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Jeremy Tankard Trilogy Font Collection

Ten Year Itch
House 33
Berthold Types
Darren Scott
Wiescher Design
An interview with Rian Hughes
A brief interview with Device guru Rian Hughes
Interview by Die Gestalten, publishers of "Device: Art, Commercial".


What would you call your major influences? Whom or what do you admire?


Jean Carlu, Casandre, Serge Clerc, Ever Meulen, Fortunato Depero, Roger Excoffon, Syd Mead...


Where would you place the boundaries between pastiche and original design (generally and in reference to your own output)?


The above influences filter through more in terms of a way of thinking and a general facility with composition and colour. My interests are their interests. I endeavour to go back to first principles. Certain of my stylistic quirks and subject matter have been picked up by others, more so since I started using Adobe Illustrator, which very much lent itself to a developement of my pre-digital approach - flat colour, angular line. Outright pastiche is somewhat lazy. A "hommage" (such as my hommage to Trechikoff, in the book) rely on people being familiar with the original work, and quote it as subject matter rather than stylistically.


Was there a specific style or incident to kickstart your interest in classic 50-70s poster design?


I think that being exposed to a whole range of material one will naturally gravitate to work that has an affinity with one's own approach and interests. European comics, with their more developed design sensibility, were also an influence, as was an early Letraset catalogue - that got me interested in typography at a very early age. My father was an architect and had them around his studio.


There is a strong interior design theme in your work. Have you always been fascinated by products and product design?


Again, the European comic sensibility was an influence here. Look at the attention to interiors, especially modern ones, in the work of Franquin or Herg. In the Science Service, my first album for a European publisher, the main action takes place around the anniversary of the Festival of Britain; this gave me a chance to work in some classic furniture and architectural forms. As a child I was entranced by the Hoover Building, Wallace, Gilbert and parners' classic Art Deco masterpiece, which is very near where I grew up. It had an optimistic sci-fi angularity that stayed with me.


What range do you cover in your work / with your projects (range of media/clients/styles)?


Everything from product design, graphic desoign, comics, typography, shirts, games, animation... you name it, I'll give it a go. I tried ceramics last year...


Do you regard yourself as an artist? How do you create freedom in your commissioned work?


I have the approach of an artist working in the commercial arena. This is why the book is called "Art, Commercial" - "Commercial Art" was the term for Graphic Design before Graphic Design was coined. "Commercial Artists" were illustrators, typographers, designers... they were adept at the whole range. "Art" and "Commercial" wedded together, no questions asked. The ideal position is to encourage clients who are more like patrons, and treat you as a creative person rather than a technical facilitator.


Please describe the idea behind this publication. If you had to explain it to a stranger - how would you do this in a sentence?


Rian Hughes' Greatest Hits, Volume 1


How does the accompanying CD supplement the book?


There is a selection of Device fonts and an exclusive dingbats font available nowhere else.


Where would you like to go from here? Any projects/collaborations you have always wanted to tackle?


I would like to tackle an animated project other than the ads I've been doing - something like South Park. Something with more authorial control. Then I would design the toys, the shirts, all the merchandise....


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