• Andrew-duncan-hero

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Splitting the Atom (detail)

Graphic Design

The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan splits atoms on a photocopier and you're talking about the Higgs boson?

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

“I enjoy baffling people to see how far I can abstract an idea while still delivering its message” says Andrew Duncan, and by both counts the University of the West of England graphics graduate can declare his work as a delight and a success. Using widely unfathomable scientific notions as his subject matter, this designer utilises a universal language of “fun” and “funny” to create bold, graphic pieces of communication that the take form of posters, book works and animations.

Patterns, abstract shapes, overlays and codes – for Andrew these are not random, trendy graphic devices to be used simply for aesthetic effect; in his work communication is key, so adopting a symbolic vernacular reserved for explanatory theories and diagrams is no coincidence. He even goes so far as to use it in describing the even less fathomable, and much less scientific, formula for romance.

“I am very far from being able to define a consistent working process. Instead each project I take on tends to meander its own way towards a solution. In some cases my work is process-led, other times I begin with an idea and let it mutate.

After spending this year fully submersed in work, at times drowning (but also surfing) I look forward to being able to readjust to a more humane existence."

  • Andrew-duncan-5

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Nu(un)clear

Why or who or what made you go to art school?

I guess it all started with an innocent multi-pack of felt tips, then on to the harder stuff like Microsoft paint and the heads-bodies-legs game. Drawing was a way to harbour an early kinship I had with primates, and a way to be better than my class rival who drew a really good wolf. Also, drawing in bible class was a way of not listening to Jesus.

Drawing became an extension of my personality, it was a way to make people laugh – that always seemed to make so much sense to me, bringing laughter or bewilderment to people – and I still think it’s a really worthwhile pursuit.

What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?

This is tricky as I am completely reliant on mistakes. It’s the mistakes that lead to the best ideas and most unlikely route to a solution. I guess if I really had to pick one it would be the timely braking of the spinning record player in “the film formula”, it was completely unintentional but brought an ideal ending.

If you could show you your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?

Blimey what an offer! I could go for the tactical choice here and say some big shot media baron, but I think the three-metre long arm I made, complete with orange latex glove, would get a good reaction from a Neanderthal. I’d hope that it would create a similar reaction to that in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It would be interesting to see how a Neanderthal could use the arm to advantage himself against his fellows – perhaps it could even alter the path of our evolution!

Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?

I’m hoping I can seek out, or create problems that will allow me to cross breed my interests in creation. I want to adopt more performative and interactive based work that can interconnect the making of images, objects, costumes and short films. Essentially more making, loads more! Oh… and collaborating with all kinds, including scientists?!

What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?

It would have to be something I saw from my time spent in Berlin on exchange. Perhaps the clincher was climbing the stairs to the top of the Teufelsberg tower – on route being confronted by a sinister naked man, while hearing cultish chants and screams from above. I expected to find some kind of sacrificial event awaiting my arrival at the top, but instead found the inside of a Geodome with some insane acoustics and sun bursting in through a small opening that revealed some mad forest views.

  • Andrew-duncan-4

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Nu(un)clear

  • Andrew-duncan-3

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, The Elusive Particles

  • Andrew-duncan-12

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Atomos

  • Andrew-duncan-11

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Atomos

  • Andrew-duncan-10

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Split the Atom

  • Andrew-duncan-9

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Split the Atom

  • Andrew-duncan-14

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan, Film Formula (still)

  • Andrew-duncan-8

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan

  • Andrew-duncan-7

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan

  • Andrew-duncan-6

    The Graduates 2012: Andrew Duncan

Represent

We are delighted that once again top creative recruitment agency Represent has teamed up with us to support our search for the cream of this year’s crop. Represent Recruitment Limited help some of the worlds most talented graphic designers find new work. We work with designers at all levels, from Junior through to Executive Creative Director. Our business thrives through the networks we develop and our impeccable eye for great work. Formed in 2003 Represent operate out of offices and gallery space in London, EC1.
www.represent.uk.com

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Quimmarin-posters-int-list

    Barcelona-based designer and art director Quim Marin has a strong visual sensibility and a prolific work-rate if scrolling through his site is anything to go by. There’s a load of impressive poster and other print design on there, with particularly effective use of some trendy tropes which can often feel stale in less talented hands. “In such a visually polluted environment I try to come up with fresh and memorable designs with a clear aim at essential beauty and equilibrium that, at the same time, will ensure communicative effectiveness,“ Quim says by way of a mission statement, and it’s hard to sum up his work better than that.

  2. Chevalvert-int-list-2

    You wade into Chevalvert’s portfolio rubbing your hands across your eyes, unsure of what you’ve stumbled across. The Paris-based studio was founded in 2007 by Patrick Paleta and Stéphane Buellet and describes itself as being based on an “open, multidisciplinary approach,” which might go some way to explaining why it feels like a cave laden with treasures. So many treasures.

