• 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. Marco_papiro_pb_1

    Adoring pretty much anything Panda Bear-related (his amazing interactive website, his brilliant music, his very lovely hair), we felt it was high time we shed some light on the man behind his wonderful record sleeve designs, Marco Papiro.

  2. Julia-pj_harvey_graphics_1

    When we popped to Somerset House last week to ogle PJ Harvey recording in a box we spotted some powerful exhibition graphics, designed by London-based studio Julia. The designs are shown online on PJ Harvey’s website, but really come to life at Somerset House, where they sit illuminated on the wall of the holding pen-like space visitors stand in before being led to the basement area that houses the recording studio box.

  3. Ged-palmer-int-list

    I came across Ged Palmer’s work for the first time a couple of years ago over a boozy pub lunch with my dad, and since then I’ve followed his progress in hand lettering and sign-writing with interest. His skill in this traditional medium has gone from strength to strength, with new techniques and processes added to his arsenal on a regular basis, and what started out as a simple flair for type has progressed into a fully-formed talent for fashioning works of graphic brilliance.

  4. Pentagramlogobook1

    If Pentagram’s Micheal Bierut reckons a book can “make better designers of all of us,” its likely to be a pretty useful tome. The designer was heaping praise on Logo: The Reference Guide to Symbols and Logotypes by Michael Evamy, which is just about to launch its new mini edition with publisher Laurence King.

  5. Fonshickmann-list-int

    A couple of weeks back we had Fons Hickmann, founder of the eponymous design studio Fons Hickmann m23 in Berlin, talk us through his favourite publications, so that we could get a bit of an insight into his taste, influences and inspirations. In the process, we found out that the studio has recently begin working on Germany’s Greenpeace Media. “For Greenpeace Media we design magazines, posters and even packing tape,” the studio’s website explains. “Working with political and social topics has always been important and close to the heart of m23.”

  6. Arndtbenedikt-posters-list-int

    Scrolling through Frankfurt-based design agency Arndt Benedikt’s website, I get the impression that somebody in the studio is sneaking off every half an hour to immortalise some of the fantastic design work they’re creating in poster form. Or maybe managing partners Felix Gross and Falko Ohlmer are just really into posters – in which case, hurrah! Alongside remarkably advanced work like this campaign for Greenpeace, and some mature corporate design work they make these: bright, dynamic and joyous posters, for everything from a spell teaching at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz to an open air party in Hamburg. They’re informative and really nice to look at, which is all we need from our large-scale printed matter.

  7. Bedow-record_mania-int-list

    Swedish design studio Bedow isn’t new to branding musical enterprises. Back in 2013 it produced a clean, minimal identity for Canadian record label More Than Human. That work was nice, but its latest offering for Stockholm’s internationally renowned store Record Mania might be even better.

  8. Isabellucena-tarot-int-list

    When it comes to Tarot cards we’ve pretty much seen it all. Since the arrival of the Rider Waite deck in the early 20th Century nobody in the western world has really changed the game and made The Fool, The Ace of Wands or The Hierophant look all that different from Pamela Colman Smith’s incredible drawings. But recently designer Isabel Lucena has had a crack at it, and the results are surprisingly refreshing.

  9. Thamnesandhudson-cover-list-int

    For a young boy who grew up in the suburban Midlands, the west coast of the USA is really the America of my imagination, far more so than the refined cities of the Eastern seaboard, the vast expanses of the rural states or any of the other myriad landscapes to be found between sea and shining sea.

  10. Jorgeleon-amigo-int-list

    It’s always refreshing to see a creative being really honest about the challenges of a particular brief before showing us their solution. So it is with Barcelona-based graphic designer and art director Jorge León, who sets up his work for the Amigos skate shop by referring to the “many problems” it had encountered with its brand.

  11. Unnamed

    International design agency IS Creative Studio has done some elegant branding work for both rotisserie AND grilled chicken restaurants. And both identities look refreshingly tasteful. The studio’s work spans print, product and retail design, and its practice is based on extensive research and a desire to always go beyond the product at hand. Or indeed the chicken. Founded in 2010 by Richard Meza, the agency produces great work that shifts aesthetics seamlessly. From visuals that wouldn’t be out of place on a summer’s day in Capri in 1965, to fast food stereotypes and what is described as “type [broken up] to simulate chunks of fruit swimming happily in cream,” it’s a bunch of consistently impressive design work.

  12. Screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-10.12.37

    It’s little surprise that Mike Lemanski’s graphic design work has been something of an It’s Nice That favourite, and since we last posted about him in 2013 he’s not let his style slip. Mike’s site boasts some beautiful, mature designs for Feuilleton magazine, which takes articles from various international publications such as The New York Times, translates them into French and publishes issues every quarter.

  13. Hardyseiler-hannover-list-int

    When Hanover-based designers Bureau Hardy Seiler and web design agency Created by Monkeys decided to pitch to design the identity for the Freies Theater Hannover, they found themselves faced with a dilemma. The theatre hosts every flavour of live performance going, from puppetry and musical shows to experimental dance, and all in one flexible and family-friendly space. How could they create a graphic language to match that?