German graphic designer Timo Lenzen merges crisp, stylised 3D forms with harsh, vibrant gradients to make posters with punch. Inspired by highly graphical works by Franco Grignani and architecture by Ricardo Bofill Levi, many of his designs have a sense of immense scale and space, while being bold with simple forms and colour.
His process begins with rough sketches, which he translates into a 3D drawing programme to give them a hyperreal aesthetic. He then combines these with more traditional design and printing techniques, adding texture to bring depth. “I like the idea of creating something 3D and bringing it back to flatness,” he says.
A poster for the Open Air festival 2016 in Frankfurt features a monolithic letter “E” with stark shadows and warm colours. It came from a brief to create a clean yet brutalist-inspired visual that “may disturb the observer”. “Techno music can sometimes be brutal but at the same time fun, so these contrasts and the use of dark and light were important to the design,” he explains.
Another for DJ Robag Wruhme combines geometric forms with a large typeface that dominates the page. The two are “put together like Frankenstein,” he says, to create a jarring and vivid effect.