Vancouver Island
photo by Emrys Damon CGD

Remembering Diane Weatherby & Doug Bobolo

In recent months we said goodbye to two of Victoria's early graphic designers, important friends of our community.

Diane Lynn Weatherby, 1960–2017

Diane was my beloved sister-in-law, friend, and longtime design colleague and co-consiprator. Born in Lodi, California, she was raised on the family ranch in Wallace, a foothills town named for her maternal great grandfather. After high school, she studied design — including a practicum with me at Silk Questo Design in 1981 — and graduated with a BFA from University of the Pacific in Stockton. Diane fell in love with BC and immigrated to Canada in 1983 to join SQD with her husband Steve, settling near our farm on Salt Spring Island. 

In those days, when life was simpler and computers had not yet revolutionized graphics, SQD was located in rural North Saanich in a converted barn overlooking Victoria Airport and had its own vegetable garden, which the designers would take turns watering. It was still a pioneering time in the profession, and we often had to explain what “graphic design” was. “You mean like commercial art?” people would say. Well, kinda.

For Diane, it was a calling — and a lifestyle. We always counted ourselves lucky to be doing the most fun thing in the world and actually getting paid for it. She earned her design chops on the bread-and-butter projects of the era: brochures, menus, newsletters, visual identities, posters, and our own award-winning but short-lived publishing venture, Wildlife Review magazine.

In 1989, SQD migrated to downtown Victoria, moved into the Malahat Building on Wharf Street, and rebranded as The Malahat Group. Diane was in her heyday there, a gifted graphic designer who brought her creative talents to every aspect of life. In the 14 years she spent at Malahat, she won many awards for design and art direction. Among her many credits was the visual identity program for the 1994 Commonwealth Games. She won the respect and affection of both her peers and her clients.

But it wasn’t all work. There was lots of play. Diane was an enthusiastic event organizer, bringing her organizational skills and sense of fun to many memorable Malahat parties, and co-producing one of the most gala GDC Victoria Awards nights, patterned after the Lotus Awards. She was a born cheerleader who could turn any occasion into a party.

After the birth of sons Eric (1996) and Thomas (1998), Diane established her own successful practice, Diane Weatherby Design, on Salt Spring Island, where she continued to grow as a creative director for clients from Salt Spring to Nunavut.

As a single mom after she and Steve separated in 1999, Diane devoted much of her boundless energy to family, making a happy and supportive home for her growing boys. A basketball lover since her high school days, she became well known on Salt Spring as a popular and enthusiastic basketball coach who led her teams to many victories. Basketball was a family affair for the Weatherbys. Diane loved her teams and they loved her back. She was especially proud of her athletically talented sons. 

Diane will be dearly missed by her devoted family and many friends. She was a force of nature who touched many lives, and we are so grateful to have known her, laughed with her, and loved her. 


Written by Silk Questo, Malahat Group alumna, former GDC member, second career fiction writer.

 


 

Doug Bobolo, 1947–2016

A native of Dundas, Ontario, and formally trained in the Graphic Arts at the Ontario College of Art when it was still known as Commercial Art, Doug began his career at a Toronto advertising agency. He moved to Victoria, via Calgary, in 1972 to become the in-house Graphic Designer for Fleming Printing, which at the time was the major printer on Vancouver Island. In 1981, he helped establish Alston Graphics as a new division of Fleming Printing. Alston was a design and typesetting house (yes typesetting!) and as Creative Director, Doug influenced the design of thousands of brochures and rack cards amongst other print related materials. 

Eventually, Doug teamed with Ken Seabrook and under the banner of Seabrook & Bobolo he progressed into the world of advertising and corporate identity packages — even pioneering the use of the much more expensive Apple computers in Victoria. Still later, as Bobolo Design Group, Doug and his team of designers added web site design and social media to their repertoire. Through it all, Doug advanced his creative and system design skills — purchasing, linking and resuscitating many Macs and Epson wide format printers. 

His clients were many, loyal and longstanding and though he was never one for the limelight, his commitment to the advancement of graphic design and his support in the early days of the fledging GDC Vancouver Island Chapter was instrumental in its formation. A true gentleman, Doug was well respected in the local design community and is survived by Elaine, son Greg (Pam), granddaughter Haley Isabella, father Roy, sister Gina (Tim), niece Terry and nephews Jason and Tom.

I was proud to call Doug a friend, colleague and collaborator — he will be forever missed!  


Written by Michael Marshall CGD FGDC, Member GDC Vancouver Island Chapter.