After cultivating a striking visual style over several years Telegramme Studio’s easily recognizable work is in high demand. Large clients, including Habitat and Random House, to small ventures, such as the branding for a friend’s new ‘Hawt Sauce’ have had their products ‘Telegrammed’. I was keen to find out the story behind this prolific studio and how its distinctive identity developed.
I met up with Bobby Evans who is now the studio’s one-man design team. Telegramme was originally a collaboration of two friends living in different parts of the UK, working via the postal service (his partner, Chris, has since left to set-up a fashion enterprise). After graduating the studio gravitated to East London and has remained in this area for several years.
Despite nearly being kicked out of university for not conforming to the ‘clean’ brand of graphic design being taught there (aimed at preparing graduates for life in a design agency), Bobby forged even further towards a grittier style more suited to the type of projects he wanted to design for: band posters, record sleeves and skateboards. The type of things his studio is now known for.
A passion for screen-printing and “broken-down type” contributes to this visual style: “I love the visual aesthetic of screen-printing and the process. It’s not always viable for projects with very short turnaround times—gig posters might only get the go-ahead a few days before they’re needed—but even when I’m designing for digital output I find myself automatically adding in trapping and overlays which result in a particular quality.”
Texture is another key ingredient:
“I enjoy emulating the quality of small items that have been blown-up, so you can see the grain and texture in the printed material. However, I’m careful to maintain a modern edge - I don’t want the work to rely on visual trickery or be a pastiche.”
“Although I started as a graphic designer I found that I’d often need illustrations for my work but rather than hunt down say a specific style of bird for example, I’d simply draw one”. The same goes for Bobby’s lettering but rather than drawing it from scratch he prefers to customise existing type to make it fit the project, looking at the decayed lettering and ‘ghost type’ that you see a lot of around East London for references.
The passion for designing gig posters is as strong as ever. Even now when he finds out that a band he likes is planning a local gig he’ll get in contact and offer to produce the official posters. And as an active board member of the UK Poster Association (UKPA) he also supports and promotes the work of British poster artists, exhibiting posters around the world at events like SXSW.
You can see more of Bobby’s recent work on tumblr here.
The final 8 Faces poster: Designed & printed by Erik Spiekermann
For the final poster in our series of limited edition artwork prints, we’ve done something truly special: number eight has been designed and hand-printed by Erik Spiekermann on his Korrex proof press in Berlin, using original wood and metal type. Above, you can also see some shots that Erik took of the printing process.
As with our previous prints, each copy is individually numbered and bears the 8 Faces blind-embossed stamp, but additionally each print has also been hand-signed by Erik!
Due to the high number of customers who pre-ordered all eight pieces of art, have less than 50 to sell, so be very quick!
All orders will ship in the last week of July, packed in protective cardboard tubes.
The final 8 Faces poster has been designed by… Erik Spiekermann!
We are very excited to reveal that the designer behind poster number eight is none other than Erik Spiekermann!
Not only has Erik designed the poster, but he’s also hand-printed it himself on his Korrex proof press in Berlin. Set using original wood type, the poster combines Erik’s signature colours (red and black on white of course!). Not only does the print feature the 8 Faces blind-embossed stamp, but this time around each one has also been signed by the artist.
Here’s a quick preview. We’ll reveal the whole thing next Wednesday.
Available to buy at 4pm BST on Wednesday 24th July
Simon Walker’s limited edition print is available now.
Hand-made with Plastalina and wood. Not many left so be quick.
3D artwork print from 8 Faces
Tomorrow sees the release of our 7th and penultimate artwork print, by Simon Walker.
Above (top) is a teaser of Simon’s unique artwork, with a sneak peek of his work in progress below. The type is made out of mouldable clay, Simon took us through his process for the forthcoming edition of 8 Faces magazine, here are some extracts:
“I’d been toying with the idea of making physical, three-dimensional type for a long time, but had never found the time — or more specifically the right project — to push it forward. I knew I wanted to make big, heavy letters out of something like clay, thinking the result would mimic the kind of roughened, hand-rendered lettering I produce on the computer, even though I’d never actually worked with clay before.
