A big thank you to everyone who submitted a question to #Build_Archives- first up was Print Process, a brand identity project we created back in 2010. The full identity consisted of a custom typeface, website design, stationery set, packing tape and a custom cardboard tube mailer.
Here’s our answers to some of your questions below…
1. How hard is it to get a green to print that bright? Is it a neon pantone? Regular digital print?
MCP: Its very hard! To get a decent bright green using the CMYK process is pretty impossible. The Green we used for Print Process is a Pantone colour.
2. Did you create a custom typeface for this project?
MCP: Yes, the typeface was drawn for this project and is based on the UK car numberplate font designed by Charles Wright. I really like the idea of taking something that has been designed for a very specific purpose and using it in a different way and in a different context. Another typographic example of this is the typeface called ‘Transport’ designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert (between 1957 and 1963). It was designed specifically for the traffic signs for motorways in the UK. If you live in the UK its ubiquitous, its beautiful but was designed for a very specific use. We used it on a record sleeve for Inside/Out on !K7 Records, again in a very different way. In this instance in a very expressive manner.
3. Favourite typeface?
MCP: Too many to list, but I’ve mentioned two above - The UK car numberplate font (Charles Wright) and Transport (by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert). Typography, more specifically letterforms is something I’ve been fascinated with for a very long time. Right back to the first time I saw a Letraset catalogue, and my personal forays into designing type. It’s a real passion.
4. What inspires you? What is your process?
MCP: The world around inspires me, inspiration comes from many sources, generally not from graphic design. I love architecture, and more and more industrial design. Process has changed massively over time but I couldn’t sit down and tell you what it is as a list. The world of design is incredibly dynamic so naturally process changes according to what problem we are trying to solve. I’m not very good at lists, sorry!
5. Was there a time during this/any project where you thought “oh man, we’re fucked!?” I know it’s a difficult question, but it’s a subject that’s rarely discussed.
MCP: Most of the ‘oh man we are fucked’ moments come from when we are trying to get money owed from clients. Most clients pay on time but we have had some what I call ‘squeaky-bum-moments’ when waiting for payments from clients. As a small business keeping an eye on cash-flow is incredibly important, and chasing payments is super time consuming…and annoying!
One of my favourite moments that I look back on and cringe was in the early days of Build. We had been invited to pitch a new identity of a series to a large TV channel. We did the presentation, we even printed the work out on foam backed board. We went to the channels offices, was called into the boardroom for the pitch. There was a very large boardroom table with about 15 people sat around the edge. We started to show our presentation, within about a minute one of the people stopped us and said ‘Are they all like this?’. We said yes, to which he replied ‘Didn’t you read the brief?’. We were literally in the meeting for about 5 minutes tops before walking out slightly shellshocked and a bit embarrassed. I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was one of the worst experiences of my design career!
6. What is the worst crime you can commit in graphic design?
MCP: I used to say it was centring type, also adding drop-shadows…but then I centred some type on a project…but I’ve never added a drop-shadow to anything.
7. Most challenging project? And what made it so challenging?
MCP: I think it was the first website we designed. I can’t remember the website sorry, but I remember being very panicked by it. This panic came from the fact that I came from a very ‘print’ background and am completely comfortable in that world. When it came to designing for the web I didn’t have a clue! But over time I got my head around it and feel comfortable in that world too.
8. Favourite book in the studio?
MCP: The one that means the most to me is ‘Mode en Module’, a very hard to get hold of book on the works of Wim Crouwel. I was very lucky to get a copy from Ian Anderson my old boss at the Designers Republic. It was a gift he gave to his then team for working over the weekend on a project. My copy is especially special as it is signed by Wim Crouwel himself.
If you’d like to get involved in our new blog series- keep a look out on our social media accounts (here, here, and here) - we’ll be sharing another archive project with you tomorrow (06.03.19)! To ask a question, simply respond to the social media post!
All questions will need to be in by the end of March 2019… We’ll answer the best ones next month.