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Graphic Design

Graduates 2009: Gareth Horner

Posted by Alex Bec,

Gareth has a painfully bad fear of spiders and deep water, and rates Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ as the number 1 album in the world. What better grounding for a graphic designer entering the industry?

Clean, crisp, sharp work from a guy who’s ultimate goal is to stand on the moon. Read on for one interview that definitely isn’t just copied and pasted for the standard responses, but delivered with an honesty that can only make Gareth an even more attractive option for future employers.

Gareth Horner’s from Milton Keynes and studied at University College Falmouth. As well as a painfully bad fear of spiders and deep water he likes talking to people he doesn’t know on the phone and trying to be as nice as he can. Typography is king in all of his design work and takes at least ten photographs everyday.

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

I think during the early years of my life I wanted to be a fireman, which was unique. Then around the age of maybe 8 or 9 I remember being sat eating breakfast and drawing the Frosties box in front of me. I was getting real detailed about it trying to get the type all right and the shading on Tony’s locks spot on. My Dad told me that I could do that sorta thing for a living, someone actually got paid to design a cereal boxes! I told my friends as school the next day that I was gonna design cereal boxes when I was older, which got me a massively lukewarm response. I later found out this ‘career’ was called Graphic Design.

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

Before coming down to Falmouth I did the ND Graphic Design course at Milton Keynes College. When I finished there I definitely had a very tight style going on with far too much Helvetica plastering my work. Many of the projects we were given in the first year were real experimental and pushed you to into thinking about attacking briefs from different angles. We had to make a head out of scrap we found for instance (!?). To answer the question — yes and no. I didn’t improve in terms of technical ability but did broaden my boundaries on how I explored Graphic Design.

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

I couldn’t do that. Personally for me, it’d be great to have a portfolio full of shit hot work to show, but I’d much rather talk about Graphic Design as a subject than try to wow you with how well I can produce visually appealing .ai (or .fhmx) files. If someone came to me with that question with the intention of fulfilling it I’d decline. One piece of work to sum up everything you are as a human and a designer is impossible. I’ve taken this question far too seriously.

If you had your own business, who would you employ and why?

I’d like to own a shop that specialises in rulers. I love a good ruler. I’d source the best ones from around the world, wall to wall ruling. All the bags would be thin and long. Receipts printed on paper rules, £1 per centimeter. The more you spend, the longer the receipt. Employees would be chosen on their ability to measure.

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

On the day of our hand in my flat mate Tom and I were at home rushing getting our work ready to put up in the studio in time for the 4pm deadline. We needed a taxi to get all the work up there, so Tom runs down to the cashpoint to get money out, comes back 5 minutes later telling me he’s out of cash. So I rush down, and it’s the same deal! The worst thing is I probably spent the very last few pounds on Pro Plus, which makes me sad. I’d planned to buy myself some new socks after finishing.

Where will we find you in 12 months?

I wish I could tell you. The world’s changed so much since I started University in 2006. I always wanted to work for tDR, even if only for a few weeks. I wanted to see inside. That’s not gonna happen now. The media’s telling soon-to-be graduates that they should get outta the country and find work abroad. You’ve got big time designers telling students to leave the industry alone for a while. So many mixed messages being thrown from all angles right now. I’d like you to find me doing something I love.

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Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

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