Friday, 4 December 2009

Hamish Muir

Hamish came in and basically gave us a brief run through of his career as a designer. He started at art school 30 years ago after initially studying science. He says that his earliest memory of design is his fondness of painting airfix models as a young boy, remembering his attention to detail and how the paint job had to be exactly right. I agree with him that all designers must have a degree of OCD, some more than others, because I myself have always seen myself to be a perfectionist and I become easily frustrated when I can’t get something exactly how I want it. He studies at Basel school of design under teachers such as Benno Zenhder, Armin Hofmann, Kurt Hauert and Andrea Gutler. When he returned to the UK in 1985 he moved to London and met another RCA graduate Simon Johnston. Together with Mark Holt they formed 8vo. Through contacts of Simon they began working for clients such as Tony Wilson and Factory Records. I was already familiar with a lot of 8vo’s work due to my own personal interested in Factory Records although to be honest I’ve always been more into the work of Peter Saville than 8vo. I do like the hacienda birthday posters that they created over the years though, great use of type. He also talked about the introduction of computers to the design process and how he learnt to use the computer as a tool and not be ruled by it, I found this really useful information regarding my essay as this is exactly what I’m writing about. Octavo was another interesting topic that he talked about. It was a magazine specializing in typography that 8vo produced that would only run for eight issues before ‘self destructing’. Each issue they would talk about different typographical issues and try to be revolutionary with the design, the last issue was simply a cd which was ‘new technology at the time. Hamish says how he likes the fact that the software required to run the cd is now outdated meaning the data is going to vanish and become obsolete. Although Hamish’s work isn’t to my own personal tastes I found the lecture really interesting and it enlightened me to some of the working practises that I’m going to encounter in the working world.

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