• Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_01
  • Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_02
  • Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_03
  • Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_04
  • Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_05
  • Andrewlister_crimsonhexagon_06
  • Andrewlister_bergmanesque_01
  • Andrewlister_bergmanesque_02
  • Andrewlister_bergmanesque_03
  • Andrewlister_octopus_01
  • Andrewlister_octopus_02
Graphic Design

Graduates 2010: Andrew Lister

Posted by Will Hudson,

Today’s graduate, Andrew Lister has spent the last three years at Northumbria University studying graphic design. To summarize his approach to design he quotes Buckminster Fuller, “When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

A fan of the films of Woody Allen, the documentaries of Werner Herzog and the comedy stylings of Alan Partridge Andrew heads across the Atlantic next year to begin the MFA Graphic design program at Yale.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I never really had dreams of being an astronaut or anything particularly groundbreaking. Being in a half-decent band or the time-honoured cliche of owning a record shop was always an aspiration and for a long time I wanted to be a music journalist. I think the idea of being paid to listen to music and go to gigs was pretty appealing but the whole thing seemed very fickle.

In reflection, how bad was your work in the first year?

First year was a slightly weird one for me, in that I actually had two. I initially started a broad-ranging BA Design degree at Goldsmiths, decided it wasn’t for me and started again at Northumbria. Work from my first year at Goldsmiths was, looking back, not bad. A lot of unfinished, unrealised ideas, a couple of which i’d still like to revisit. That’s not to say that some of it wasn’t horrendous. My response to a brief that asked “what is the potential of a candle?” was just a mess. My first year at Northumbria was punctuated with projects that were more concerned with style than substance and some woeful attempts at illustration but there was a project that I played around with seed papers and cyanotype exposures that had some potential.

If you could show a piece of your folio to one person, what piece would you choose, and who would you show it to?

Definitely the collaborative Crimson Hexagon publication that I worked on with Matthew Stuart. It’s been my first foray into self-publishing and the first chance i’ve had to work with someone with similar views on design. The project has provided a platform for me to both write and design, giving equal importance to content and aesthetics. In terms of who I’d show it to, perhaps Karel Martens or Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt of Dexter Sinister.

If you had your own business, who would you share it with and why?

The guy that I collaborated with on Crimson Hexagon and I have talked about starting up a studio in a couple of years, so that’s an option. But I’d quite like to run a restaurant with Larry David in the meantime.

If you’ve got any left, what will you spend the last of your student loan on?

Any money I have left is going towards the move to America. Despite some financial assistance, it’s still going to work out pretty costly.

Where will we find you in 12 months?

By then I’ll have hopefully finished my first year at Yale and will still have another year to go. Maybe I’ll be taking a customary road trip across America for the summer.

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Main1_10.13.57

    Kit Russell’s Flatland poster isn’t just any old poster, oh no – it’s a poster that can be turned into a sphere. Or a sphere that can be turned into a poster. Recent illustration graduate Kit has also created a poster that morphs into a square, and the pair are an imaginative interaction with Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 novel Flatland. Subtitled A Romance of Many Dimensions and written under the pseudonym “A Square”, Abbott’s tale is a social satire commenting on the hierarchy of Victorian society. The narrator – a square – lives in a two-dimensional world where he is visited by a sphere and convinced of the existence of another world, a three-dimensional world. Sadly, no-one else in Flatland will believe Spaceland exists and Square is ignobly dunked in the slammer. Lewis Carroll meets M.C. Escher and the Mr Men, if you will.

  2. Feixen-list

    It’s been almost two years since we officially checked in with Swiss poster maestro Felix Pfäffli – although of course we’ve been keeping an eye on a few of his side projects and collaborations with his brother Mathis. As ever he’s kept up with the challenging task of delivering poster after glorious poster for Südpol’s cultural events (every one’s a bloody winner) but he’s also branched out into educational activities in LA and started to experiment with moving type. His recent work for Wired shows his usual bold, graphic language translated into flowing organic forms, maintaining that trademark Feixen feel but through a dynamic moving medium.

  3. Main3

    An old soul such as myself appreciates when modern-day designers and illustrators go out of their way to make something look like it fell out of a cardboard box that hasn’t been opened since 1972. When I first came across SEEN I was convinced it was a whole group of people, but it turns out it’s just one really talented guy called Rob Carmichael. He alone is responsible for creating some of the best album artwork around at the moment.

