Kyuho Kim imagines the shapes of words in his inventive design practice
The Seoul-based designer showcases a mammoth amount of innovative design work on his website. The highly creative designer talks us through three recent projects and how he first got into design.
- Jyni Ong
- 12 December 2019
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Posters, posters, posters, posters, and, more posters. We can’t get enough of posters here at It’s Nice That. The main reason being, because they’re great. You can hang them on the wall, they’re fun to design, and most of all, they’re actually effective. The art of poster design has always been a staple skill for designers, and one such person who has more than mastered said skill is Kyuho Kim.
Based in Seoul, Kyuho first became interested in graphic design during his teens. He had a blog, similar to the Korean equivalent of Blogspot, where he would customise the feed and populate the page with artworks related to his varying interests. After a while, however, he didn’t feel creatively free with any of the customisation options, and so ended up building his own website from scratch to realise his vision. And from there, he developed a “spontaneous interest” in graphic images.
Not just confined to poster design, the designer works across a range of media from book design to his first dabble in the creative industry, web design. Ultimately focused on expressing visual experiences through the appropriate medium, Kyuho brightens up the virtual and physical space with his colourful and compact creative designs. “I think about the meaning of a project when I start work,” he tells It’s Nice That of his creative process. Highlighting keywords from the project, first off, Kyuho connects certain terms or phrases with images that come to mind. “I tend to start working by imagining the shape of a certain word,” he continues on his design process.
GalleryKyuho Kim: Nam June Paik Centre
From there, he works into the rest of the composition, creating complementary visuals in tone with the keywords and filling out the space in inventive ways. In one project, for example, Kyuho designs a poster for an ongoing collaboration between two artists and a performance exhibition at Theatre Shinchon. The poster converts the artists’ drawings into vectors, and hinting back to the artists’ work in performance, Kyuho programmed the digital version of the poster to move automatically on the website.
In another project, Kyuho designed a poster and book for an international symposium at the pioneering video art venue, Nam June Paik Centre. For this work, he utilised the acclaimed video artist’s work as the central visual element of the poster. Blurring and sculpting the artist’s work to form the digits “OO” meaning “public” in Korean, Kyuho playfully combines the visual motifs of Nam June’s work as well as the themes of his work. On top of all this, earlier this year, Kyuho was commissioned by Typojianchi, the international type biennale, to create a website. Titled Random, the custom web design makes use of “special symbols” on the Korean keyboard which change every minute on the website. “The website is based on the process of automatic changes on a fixed timeline to discover new figures for certain symbols while randomly overlapping them at the same time,” says Kyuho.
While his current work is undeniably contemporary in both design and practice, looking to the future, the graphic designer hopes to work on something more classical. Whether that may be designing an identity for a fashion brand, or branding an existing company, Kyuho hopes to expand into other areas of the design sector (or try them at least.) “The world is changing and evolving at a rapid pace,” he finally goes on to say, “I just keep going, enjoying my life.”
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.