was successfully added to your cart.

smiths

Look into any design studio and undoubtedly many of the designers will be sat at their Mac, wearing over-priced headphones, listening to their chosen genre of hipster music. Design and music are intrinsically linked, music in some way aids the creative process and enables a relaxing mood for designers to work in.
Mike Joyce, owner of the excellent design studio Stereotype NYC, uses this relationship between design and music to create Swissted. Swissted is an on-going project where Mike fuses his love of Modernism and of punk music; two movements that are radically different and really have nothing to do with each other. Using the minimal stylings of modernism, one typeface (akzidenz-grotesk medium (not helvetica)) and block colours; he seamlessly blends both modernism and punk creating beautiful international typographic style posters. The posters celebrate gigs that actually happened and are available to purchase at the Swissted store. Thing caught up with Mike to find out more.

my_bloody_valentine
Thing: Where did you learn your craft?
Mike: I went to the School of Art & Design at Alfred University in New York. I was really fortunate to have the great Swiss graphic designer Fred Troller as my teacher there.

Thing: What inspires your work?
Mike: I’m inspired by all different types of  things. When I was a kid I was really attracted to things like the Mobil Pegasus logo, the Michelin Man, the IBM logo, etc. I didn’t know it at the time but I was looking at great graphic design and advertising art. Those things really inspired me to become a designer. And of course music, and art and design for music, specifically album packaging, has always been a great inspiration to me. Reid Miles who designed countless groundbreaking album covers for Blue Note has been a huge influence on me and my work. And I love Jamie Reid’s work for the Sex Pistols. The concept for Never Mind the Bollocks was to purge all art and image normally used on record covers. I love that Reid defied tradition to create something completely new and that kind of thought process is a major inspiration to how I approach my work.

Thing: Your obviously a huge music fan and a fan of Modernism. Why did you create the Swissted range of designs?
Mike: Basically punk rock and typography are my two favorite things. I grew up completely inspired by punk and would later find that same inspiration in Swiss graphic design‚ more specifically the International Typographic Style. I always liked that these two movements seemed at odds with one another in that punk rock has an anti-establishment ethos and Swiss modernism is very structured. And at the same time there’s a common thread between the two—the Swiss modernists purged extraneous decoration to create clear communication, while punk rock took on self-indulgent rock and roll and stripped it to it’s core. So I thought it would be an interesting exercise to combine the two and see what happens.

pavement

Thing: Are tangible things still relevant in a digital age? {Can we buy the Swissted posters as real ‘things’?}
Mike: I definitely think tangible objects are still relevant. I’m typing my answers on a very tangible iMac right now. I realize the CD is going the way of the dodo bird but I love that vinyl records are making a comeback. I’ve personally received a lot of letters from the younger generation who feel they’ve been cheated a bit. I got a 12-inch, double gatefold, with red vinyl, and foldout poster and they get a 125 pixel square to stare at. Definitely doesn’t seem fair to me. And yep, the Swissted posters are real live prints—you can get them at SwisstedShop.com. The print quality is incredible!

Thing: Could you pick a favourite album cover of all time?
Mike: Wow, that’s really tough to pick just one cover. There are just so many records and so many album designers that I admire. But if I had to pick just one, I think I’d go with the Germs (GI). The Germs were this great punk band from LA—they were loud, brash, bratty, and almost always wasted, but if you take a look at their debut (and only) album (GI) you would never know it. It’s minimalism at it’s best—all black, one blue circle, two white rules, and the band’s name and album title set small in Helvetica. It looks like it could have been done by Josef Muller-Brockmann or Armin Hofmann but instead was created by 20-year-old frontman Darby Crash.

848064000617

damned bad_religion_2 my_bloody_valentine iggy_pop