  4. List

    I have heard it said that the New York graphic design scene is more splintered and less cohesive than its London counterpart, but the Image of The Studio initiative we covered last year was a fascinating way of bringing together more than 75 NYC studios to compare and contrast the way they each work. It also became a great resource to discover designers we didn’t know that much about, and with each studio commissioned to create something original that reflected their philosophy and aesthetic, it provided a great way into the New York scene.

  5. List

    German design studio Hort prides itself on being an “unconventional working environment” and a “place where work and play can be said in the same sentence.” In this video by Analog Mensch Digital, Hort’s much-loved creator Eike Konig talks about their work and ethos whilst rolling paint and printing a poster. The camera wanders about the studio past leaning bikes and big white desks, scrolling up bookcases and dwelling on the Anthony Burrill posters gracing the walls. Eike is always worth listening to, whether he’s musing on the differences between international and German clients, traditional and digital work and the morals of design. He says: “Visual language is a strong language. We have responsibility in the use of this power.”

  6. List

    It seems that Jacob Klein and Nathan Cowen are incapable of turning out a dud project. From their humble beginnings as a meticulously curated stream of stunning imagery to their present guise as multi-faceted design and art direction agency, the Haw-Lin boys just keep on coming up with the goods. This might not seem surprising to devotees of their original Haw-Lin blog, but it’s surprising how often arbiters of style lack substance. Not so for these boys; their fanatical eye for detail goes beyond simple aesthetic curation, extending into a portfolio of capsule collections for fashion brands, editorial shoots for the most erudite magazines and immaculate lookbooks that manage to add depth and pace to publications that can often be painfully bland.

  7. List

    I always think that creating the identity for a design conference is one of the most thankless commissions around – all those attendees ready, willing and able to offer informed and immediate feedback. So when we see it done well it only seems to right to give credit where it’s due, and Build did a fine job for this year’s TypeCon gathering.

  8. List_copy

    In the introduction to his exceptional new Erik Spiekermann monograph, Johannes Erler sums up “Spiekermann in two sentences” by way of this quotation: “I’m totally chaotic. I’m so untogether, my left leg doesn’t even know what my right leg is doing. I need order. I need systems. I don’t really do anything without a design grid.”

  9. List_2

    Their website is a combination of fluorescent colours, textures, media and effects so hectic that you can’t help but surrender yourself to it, but it’d be foolish to assume The Royal Studio’s design work is as chaotic as it appears. Behind the madness is a method which elevates their vibrant, contemporary design beyond the realms of trendy and into something actually very interesting, whether it’s an Honest Manifesto which claims that “everyone loves titles and captions” but they “don’t give a fuck about content” (repeated to fill) or a very well-executed poster advertising the studio’s 15-day tour around cities including Zagreb, Ljubljana, Dijon and Porto. The fact remains that Portugal-based Royal Studio are taking conventional graphic design and turning it on its head to see what happens, and we’re really enjoying admiring the results.

  10. List

    Of all the design disciplines, typography is almost certainly the least sexy. But Dan Rhatigan is one of the people who is able to talk about type in an engaging, and very human way. Earlier this year the Monotype type director worked with Grey London on Ryman Eco, described as “the world’s most beautiful sustainable font,” as it uses 33% less ink than the likes of Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia and Verdana.

  11. Tumblr_n4iq1a8swj1qdf776o1_1280

    Anyone you know a downright sourpuss? Treat ‘em to a link to work by Hungarian designer Anna Kövecses. Here at It’s Nice That we give high praise to work that is candy-coloured and cute – as long as it never falls under the tasselled umbrella of “twee.” Anna’s work is a perfect example of that as beneath the childish exterior lies a wealth of design knowledge and style.

  12. List

    In the year-and-a-half since we first featured Belgian designer Vincent Vrints on the site his fortunes have risen with the quality of his work. We were always enamoured with his canny ability to create aesthetically astounding imagery and merge it with equally appealing layouts, but he’s refined his process and embraced some new digital techniques resulting in a portfolio that floats between the retro and the ultra futuristic.

  13. Main8

    Google Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums and almost every book cover design that appears either depicts someone hitchhiking or it has the aesthetic of a grotty travel diary of someone who’s been “finding themselves” along a motorway for a month or two too long. Kerouac’s novels don’t even need covers, right? They’re stand-alone pieces of literary genius. Big applause is needed then for Copenhagen designer Torsten Lindsø Andersen who has taken the rulebook of second-rate Kerouac book design and thrown it out the train window on to the track where it belongs. These ambient, sterile designs he’s proposed for the author’s back catalogue are the perfect fit to the words within: weird, unpredictable, drunk and unique.