Steve Gavan's illustrative work pays homage to often overlooked design gems

20 February 2019
Reading Time
2 minute read

“I was lucky enough to know I wanted to be a designer from a pretty young age,” says graphic designer and illustrator Steve Gavan. Having freelanced in these fields since 2011, Steve later began work at Alter, a Melbourne-based design studio, in 2015. “Alter was my favourite studio when I was studying, so it was a bit of dream come true to work for them.”

Steve has since developed his practice, which now boasts a bold and playful style that is evident in both his designs and drawings. Humorous characters, warm colour palettes and thick, rounded typefaces are showcased in much of his work. These creations serve a variety of purposes, from editorial illustrations and business cards to album launch posters and tote bags.


Steve Gavan: Can Man


Steven Gavan: Sun Day


Steven Gavan: Sun Day

One of Steve’s proudest projects however, was his series of fruit sticker designs for fellow Melburnians, Trouble Peach and Moon Cup – two local indie bands. These designs pay homage to often overlooked, but always fascinating, fruit company branding. “I’m a big fan of crazy fruit stickers and I wanted to create a versatile system that could easily adapt to different shapes and sizes like posters and online promotion,” Steve tells It’s Nice That. “It was important that the design was bold and colourful to ensure that it stood out and was eye-catching.”

Speaking on his influences and inspirations, Steve says often things that aren’t directly related to design “spark the best ideas.” His hometown of Melbourne is also a constant source of inspiration, which he explains has “has a really strong arts culture and is full of great illustrators, designers and design studios.” Having always enjoyed “collaboration with all different kinds of creatives,” Steve’s main aim for his practice is just to “work with businesses and people I admire” and to work on jobs “that allow me to think broadly and conceptually, and most of all have fun.”


Steve Gavan: Ferla Secret Show


Steve Gavan: Hugh Glass


Steve Gavan: Lonesome Cowboy


Steve Gavan: Faceplant


Steve Gavan: All Talk


Steve Gavan: Sax Man

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About the Author

Daniel Milroy Maher

Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.

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