There’s great anecdote in Rick Poynor’s introduction to Think In Colour, a celebration of Belgian graphic designer Hugo Puttaert and his Visionandfactory studio. In 2010 Hugo was commissioned to produce a poster for a contemporary art exhibition in Aalst but the clients eventually decided they didn’t like it and rejected it. No matter; Hugo paid for it to be printed himself and then had it flyposted across the city on the eve of the show. “Those who believe in the medium’s potential,” Rick notes shrewdly, “have no alternative but to keep pushing.”
Hugo is a designer who wears many hats – teacher, publisher, conference organiser and writer – but this excellent book showcases the visual work he produced over 24 years with Visionandfactory. Interestingly it is ordered not by chronology or type of work, but as the title suggests by colour. This means spreads from the same project can be found in completely different sections, but give the book what Rick Poynor calls “a novel and intriguing structural coherence…revealing continuities and discontinuities across Visionandfactory’s body of work over more than two decades.”
It’s visually led as you’d expect but the texts by Steven Cleeren (based on conversations with Hugo) anchor the work in the considered and articulate way he thinks about his craft. This perfect balance of insight and imagery makes this a graphic design title from the very top drawer.