“Movies, movies, movies,” says David Benski when asked about the inspiration for his work. Despite referencing a quote from french film director Leos Carax claiming he’s not much of a cineaste, this Berlin-based graphic designer clearly affirms his style as one that’s heavily influenced my the cinematic: “I think I’m drawn to the fictional part of it.”
You might remember him from when we featured his typographic visuals last August – where his eye-catching and vivid work darted between illustrative graphics, experimental layouts and sharp typefaces. We saw moving images, book design and client work ranging from Adidas to Tush magazine. And this year, David has developed his style into one that’s even more detailed.
As well as launching a new studio with his good friend Laurens Bauer, aptly named Studio Laurens Bauer & David Benski, David’s portfolio has been updated with new collaborations – including visual direction for the Nike Adapt Shoe and logo work for the Nike React Element 55shoe. Most poignant, however, is his work for AIGA’s latest issue of Eye on Design which launched earlier this year, as well Lowdown magazine’s WTF issue, and the upcoming edition of Plasma magazine – a publication dedicated to space exploration and its cross section with the arts.
“Plasma” is a hybrid between art and science,” he tells It’s Nice That. “Most of the inspiration comes from a place where science isn’t pretty ‘funky’ and this magazine gives it a pretty good platform.” Right now, David and the team are working on the fifth issue which is set to release at the beginning of July – “it’s going to be a step forward, content and design-wise. So many great people are involved this time.”
For Lodown and its WTF issue, as always, there’s not much of a brief for David. Instead, it’s a topic, a mood, the editor’s collection of the featured artist – this time it’s Thomas Marecki – alongside a pre-production coffee talk and a “certain weather”. David adds: “The approach is to find a visual direction for the points mentioned above pretty fast, and to try to be as free as possible.”
With a Plasticwelt typeface designed by Javier Rodriguez, a floating grid and bubble chat interviews, this freedom is explicit in the design as well as in the magazine’s manifesto. Describing its etymology, the WTF acronym is something we’ve all heard before: “damn, we’ve probably all said it in unison at some point,” writes the magazine. “The thing is though, most of us aren’t allowed to showcase it. Day after day, normality and routine take a little bit of that WTF spirit away from us. And that’s okay most of the time, we have obligations after all. But not taking advantage of your independence and originally just doesn’t make any sense. We need to be reminded that mediocrity isn’t something to strive for.”
David’s work is constantly evolving, and what may happen in the year to come remains somewhat of an exciting mystery. Well, here’s a glimpse: it involves two short films set to release by the end of summer. “My goal is to work more with moving images,” he says. “So I think this medium will be more integrated int he future – which is super interesting and I’m curious to see where it leads.”