Born and bred in New York City, Bryan Rivera’s work is full of gritty energy, incorporating textural elements, manipulated imagery and decorative type all in a colour palette of dark tones and primary colours. For someone so early on in their career, Bryan has carved out a distinctive aesthetic and has worked on projects for Post Malone, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
Now based in New Jersey, Bryan’s introduction to graphic design stems back to his childhood in New York. “Growing up I was really influenced by my brother,” he explains. At the time, his older sibling was taking the train to high school and would tell Bryan about the graffiti he saw on his journey when he got home. “He would show me and teach me about the different writers, such as Korn, sane, JA and legends like Futura T-KID and Shepard Fairy,” Bryan recalls of the beginning of his obsession with the medium.
He began scribbling in notebooks and creating graffiti inspired MySpace layouts, spending hours trying to make “cool trendy” designs like the ones he saw on freeweblayouts.com and similar sites. “At this point, I didn’t even know how to use layers in Photoshop. I think because I was using the software at such an early age, working in graphic design just felt like the most natural fit for me,” he says.
Bryan now works full time as a designer and art director, whether that be on his own, collaborating with friends or by reaching out to creatives that inspire him. “I like to be as involved in projects as possible, every detail is important and the most important is planning,” he explains. The result is work that captures the spirit of whoever he’s working for: “Whether it’s a book for a photographer or an album cover for a musician, I want the images to fit their world and feel like something special.”
Although Bryan’s early love of graffiti can clearly be seen throughout his portfolio, he also frequently references posters from the 1960s-90s, as well as “album covers from different countries, punk flyers and a lot of photography.” When pulling references, he focusses on that which is not perfect, instead specifically finding work that has mistakes and a rawness that makes them “feel real”. This influence is clear in Bryan’s work, which often features elements of mark making, for example, utilising the fold or the grain of the paper.
Bryan’s favourite project is his ongoing collaboration good friend, Travis Brothers. The pair has been working on the art direction for Post Malone including the artwork for the Stoney and Beerbongs and Bentleys albums and tour merchandise for a while now. “We started this project as teenagers and it was the first big gig where we had people trusting our vision and giving us creative control on what evolved into a huge platform,” he explains. As well as allowing Bryan and Travis to work alongside some of their favourite creatives, it forced them to figure out the industry quickly, giving them experience which has now proved invaluable.
- Unseen Amsterdam's artistic director on how its richest line-up yet inspires and informs
- Jackson Green’s design work explores the chasm that exists between statement and intent
- Why Materials Matter: Seetal Solanki's accessible proposal for the future of materials, designed by Our Place
- Friday Mixtape: Animator Steve Smith takes us from Kate Bush to Oneohtrix Point Never
- Tom Galle’s internet-based practice captures your attention in a few seconds, scrolling through your feed
- “Fear and desire for connection and the blocks to it”: artist Martine Syms on her exhibition Grand Calme
- “Go, go, go”: how DIA messed with design theory, only to improve it
- Watch the trailer for the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the television show
- Uber gets another new logo, gives you something to make small talk about this weekend
- Swedish design studio Amanda & Erik avoid the tropes of minimalist, Scandinavian design in their practice
- You know that great feeling of popping a spot? You'll get that from Sophie Koko Gate's new animation
- Studio Hyte's identity for iiii Magazine examines the characteristics of type, code and interaction on the web