The drive behind the work of London-based Alex Hunting Studio is to create “beautiful and arresting design that allows the content to speak for itself”. Led by the studio’s namesake Alex, collaboration is at the heart of everything it does. “I’m really fortunate to work with some amazingly talented photographers, writers, illustrators, set designers and try to elevate their work and (hopefully) do it justice,” says Alex.
The designer was behind Kinfolk’s redesign a year ago, which saw him introduce a larger format and serif typefaces to elevate the magazine’s signature appearance. The designer’s studio has continued with this updated aesthetic, with issue 25 having been released a couple months ago. This year has seen Alex also work on an airline magazine redesign, a newspaper supplement for The Guardian Labs, a hardback book celebrating creative directors and an exhibition catalogue to accompany the White Cube’s Dreamers Awake show, among some personal projects.
While Alex wouldn’t describe himself as having a specific style, there’s a minimalism and an appreciation for subtle details present in each project he works on. “I think there’s a constant battle between injecting your own personality into the design and letting the content speak for itself,” Alex says of the challenges he faces. “It obviously varies greatly on the context and the brief but I find sometimes I need to pull back to stop the design becoming overbearing. Equally sometimes you need to dial it up.”
When beginning any project Alex carefully considers the content his designs will house. “I try and research as much as possible, particularly typographic research. Obviously some projects call for it more than others but visual research from unusual places is always useful and avoiding the internet,” explains Alex. “A recent example would be Dreamers Awake which is a book we designed to accompany an exhibition of female surrealist artists at the White Cube gallery. I visited the British Library to look at their collection of early surrealist magazines. There was some stunning typography and really interesting design elements in Minotaur, La Revolution Surrealiste, VVV and View. It was an interesting process to allow some elements from these to influence the design as this was the original visual language used in the manifestos when they were establishing the message and direction of the movement.”
By drawing upon his bank of references and unravelling what makes them unique, Alex’s crisp designs are thoughtful, multi-layered and communicative. Over the years his work has seen the studio awarded by D&AD, The Art Directors Club of New York, The Type Directors Club and The Society of Publication Designers.
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