There’s been a lot of chatter recently about when a designer is not a designer, thanks to Fraser Muggeridge’s Alternative History of Graphic Design show, presenting magazine covers by non-designers. One designer with no formal training who recently appeared on our radar is Derek Wycoff, and if his work is anything to go by, sometimes you can get on just great without art school.
Having studied “internet studies” at Appalachian State University, where he currently works as a web designer, his spare time is taken up making posters and art for concerts, film screenings, galleries and other events. He lives in a remote North Carolina area called Boone, which he describes as a “hippie town.”
“I’m a total design nerd, but I feel like I am missing out by being so isolated geographically. The arts community is small and only a handful of folks work to create it. Luckily, a lot of those folks let me flex my skills early on and I was able experiment with posters and make some effort to refine my style,” says Derek. “Sometimes it’s nice to exist in the margins.”
That style is a wonderful mix of clean line work, cheeky illustrations and clever collages, working to brief like a pro. “I always like to incorporate a little bit of psychedelia and I have the tendency to keep chopping things to bits till they are no longer recognisable,” Derek explains.
About the Author
Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.