Our 2017 Hot New Things series continues today – an opportunity to profile a selection of some of the top design grads coming out of our tertiary institutions. This week we speak with Christopher Bryant from Yoobee School of Design.
Level 6 Diploma in Computer Graphic Design
Yoobee School of Design
Hi Chris, can you tell us what your final year’s project was about and what you focussed on.
For my final 4 week studio project I decided to work on a personal passion project — a clothing/design brand dubbed Cooked OCM. For the branding I wanted to take inspiration from the street-wear and basketball culture of the late 80’s and mesh it with more recent typographic trends — it was important to me that the logo/icon could quickly communicate the personality of the brand I had in mind, bold and disorderly. Considering this, I put a major focus on two things; experimenting with bolder colours and simplification. (The project outcome included; logo/branding + collateral, packaging, coffee table lookbook, 3 printed shirts, and store website.)
How has what you’ve recently been working on influenced your design process, and what momentum does it bring to your practice?
The goal was to create something that was visually potent. Because of the focus on both simplification and bolder colour experimentation, there was a challenge in creating harmony between the two. A hurdle I had to overcome with decisions throughout the design process, was allowing myself to be brutal and challenge any variation I put forward. A mindset that couldn’t be more valuable going forward with practicing design.
What were some of your most exciting discoveries?
The biggest for me was abstraction as a tool in the early concept stages of logo/type design. Basically peeling back an idea to its most basic visual form, and just messing with it at different levels of abstraction till you find something that works. Probably one of the the most valuable techniques I’ve picked up.
And some of your challenges?
Finding the perfect icon/type/colour combination. I think I went through over 30 refined concept variations before I was even close to content with my options… In the end it was outside critique that allowed me to make a decision. It’s easy to have your judgement clouded when you’ve spent large amounts time handlettering a particular logomark.
What did you love doing most?
Finding the perfect icon/type/colour combination… It’s just so satisfying when you look at one particular variation and it just… clicks.
Where do you go to find inspiration (websites, resources, designers, etc)?
Behance and Instagram are the main sources where I get my regular design dosage, that and just conversations with other designers — everyone always has a recommendation. I have a weakness for simple typographic pieces — most notably work from Jessica Hische and Stefan Sagmeister, whom I draw a lot of influence from.
Why did you choose to study at Yoobee, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?
The main qualities that lured me to study at Yoobee were two things; the smaller class sizes, and the focus on learning the more functional aspects of graphic design — pre-press, dielines, formatting, economically using creative suite. Given this focus I was able to work with tutors on being more effective and efficient with my design process, and this is something I will continue to change and improve. As for the tangible, I’ve come away with a body of work that I’m pretty stoked with.
Where to next for you? What does 2017 hold?
Currently I am planning my final exhibition, and am also on the search for an ideal graphic design role. Ideal situation is to be in a great studio, doing what I love, learning from the best.
And find out more about Yoobee School of Design at: www.yoobee.ac.nz