Posted in Theory, Visual Language
Demian Conrad Design is a creative studio based in Lausanne, Switzerland and boasts a strong graphic style coupled with beautiful typography.
Far from visceral, their approach is forensic and objective, employing a level of thinking and curiosity that has quite clearly rewarded them with many great projects.
Demian has kindly agreed to answer a few questions for TypeToken.
Having studied with Edward de Bono, how much influence has he had on your work?
Edward de Bono is one of the rare brilliant minds who has improved the way we use creativity thanks to a series of techniques he developed. He has also demonstrated that creativity is not a mysterious magic gift but it is a proper skill that you can develop and improve. I’ve been implementing his great techniques for a long time and they help me to find solutions when I’m stuck with a problem. The PO ‘provocative operator’ is a simple tool to provoke new ideas. I used it, for instance, for ‘Camerata de Lausanne’ when I had to set the problem, the question being ‘Can we communicate the concept of contemporary music, without the classic visual elements like a violin, partitions and musical notes?’
Experimentation flows through your studio, but perfection is just as evident. How do you balance them both?
It is always difficult to balance it, in some way we would like to do more experimental projects, but as we are serving an industry we also have to keep an eye on objectivity. I believe my work is a kind of Swiss heritage mixed with a pinch of dadaism. One of our influences is the Fluxus Movement with its performative techniques. So when you see the last project produced for the LUFF campaign you can read there is the wish to try new ways to express a visual sign.
At what point during a project do you introduce typography?
I would say that typography is the starting point of the visual project, having analysed the problems and set the questions of the project. I decided to avoid the use of illustration and figurativism within my studio’s process, and so I give more emphasis to typography and geometry. It is always an exiting and empowering process to communicate within typography constraints.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Do not listen to other people’s opinion when you think you have the right answer.
If you had to favour one typeface, what would it be?
It’s not possible to choose the best one because every typeface has it own purpose and set of values. But recently, I re-discovered Univers by Adrian Frutiger and I have to say that is seems so perfectly objective.
You can view more of Demian Conrad’s work on his site.