When working at a music store as a teenager, Bradley Pinkerton used to keep notes on who designed what covers and put them on display in front of other records that were being sold a the time. “Working there and being exposed to album art got me passionate about design,” he says and after being told about graphic design as a career by a school councillor, it seemed like a natural path.
Melbourne-based Bradley describes his style as a combination of handmade gestures and patterns with photographic scans. “I try to create a balance between the two and build up a relationship that works together, often layering. Kind of a chaotic restraint,” he explains. “It’s something that looks organic and natural but at the same time could have been spat out of a photocopier 20 times.”
Mainly creating album artwork and posters for music-based clients, Bradley enjoys working with musicians and labels because of the collaboration it allows. “Being able to collaboratively work together to end up with something that they love and I’m proud of makes me happy,” he says. Bradley’s textured aesthetic works well in these types of projects, where a human, handmade element adds another layer to the outcome. A playful tone is also something Bradley aims to convey and this is communicated through the imagery he chooses, which is framed by bold typography. “I often always start with type and a grid as a beginning and work up from there,” says Bradley. “If the type is strong everything else will work together and be anchored from that. Colour is important too, I try to relate the colour to whatever the language of the project is.”
Recent projects include an identity for a Adelaide artist Flash 89, a surf photography magazine due to be released on Kickstarter soon and a re-issue of a dub record from 1991 that was originally released as a cassette in a hollowed out book from an African library. When starting a new project Bradley’s keen to find out as much as he can, working out the elements he can develop. “For music projects it’s usually listening to the artist a lot and writing down ideas that come through,” he says. “Other times it can come completely randomly from trying new techniques or making mistakes. I like it a lot when something unexpected or random happens but trying to push that can be a bit difficult.”
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