Enablers: Don Watt
Don Watt, founder/chairman/ CEO, DW+ Partners
To say that this Regina-born savant has a record of success is putting things lightly. Nestlé,
Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Loblaw are just the biggest of the big clients for which he’s crafted store and CPG designs while operating Don Watt + Associates, the company he founded in 1966.
And his numerous protégés, like Ed Shikatani, who worked with Watt and would later co-found Toronto shop Shikatani Lacroix Brandesign, are a testament to his influence.
Incidentally, Watt’s other design accomplishments include contributing to the composition of the Canadian flag 40 years ago. More recently, he was honoured by Harvard Business School for his innovative approaches to marketing and he has re-invigorated his career, while in his 60s no less, with the 2003 start-up of retail consultancy DW+ Partners.
‘Don Watt really brought the whole art of design to the forefront of marketing, and made people realize that it is a critical component of building brands. He was able to do that by basically taking no-name products, which were always perceived as cheap products of inferior quality, and elevating them to a stature that surpassed brand names in the marketplace.’
Lynda Torneck VP, ACLC, and award judging committee chairwoman