The intersection between handcrafted creative processes and digital technology lies at the heart of graphic designer Samuel Bloch’s work. After graduating from London’s College of Communication, the Parisian designer found himself working on a number of different projects, including an internship at It’s Nice That’s much-loved Studio Feixen. His career choice is perhaps unsurprising to those that know Samuel, who was born into a creative environment and immersed in inspiring art from a young age. “I grew up in a family with both parents doing illustration and art so I naturally became interested in visual communication very early. I really enjoy drawing but felt that I wanted to do more than just illustration,” Samuel tells It’s Nice That.
Samuel has already accumulated an impressive portfolio despite it being so early on in his career. An example of this skill is an animated font, completed during an internship with Philippe Apeloig in Paris a couple years back. “I incorporated hand drawn elements with type. It was really cool to make letters dance around the room,” he says. The moveable tendencies of this project then led him to build a large-scale motion graphic piece for an exhibition in Paris in 2016.
Another long-term project by the designer was executed in collaboration with his brother Léon, who studies art in Amsterdam. The duo started their formal partnership in the hope that their different practices and distinct styles would amplify their creative output: “During my last year of school, we made a series of publications which featured a selection of objects, sculptures, drawings and short texts. To accompany these, I created a playful typeface with interchangeable character sets. The characters were inspired by the forms and materials used in my brother’s sculptures,” Samuel explains. Their creative approach blurs the distinction between text and visuals through sculptural, monochrome type and naive, handmade drawings. The two brothers do not define art through its traditional forms. Instead, they believe that compelling creative results can be found in hybrid artefacts that combine multiple artistic genres.
Samuel and Léon went on to build on their project: “Together we made a second round of physical objects that, this time, reflected the morphology of the previous characters. This was a really fun process of exchange between the different ways of creating, both digitally and physically.” In so doing, the duo further challenged the formal distinctions between digital work, graphic design and sculpture. By combining and developing various aesthetic fragments into a fascinating whole, Samuel demonstrates that art no longer needs to be restricted to a single material, surface or form.
This insistence on composite art is central to Samuel’s artistic imagination. “I mix genres as much as possible. For example, I like the nuances and imperfections that illustrative work can bring to an austere graphic composition. It creates an interesting contradiction.”