Georgia Cranstoun creates a collaborative publishing platform, full of cultural gems
We catch up with the designer following a few years of hopping around various studios and creative outputs, most recently creating her own collaborative publishing platform.
- Lucy Bourton
- 26 August 2020
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Georgia Cranstoun “didn’t initially know I wanted to do graphic design until quite late, already having started and finished another degree in Australia,” she tells It’s Nice That; “it was in acting but I don’t tell a lot of people because I wasn’t actually very good.” We first met Georgia a fair few years ago now, when she was selected as one of our Graduates as she was leaving Central Saint Martins in 2016. Ever since she’s hopped, skipped and jumped from studio to studio.
Freelancing first at ARPA, Commission Studios, John Morgan Studios, Riposte and even popping in here to design an issue of Printed Pages. Most recently, Georgia was working as the first in-house designer at White Cube gallery, “an amazing experience,” picking up the baton from B.A.M studio from its redesign in the first half of 2019. Across this vast range of studios and publications, the designer has been able to develop an approach that she describes as “experimental in context and thought process” but then the work itself develops “a finished cleanness and structure to it.” A testament to the places she’s worked since leaving university, “I’ve always liked to take a process and subvert it, to know and implement the rules within my design but then be able to warp and distort them to create something unique,” she describes.
This approach is divvied up into various kinds of projects, from 3D and patterned work, “I kind of like seeing as art,” to more structural instances where Georgia can be found adding playfulness, “whether it’s a printed joke in the spine of a book, the context, the layout or the initial idea.” Type is additionally a consistent component, and usually heavy in its use too. “I always see type or layout as building blocks or Tetris, trying to problem solve,” the designer describes. “I think I started seeing it this way when I was learning to read; I still see letters as shapes.”
A newer tangent to this output however is 53C, a publishing platform made “with thanks to lockdown and more creative time,” says Georgia. Built to connect with other like minded creatives with “a judgement free creation space”, the platform is inspired by groups and artists “who ‘created’ for the sake of ‘practicing’ without thinking of the outcome, longevity or destination of a project”. Referencing groups such as Fluxus, Black Mountain Design School, Bauhaus and The Memphis Group as inspirations, the project also developed from a want to collaborate, “something I didn’t think I needed until recently,” she adds. “I now know that one person can’t be everything, no matter how much they want to, there will be people who are better at different things and I created 53C to meet like minded people, and create.”
Currently an online platform “for now”, projects up on 53C so far including an A-Z of Wikipedia, one Georgia notes as her favourite. Developed from a brief which asks the recipient to choose something from each letter of the alphabet on Wikipedia, there are also no set rules besides the size of the publication. “I got the idea when I’d spend hours on Wikipedia, going down a learning rabbit hole, learning these amazing things and not having anywhere to write them down.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Jessica Fletcher I love you, which stems from Georgia’s love of Murder She Wrote – “I bloody love Murder She Wrote,” the designer adds. “Like… really love.” Building on Douglas Huebler’s series where the artist took a series of photographs “every two minute while driving along a road for 24 minutes,” at first, the plan was for Georgia to screenshot her favourite moments every two minutes across season 12 of the show before developing it into a “a curated selection of cropped ‘moodboard’ images, displayed in chronological order” during one episode.
In just these two snippet examples, 53C already sounds like a project to dive into for its cultural gems. And, in being “a space for experimentation – a place where one can create without the restrictions of budget or rules,” there’s no knowing what avenue it might turn down next. “At the crux,” concludes Georgia, “53C is a creative outlet and its purpose to serve those creatives who remain unfulfilled by the work of their employment. You can keep up to date with what Georgia (and maybe you too if you’d like to get involved!) is up to here.
GalleryAll images from 53C by Georgia Cranstoun
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.