What first made you interested in graphic design?
I've always been a creative-minded person from an early age so it was almost a natural progression for me to go into the creative industry. At that time I was already creating my own CD covers and posters so Graphic Design seemed like the right choice, and as kid who wouldn't like having their work potentially being seen by millions of people?!
How would you describe your work? What has been your favourite project to work on?
I'd describe my work as having a contemporary style with a modernistic approach to thinking. Behind all my work is a concept – idea driven design that usually manifests itself in an aesthetically clean way. My favourite project, and the one that highlights this style most is probably the vinyl cover for Soundtrack to a Catastrophic World. Its content is a selection of different transmissions and noise patterns and I wanted to show this through design somehow. The moire effect represents the tuning of a radio and the custom typeface is loosely based on Morse code. It took a lot of experimentation to get right but I'm really happy with the end result.
How do you find a concept for a project to be based on? Is that something that a client can articulate, or do you have to work with them to find it?
This usually comes from research and development after meeting with a client. Views and thoughts are shared throughout the process so that they aren't kept in the dark. So far the clients I've had have been great in allowing time for experimenting with ideas - something that projects like Catastrophic World are a key aspect in order to find the right solution.
What does your workspace look like?
Nothing out of the ordinary - just a mac and desk at home. At this moment in time it's all I really need. In the future I'll hopefully look to rent studio space.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
I wouldn't say there was one particular influence on my work, but Dieter Rams' 10 principles to good design are like a check list for each project. Even though he's a product designer, his ideals can work throughout the creative arts.
Is there anything that you would like to say to student designers?
Apart from the usual work hard stuff, I'd say that joining Twitter and following designers/studios that you like is a great way of getting an insight into how the industry works and helps keep you in the loop while studying.
John describes this project as a celebration of collaboration. I find it entertaining to say these words very fast, and I like the way it functions, with pieces coming apart and reveling different parts of the message that he's conveying. You can see more pictures of it here.
I was really interested when John said that he uses Dieter Rams' Ten Principles for Good Design as a checklist for his design products. I sometimes hear about designers crossing over in disciplines when they look for inspiration, but I would think of the Ten Principles as guidance, more than inspiration. I had never actually seen a list of the principles either, just heard them referenced once or twice.
Because you were curious, good design..
Makes a product useful
Makes a product understandable
Is thorough down to the last detail
Is environmentally friendly
Is as little design as possible
I can get behind all of these ideas, and even though they're written by and industrial designer, they can apply to all kinds of design.
What do you think? Do you take inspiration or guidance from other disciplines? Do you think that learning from other types of designers and artists can improve your work?