Plastalina is pretty hard straight out of the wrapper, and has to be vigorously massaged between your fingers in order to get it to play nice. Then there were all the unavoidable grease-stains from the clay that kept getting smudged onto my nice clean backboard. I’d rested in the idea that I’d photoshop out any particularly conspicuous stains, as well as my penciled guidelines, but found in the end that a lot of the stray marks actually reinforced the handmade aspect of the piece, so I left most of them in.”
And we’re very pleased he did, the work looks fantastic. We have less than 50 on offer, so be quick! Visit 8faces.com this Wednesday (17th April) at 4pm BST.
The full interview with Simon Walker will appear in 8 Faces magazine #6, due out soon.
The changing face of Bowie
I just spotted this typographic screen print produced exclusively for London’s V&A museum to coincide with it’s forthcoming David Bowie exhibition.
It features the lettering and bespoke typefaces from over 100 designers. Matt white ink has been printed over rainbow holographic paper which looks brilliant. Each print comes with a certificate naming the full list of contributors including, Jonathan Barnbrook, Ian Anderson and Anthony Burrill.
I love the look of it but I think the overall effect is a little crowded and too much like a list of type specimens. I’d have preferred it to be bigger too. The print is 50x50cm.
Valentine’s day idea?
Not only is the lettering beautiful — that split ‘Type’ — but I’m loving the soft indentation on the ‘spongy’ paper and the depth of colour from this scarlet ink.
This limited edition letterpress print might make a nice gift…
OK yes, I just convinced myself and bought one.
Beautiful lettering poster by Ken Barber, printed by The Aesthetic Union. You could buy a copy here and learn more about the process on Ken’s blog post.
Modern Wood Type
In a process moving from digital to manual, these beautiful woodblocks have been designed in Illustrator, laser cut and then printed by hand.
Produced by Nigel Bents, Paul Oakley and Jonny Holmes while at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, the characters were based on a Bodoni poster typeface. The extreme stroke contrast has been used to house these playful decorative patterns.
The letters were cut from 3mm plywood then mounted on type-high blocks before letterpress printing at New North Press in Hoxton.
Even before inking, I love how the laser cutting has scorched a warm colour onto the wooden face of the letters.
A sneak peek of Áron Jancsó’s new typeface in progress.
That’s a lot of ligatures!
Love Story: ’80s Music Poster
I’m slightly abashed to admit it but I do love a good ’80s track. Even bands I wasn’t particularly into back then (I was barely in my teens) I now love; Human League, The Jam, Simple Minds, Ultravox, Depeche Mode…the list goes on and on.
Well this poster brings me right back. Designed by Patrick King who runs the Typography Shop, that also produces the Typographic tees that I’ve posted about before. The idea came to him after designing a spread for his high school reunion some years ago about music, which he later displayed in his home. After much appreciation and fascination by visiting friends he decided to explore the concept in poster form.
Using 1980’s song titles, the poster tells a love story, from hopeful beginning through to falling in love and the expression of its passion, the appearance of trouble and doubt, then the breakup and its lonely aftermath. Thankfully not representative of every love story! I had the chance to ask Patrick about the process:
"I spent a great deal of time choosing the songs to highlight, more for their ability to tell the story than its popularity or my tastes. To then create a well balanced typographic puzzle using only condensed sans serifs was quite a challenge.
I count 114 songs and 37 fonts from 12 typeface families. A wild exercise for me as I rarely use more than two faces in client work, chosen from a palette of about 6 favorite choices.”
It’s available at 11x17” and there’s a larger screen printed version with black ink. Plus ’60s and ’70s music posters too.
Beautifully styled lettering for a poster by Jessica Hische used by Stuart Lang to propose to his girlfriend.
"He wrote at just the right moment in time—I was in a particularly lovey dovey mood and nearing the end of my own wedding preparations.”
"I got the art framed for him and even schemed with the restaurant manager about how it would take place."
The proposal was successful! The full story behind this is delightful.
This made me chuckle.
One of many quick-fire slogan posters by Dubai based designer, Shahir Zag.
Sacrilege in Helvetica Bold.