Rian Hughes is arguably one of the most multi-talented men currently working in communication design. His comic books are just the tip of the iceberg, with his current redesign of the Valiant logo making comic shop shelves a little sleeker, and his recent work organizing the Image Duplicator exhibition displaying his passion for original comic book art. When I was in London, I was lucky enough to a get a glimpse at the projects currently cluttering Rian Hughes’ desk and it proved an enlightening afternoon.
A lot of the time, people who work in comic books and design are self-employed, working alone in our offices and communicating with our teams via email, phone, chat, and skype. As a result of this, the camaraderie of colleagues and peers can become a distant, virtual experience. Outside of conventions once or twice a year, we rarely actually manage to see each other in meat space, making do instead with sending files back and forth. That’s why, when I went to London last month I had to make sure to meet up with comic book author and groundbreaking graphic designer; Rian Hughes. Hughes is one of the most interesting and engaging graphic designers working with comic books today and I am always inspired and excited by his take on things. When he invited me to visit him at his studio in Kew Gardens, I leapt at the chance to get a sneak peek at where the design magic happens. Hughes shares his bright and sunny studio with a group of freelance designers and a small graphic design company, which combines to create a quietly bustling creative atmosphere. Initially, my intention was to conduct some sort of interview, but instead we jumped right in to chatting about all of the interesting things lying about on his desk, and it proved to be quite the treasure trove… Continue Reading »
If you live in America (or the world) perhaps you were as enthralled by the election as I was. It was fascinating to watch unfold online, as the results were reported, extrapolated, and opined upon. If you’re at all interested in visual communication and the use of imagery to convey information (as so many comic book readers are) then this was a banner year to find interesting and new ways to look at the election beyond giant maps plastered onto ice rinks and such gimmicky tricks.
There are comic books I have bought for their cover and only for their cover. While the interior hasn’t displeased me, this meat of the comic book is not what drew me to it, nor (more importantly) what made the purchase a satisfying one. These are comic books I won’t sell or give away, even though I probably won’t read them again. While the interior are strongly echoed by the covers, it is the comic book as a container which interests me. Like most people, I try not to be a superficial person, to judge for the beauty inside, but for me, in these instances, the covers lend so much more weight to the stories which inspired them, that they become substance in their own right.
Comic book logo development is a lot of fun for me and I thought you might like to see how one gets made. Like a lot of self-employed people in this industry, I spent part of the holiday season working. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Being a graphic designer can be fun, but being a graphic designer for a comic book can be incredibly fun. So I worked on some ads for a new comic book and established some ground rules for the mood and feel that I want to evoke with the logo when it is done. This project is so far in the future that I cannot share the work, but it got me thinking that you might be interested in seeing how a new comic book logo takes shape for me. A logo that I worked on a couple of months ago is now in use on a comic book that will be available to buy in the Spring.