Graphic Thought Facility has long been at the forefront of British graphic design. Founded in 1990 by RCA graduates and close friends Andy Stevens and Paul Neale, it fast became one of the most influential design studios in the country, on a par with contemporaries like The Designers Republic, Research Studios and Barnbrook.
Where their contemporaries stood out for maintaining a signature graphic style, GTF defined themselves by avoiding stylistic repetition, approaching each new project with a holistic attitude and creating a unique visual language for every brief they took on. With a commercial portfolio of work for The Science Museum, Habitat, Marks & Spencer and Vitra amongst a whole host of others, this expansive approach to design has allowed GTF to segue easily between commercial and public sectors, producing work tailored specifically to their clients’ needs. At the same time they aim always to push the studio’s creative potential in order to produce work that’s as satisfying to the designers as it is to the consumers.
2012 has been a great year for the studio, with a number of hight profile projects occupying their time. Though they’ve produced the identity for the Frieze Art Fair for the past nine years, this year’s campaign raised the bar with some stunning choreographed daylight fireworks – easily one of our favourite projects of 2012. Working closely with photographer Angela Moore, the GTF team created a series of brightly coloured smoke plumes bursting across a deceptively blue autumnal sky.
Despite their undeniable gift for design, the studio’s output consists almost entirely of commercial briefs – a pretty classic design studio setup – with very little self-initiated work ever being published. At Here, Andy will discuss how GTF goes about finding the creative opportunities within these commercial projects to produce a body of work that pushes and pleases the studio whilst at the same time delivering work that clients are happy to pay for.
Here is at London’s Royal Geographical Society on Friday September 21. The event is now sold out but you can add yourself to the waiting list or get more information here.