Wednesday, 4 July 2012

In his 20-year design career, Anthony Burrill (pictured below with Francesca Wade and Barbara Soalheiro from Mesa & Cadeira and Iki the dog) has worked for Wallpaper*, London Underground and Collette in Paris, exhibited everywhere from Tokyo to Milan and earned cult status for his upbeat slogan prints, such as “Work Hard  &  Be Nice to People”. As his new show opens at Kemistry Gallery, we ask Anthony how he started out…

When did you decide you wanted to be a graphic designer? 
I was always interested in visual culture when I was growing up. This was quite a while ago – in the late ’70s, early ’80s – and there wasn’t the amount of stuff that there is now. Music – and record covers – was the thing that got me into it first but I didn’t realise you could have a job doing that. I did a foundation and then did a degree in graphic design. I graduated form the Royal College in ’91. That was before the internet and all that stuff.

Was it tough to break into the industry at that time? 
Yes, really hard, because you didn’t have the networks that are around now. I was shy and I didn’t like ringing people up on the phone, so it was hard for me to get my work out there. I started off by making little photocopied books and postcards and sending those out, and that developed into making posters and the kind of work that I do now. My first big project was for Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. I got that through my girlfriend. She was working on a campaign with Erik Kessels [of communications agency KesselsKramer]. He said he needed somebody to do some typography and she said, “I know somebody who could do some type for you”.

Read the full article on IdeasTap.

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