Having already seen (and enjoyed greatly) the new David Shrigley exhibition Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery, we were delighted to get our hands on a copy of the catalogue. A really well-gauged book from the guys at Inventory which uses some straight-faced design to deliver the macabre and surreal humour of Shrigley’s work perfectly. We spoke to them about this project, which is just one of a mighty update to their site…
What can you tell us about the design process for this book in terms of pitching etc? And were you working closely with David Shrigley on it?
There have been a lot of books about and by David Shrigley and this brief requested suggestions to distinguish this book from the others out there – “the more outlandish the ideas, the better.” We actually felt from the start that presenting David’s work within a formal framework would heighten the brilliant humour of the content.
That said we did play with some subtleties of typography, typeface choice and layout which hinted toward the dark humour of some of the content. We defined our concept for the book as “a book about David rather than by David.”
This meant that other than the small task of producing all of the work for the book, David was reasonably hands off. When we approached the cover design we had many discussions about the options and suggested a 7" picture disc with two specially recorded tracks. This picture disc is housed in its own screen printed clear sleeve that comes affixed to the cover and provides the logotype for the book but can be removed, providing a book an art edition attached.
We were very lucky to work with a great team at the Hayward and it was one of the most smooth running and most rewarding book projects we have ever worked on.
Is this art book and a number other new pieces of work from your update that see you working with artists and galleries the sorts of design you hope to be doing more of in the future?
We love working closely with galleries and artists, or anybody who is creative/passionate for that matter. We are lucky enough to work with clients who represent fantastic artists and really see the design process as a collaboration as opposed to a service. We always try to maintain variety in our work, not relying on a “house style” and this is also true also of who we choose to work with.
We work with both cultural and commercial clients and see both as rewarding challenges –if the problem is interesting the work will be too; it is simply the audience that is different.
What do you guys consider you favourite project to date?
Again this very much ties in to the previous question. We enjoy the challenge of the new and make sure our solutions are always directly relevant to the brief and not to current graphic design trend or traditional values. Variety is what we thrive on, so picking a favourite project is almost impossible.
Having said that we love the recent Shrigley book and picture disc, the scale of the Puma "Pop-Out’ Truck we worked on last summer and top secret record label rebrand we’ve just embarked on.
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- Brooklyn-based illustrator Aaron Fernandez’s fluorescent editorial commissions
- London-based designer Laura Jouan’s well-considered, monochrome portfolio
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- Discussing cinema with Laura Marling on her directorial debut, Soothing
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- Richard Sandler’s street photography conveys the intricacies of city life
- A "stress opus" from cartoonist Nadine Redlich