A British-Kiwi, graphic designer Montague Llywelyn studied at London College of Communication before heading to his new base of Sydney. A recent graduate, Montague’s portfolio already boasts a series of impressive projects spanning type and editorial design, identities and album artworks.
Montague came to design through his myriad interests during school. “I enjoyed maths, technology, art and business,” he tells us, a combination out of which graphic design appeared as the subject which would allow him to encompass them all. When it comes to his chosen career, “the versatility and breadth of the projects themselves excite me,” he tells us. “One minute you could be deep in the details of a typeface, the next you could be working with an art director on a photoshoot or brainstorming editorial work or making websites.”
No matter what the project, however, “I enjoy the challenging nature of design, both artistically and technically,” he explains. Recently, Montague took the opportunity to challenge himself by taking his first steps into the world of type design. “I enjoyed the technical learning curve of font creation and the process of crafting a glyph one by one while still taking into appreciation the collective. It was one of the more mathematical projects I’ve taken on, both in process, and in detail,” he continues.
Titled Moirai Grotesk, the typeface was created for a space-themed editorial project, Voyager Missions. “I saw an opportunity to recreate a modern space themed typeface rather than a nostalgic re-make,” Montague remarks. Spurred on by the notion that it should be something which worked in the context of this project, but that could be utilised by others for other projects, Moirai Grotesk squat, wide sans serif font.
Another project which demonstrates Montague’s adept handling of typography is his identity for the Small Publisher’s Fair in 2018. An event which celebrates writing and poetry, Montague again approached the project with the intention to transform a traditional concept into something contemporary. Full of the expected writing workshops and poetry recitals, Montague used this to lead the creative decisions. “For example,” he explains, “a serif was chosen to pay homage to classic publication design. A continuing balance between contextualising traditional design while expressing contemporary design was the backbone of the creative decision making.”
Clearly, the young designer possesses the ability to morph and change his style depending on the project, a factor he picked up on when we spoke to him. “I try not to have a signature style and believe each project’s visual language should be driven by the content of the project rather than the designer,” he says. However, running throughout Montague’s portfolio is a contemporary aesthetic which brings together playful elements, underpinned by technical prowess and a love of the traditions of graphic design.
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