Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Words With Graphic Designer Christopher Harrell


Cairo is excited to feature work by artist and graphic designer Christopher Harrell, opening on June 14th!



A motion designer for World Famous by day, Harrell has been exploring other mediums in his spare time, including woodblock printing, sculpture, and typography. "Last Words" is a show featuring typographic prints of the last words of the artist's favorite books, and will be on display for the month of June here at CAIRO. 

Christopher stopped by yesterday to answer a few questions regarding his inspirations for this show, the origins of his work with woodblock printing, and his current favorite tunes. Read on!


The interview: 

Tell me about your show, Last Words.
Well, the idea was to take the last sentences from books that I loved, or have been instrumental in my past, and turn those into typography pieces. I wanted to turn those words into designs based on artistic elements in the books, and as well as find a way to make the words look interesting on their own.

How did you learn to woodblock print?
I have always been interested in different types of printing, especially screen-printing. I do graphic design as a profession, and there is such is such a history in woodblock printing and typography in graphic design, so i wanted to learn the roots of what I do for work on the computer. So I started taking classes at School of Visual Communications to learn.

Tell me a little about the work you do as a professional.
I am a motion designer at World Famous, which means I do all sorts of design and animation. I do a lot of things based around typography, and designing the looks and feels of video. But I really love typography and graphic design in general, so that is what I do in my own work.

Biggest inspirations for the show?
There are some really amazing artists that work just with type, like Lawrence Weiner and Jenny Holzer. I've always been really interested in the fine arts that mix elements of graphic design. I'm really into artists that take words out of context.

What are some of your inspirations from life, other than artists and methods?
Well, there are words everywhere. Words are always inspiring me, or bothering me, in the way they are laid out. The type or work I do breeds a lot of obsessive-compulsive disorders, so I am always trying to adjust things.

How would you describe your personal artistic style?
That’s hard to describe, but there is certainly a palette that I always use. I like a lot of pastels and obnoxious colors. I think most of my work is fairly influenced by art and design that came out of the sixties: some of it has a Swiss International style and some of it has more of a French New Wave style.

What are you listening right now?
I've had Damien Jurado on repeat lately, and I just started listening to Mariee Sioux. I like trippy folk music. ASAP Rocky just came out with a new single that I've been listening to. Bryan John Appleby is in fairly constant play. It tends to be people I know most of the time. Also, I really like Youth Lagoon.

What are you the most proud of in your work at the moment?
Working with type in the design world is so intimidating; people treat it like such a holy thing you know, and I’m stoked that I’ve been able to become comfortable with it. A person I print with at SVC recently called me a typographer, and I realized that I am kind of am a typographer. So I am proud that I am comfortable with this new medium.

Where can I find your work?
I just did new show posters for Lemolo and Bryan John Appleby. A team of us at work did the SIFF poster, which is going to be in the new edition of Communication Arts. And next week World Famous is going to start shooting for Capitol Hill Block Party.

What is next for you?
I have been thinking a lot about 3D printing and sculpting, and taking a break from posters, but, of course, there is never enough time.


Many thanks to Christopher to stopping by, and we hope to see you all on THURSDAY, JUNE 14th for the opening, 7-9 PM!

2 comments:

Hel and End and Hol said...

Compelling stuff! Hell of an interview.

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