Dave Mason

Dave spearheaded the GDC’s efforts to present an elevated, credible, and cohesive message about the value of design to business, government, and the broader public helped shape his approach to the business of design.

Dave Mason was born in a tiny village outside Coventry, England. His family immigrated to Montreal in 1967 and eventually settled in Vancouver in 1970.

He found his way to a career in design through a combination of genetics — innate abilities to draw, think creatively / analytically, and to pay attention to details likely inherited from his aeronautical engineer father — and accident — a chance meeting with a friend of a friend who shared some of his work as a graphic design student. Dave’s formal design education began at Kwantlen College (now Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and continues to this day.

Taking the sage advice of his then future wife, he formed Vancouver-based Dave Mason & Associates Inc. (he had zero associates at the time!) immediately upon college graduation in 1982. Working first as an illustrator / retoucher, Dave ultimately moved into the field of corporate communications design, where his work gained attention in the business and design communities in both Canada and the US.

In 1993 he was invited to sit on the advisory board of a US paper company, an experience that connected him with Greg and Pat Samata, accomplished and respected designers based in West Dundee, Illinois. Following two years of friendly harassment / persuasion, Dave relocated his young family to Chicago to establish SamataMason Inc. From its offices in Vancouver and West Dundee, the firm became synonymous with excellence in corporate communications design through its work for an international clientele that included Tupperware, Intrawest, Petro-Canada, Swiss Army Brands, BC Telecom, Whirlpool, Finning, Sesame Workshop, The PGA Tour, QLT, and NCR. 

Following the 14 year overnight success of OpinionLab — a voice of customer software platform Dave co-founded in 1998 — he co-founded Multiple Inc., a multidisciplinary design firm that continues to meet challenges related to identity and brand, corporate communications, human resources, marketing, and innovation for clients ranging from start-ups and not-for-profits to some of the world’s most admired organizations.

Honored for excellence in numerous design publications and competitions, Dave’s design work has appeared in Communication ArtsThe Mead Annual Report ShowAR100 Annual Report ShowGraphisApplied ArtsAIGA 365GraphexHowStep, and Designer’s Workshop Japan, and has been exhibited at The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany. He has served as a juror for many international competitions including Communication Arts Design AnnualThe Mead Annual Report ShowAR 100 Annual Report Show, the Taiwan International Poster Competition and Applied Arts, and he has served as a guest speaker at numerous design and business schools, conferences, and events throughout Canada, the United States, and Asia.

Beyond his work in design, and in addition to OpinionLab (acquired by Verint / NASDAQ: VRNT), Dave also co-founded Cusp Conference LLC, a Chicago-based conference about ‘the design of everything’, and PowerPlayer Inc., a communication and feedback platform designed primarily for the youth sports market. And in his spare time, he is the author of two historical fiction novels — Between the Clouds and the River (July 2024) and EO-N (October 2020). EO-N has been an Amazon bestseller in the United States, Canada, and Australia, is the recipient of more than twenty literary awards, and has been acquired for film and television.   

Dave became a member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in the early nineties, serving first as Events Coordinator and ultimately as President of the BC Chapter. The organization’s efforts to present an elevated, credible, and cohesive message about the value of design to business, government, and the broader public helped shape his approach to the business of design, and his experiences with the GDC were invaluable in connecting him to the design community across Canada, and eventually to peers in the United States and elsewhere.

Awarded Fellowship 2010