  3. Fantastic-man-list

    Fantastic Man magazine has been redesigned, as shown in its teaser image of its tenth anniversary issue. The magazine’s new issue cover star JW Anderson has shown the new cover on Instagram, which reveals a new design seeing the masthead run vertically and horizontally, instead of its previous preluder horizontal configuration. The cover image also runs to both sides, moving away from its previous white-edged format. We’re excited to see what changes might have been made to the inside of the mag…

  4. Dwp-bikestock-int-list

    This morning I had a puncture that I couldn’t fix and had to get the train to work, so it feels timely to be writing about Bikestock, a range of vending machines full of cycling essentials that can be found all over New York and Boston. The concept is a simple one; inner tubes, spanners, tyre levers tyres and any number of other little bits and pieces that make your wheels turn smoothly are boshed into a vending machine so you can grab them on the go and, more importantly, at any time of day!

  5. List

    Joost Bos is a recent graduate from the Academie Minerva Groningen in The Netherlands where he’s spent three years studying for his bachelor’s degree. Like many of his Dutch counterparts he’s a dab hand with typography both traditional and experimental and has a plethora of printed pieces in his portfolio. This one, Sequence 1, is an exhibition catalogue for a show of artist books at Joost’s alma mater, which perfectly demonstrates his design sensibilities. Immaculately set type is interspersed with hand-drawn elements and bright colours bring intrigue to an otherwise monochrome publication. Like what you’re seeing? He’s available for freelance work right now!

  6. Sam-coldy-penguin-int-list

    Is it just me or is Penguin killing it at the moment? The publishing house only recently celebrated its 80th birthday by launching a range of its classic titles for 80p each, accompanied by a slick website and a poster campaign which has reached even the furthest corners of London’s transport system. And right now, they’re in the midst of a new campaign called On the Page which celebrates women authors and characters in literary masterpieces.

  7. Karansingh-mop-int-list

    The glorious coming together of pattern, shape and colour makes for a joyous experience and that’s why print designers are held in such high regard. Last week we commissioned Animade to turn three eye-poppingly good Pucci x Orlebar Brown patterns into trippy GIFs, this week we’re turning our attention to profiling creatives we believe are among the best around when it comes to working in this area. We are proud to present these #mastersofprint.

  8. Gerard-marin-int-list

    There’s something of a trend going around at the moment for identities using 3D logo-marks, and with this one by Gerard Marin we can see why. Barcelona-based designer Gerard developed the branding, stationery and corporate materials for interior designer and visual merchandiser Neus Ortiz. Recognisability and malleability were at the forefront of his mind for this project, and the flexible “N,” which changes according to its application, prove a neat solution to both. His is an unfussy aesthetic which lends itself perfectly to branding projects – here’s hoping more make their way to him very soon.

  9. Nike-logo

    There’s a moment in this film where Michael Bierut comes over all Hayley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense as he declares: “ I can see things in typefaces that normal people can’t.” It’s part of his discussion about how “design can be a lonely thing” and that as you immerse yourself in that world “you’re actually making yourself less normal than regular people.” Filmed at Design Indaba in South Africa last month, this interesting short film moves onto to look at logos and why designers are so interested in them. Using famous examples like the Nike swoosh and the Target, um, target, Michael explains his theory that we’re drawn to them because they’re primitive and yet we invest them with so much meaning. “A lot of what we see when we’re looking at the logo isn’t really happening in the logo; it happens in our own mind,” he explains.

  10. Emilyoberman-snl-int-hero

    One of the undoubted highlights of this year’s Design Indaba conference in Cape Town was hearing Pentagram partner Emily Oberman detail her long-running work on Saturday Night Live. Emily has worked with the programme for 20 years, creating three separate versions of its identity, various title sequences and even spoof adverts to run in the breaks (like this). Now Emily has teamed up with writer Alison Castle to produce Saturday Night Live: The Book, a 500-page paean to the show which coincides with its 40th anniversary this autumn.

  11. Studio-lin-stampa-int-list

    Sometimes a dead simple idea is all you need to create something really striking. In the case of Studio Lin’s branding of Stampa that simple idea was a rolled up poster. Stampa specialise in limited edition prints produced by some of the best illustrators around – shipped direct to your door. How do they do this? By rolling them up in a poster tube. So what does their logo look like? A pair of rolled-up prints joined at their edges to form an S. Studio Lin also commissioned an entire custom typeface for the brand, but for me it’s that swirling blue S that hits the nail on the head every time. Simple!

  12. Ines-cox-int-list

    Scrolling through what feels like an endless array of projects, it’s difficult to believe that Ines Cox only founded her studio last year. Since parting ways with former partner Lauren Grusenmeyer, co-founder of five-year endeavour Cox & Grusenmeyer, Ines has branched out on her own to establish an eponymous practice based in Antwerp. While she still includes much of her old work with Lauren in her portfolio, her new work demonstrates an exciting and playful approach to typography and innovative poster design.

  13. Dot-dash-flatpack-int-list

    Film festivals and great graphic design go together like Powell and Pressburger; as proven by the identity for Iceland’s Stockfish Film Festival, and Dot Dash’s designs for Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham.