Meet Bobby Engvall and the visual pick-and-mix of his prolific practice
Working with clients the likes of Nike and Marc Jacobs, to smaller independent brands, Bobby’s work is indiscriminate to scale, and always culturally relevant.
- Harry Bennett
- 12 November 2021
The prolific practice of New York-based designer and illustrator Bobby Engvall is one that truly started in his childhood. “I’ve been making things since I was a kid,” he tells us, “I was always drawing, painting, sewing and trying to make clothes;” enthralled by the innate act of making within creative tasks. “I think there was a feeling of being able to create a physical object that would get my friends and me excited,” Bobby adds, “that I really enjoyed and is still a huge part of my work,” a notion immediately translated through the routinely tactile nature of the projects he works on.
Oftentimes, this is literal, with Bobby regularly working on fashion-related projects, designing graphics for brands like Marc Jacobs, Bape, Rumpl x Nasa, and the Good Company. These designs often reference skate culture and are imbued with a sense of DIY anarchy.
Other times, however, this tactile nature is expressed more metaphorically. Bobby’s type design, for example, is full of energy, veering away from clean and cold aesthetics and into more organic and emotional ones. His logotype for jewellery brand Ian Charms, for example, is chunky and idiosyncratic, referencing 90s aesthetics and elements of Y2K.
Gallery(Copyright © Bobby Engvall, 2021)
“My creative practice is all over the place,” Bobby suggests, discussing the nature of his process and creative methodology, “it’s a mix of pulling things from the back of my brain that have lived there for years, and finding new context to put them in,” doing so in unconventional, striking combinations. The result is a wholly unique tone of voice specific to Bobby; a mix-and-match, pick-and-mix visual language that is totally unpredictable, whilst somewhat nostalgic and familiar. This is perhaps due to Bobby’s influences that hark back to his youth, as he recalls: “I’m usually operating from a part of my brain that asks, what would get me excited to see this thing?” adding, “and that thing usually ends up coming from the inner 16-year-old in my head.”
With these sentiments in mind, it seems apt that in discussing what the future holds for Bobby, he simply replies, “I still need to design a snowboard!”
(Copyright © Bobby Engvall, 2021)
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. He nows works as a freelance writer and designer, and is one half of Studio Ground Floor.