur who specializes in strategic brand development, identities, editorial design & publications, packaging, art direction and creative direction since 2007. Making work that’s timeless and modern with a classic aesthetic based on simplicity, minimalism and uncompromising clarity. As human beings, we are almost never defined by one thing. I am a father, a thinker, an entrepreneur, a designer, a photographer and an educator with a lifetime of diverse experiences. Embracing those differences is what allows me to bring my own unique perspective to every project I undertake.


No longer the simple link between those who make and those who buy, design is so much more than solving communication problems. Best described by Tim Brown, Chair & co-CEO of IDEO: ‘Design is to translate observations into insight and insights into products and services that will improve lives’. Back to basics is my design ethos: an ethos meant to act as a bridge. A bridge between strategy and design, between how something works and how it feels, between a brands core purpose and the brands human expression.

Spread joy
Do no harm
Make it better
Be kind

Welcome the unknown
People first
Share the story
Sweat the small stuff

Project enquires

Back to basics
Johnny Macri
+1 438 838 1672


5506 1re avenue
Montréal, Qc

H1Y 3A1


Work experience
Dare to be made™
Creative Director & Founder
Montréal Qc, 2018 — present

Notable clients: nformal, Goose Island Beer Co., Santoro, Northstone, OFFF Festival, Centre Rockland, Kiki de Montparnasse, New Balance
Cirque du Soleil™
Creative Director, Global Marketing
Montréal Qc, 2007 — 2018
Notable clients: All touring and resident shows worldwide including Toruk, The first flight, Joya, Riviera Maya, Kurios

Creative Director, Packaging & merchandising
Montréal Qc, 2015 — 2017
Notable clients: All house brands & licenses worldwide including Mega Brands, Mega Bloks, First Builders, Mattel

Co-creative Director
Montréal Qc, 2014
Notable clients: Baxter of California, Sensation Mode, Montreal Museum of Fine Art

Sid Lee
Creative Director
Toronto On, 2012 — 2014
Notable clients: Sportchek, Marshalls, Stylesense, Red Bull, Dell Global

Orange Tango
Design director
Montréal Qc, 2011 — 2012
Notable clients: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée McCord, McGill University

Sid Lee
Art director
Montréal Qc, 2008 — 2011
Notable clients: SAQ, Cirque du Soleil, Rona

Speaking engagements
‘Mystery’ A creative process
Creative morning, Montréal Qc
The fear of not having all the answers often paralyses the creative process. This lecture focuses on embracing the unknown and using it to fuel unchartered creativity.

‘Design culture and process’
OFFF Festival, Montréal Qc
Design culture and it’s effect on the creative process. The importance of a linear process while embracing organic creative thinking.

‘18 Months later — The Birth of Sid Lee Architecture’
Various, Montréal Qc
An investigation into graphic design in public spaces and it’s effect on the human experience.

‘Moving backwards’, Part 2

Workshops, Montréal Qc
(01) Drawing
(02) Designing with colour
(03) Basics in typography
(04) Space and form

‘Moving backwards’, Part 1
Lecture series, Montréal Qc
Set in the medieval historic city of Basel in Switzerland and under the guidance and masterful talents of internationnally recognized designers such as Wolfgang Weingart, Peter Olpe, Dorothea Flury and Stephen Primus. A new perspective emerged on the basics in design principles reinforcing the importance of studying and understanding shape, line, form, space and colour.

Professional affiliations
Adobe Design Achievement Awards
San Francisco, CA 2017
Judge, design and photography

Adobe Design Mentorship Program
San Francisco, CA 2017 — Present
Mentor, strategy and design

ALO, Dawson College Graphic Design Alumni Assc.
Montréal, Qc 2007 — 2018
Serving on the board of directors
Executive committee

Societe des designers graphiques du Quebec
Montréal, Qc 2009 — 2012
Serving on the board of directors
Executive committee

Dawson College Graphic Design department
Montréal, Qc 2016 — present
Faculty member
Packaging design
student access →
Professional graphic design practice I
student access →

Leadership programs
Cirque du Soleil
Montréal, Qc 2017
Coaching and leadership skills program

El Segundo, CA 2016
Coaching and leadership skills program

Sid Lee
Montréal, Qc and Toronto, On 2013
Coaching and leadership skills program

VCU Brand centre
Virginia, USA 2012
‘Art of the pitch’ presentation skills workshop

Design programs
Basel School of Design
Basel, Switzerland 2008
Design and typography
Under the teaching guidance of Wolfgang Weingart regarded as the ‘enfant terrible’ of modern swiss typography.