One thing I kinda like doing is discovering an illustrator or designer after I’ve already purchased or enjoyed some bit of his/her work without knowing it, and then being taken in by the rest of their stuff. The latest candidate for this process of mine is Olly Moss, whose stuff I first saw on Threadless a long time ago. Specifically, that was this Spoilt t-shirt, which fit well with Threadless’s generally clever theme and plays on words.
Turns out this young designer (he’s 21) has also done some great re-imagingins of film posters, which for some reason is a tiny corner of the design world that I can’t help but be enthralled by every time. I have to say, if I was working in the packaging/publicity department of any major studio, I’d be out canvassing these guys and letting them do the hard work for me. Just looking back at Now Showing, any of the major studios have ready-made covers for any future blu-ray special editions, no problem.
Check out his awesome re-imagingings of the great film The Deer Hunter, plus Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. He’s also doing some good work with colour-layering, throwing a bit of typography-based information in there to boot. The “retro band/old song vs. new DJ/new beat = remix” illustration is fantastic, a nice simple encapsulation of where a remix lies, told through a design that stands out.
Then for the people who are somehow visually excited when they see mixing consoles (check), we’ve got his wonderful Mixer Shirt (called AV). Speaking of his shirts, he was also responsible for the Nintendo Family Tree shirt that I pointed out in the last month’s post on pixels. As seen below, his infographic stuff is playful without being overly coy–all fine examples of, say… the Threadless Aesthetic, if there is such a thing, only done right nearly every time.
I’ve seen his designs dozens of times and they’re still funny, which isn’t always the case with Threadless. Partially it’s the illustration, which holds up in a kind of aircraft-emergency-pamphlet way, but the typography and sense of visual timing (check out the rules of shotgun one) are spot-on. This kind of stuff is hard to do well, which is painfully evidenced by the mountain of threadless-imitation sites out there trying to turn bad puns into even crappier t-shirts. Here’s the winning formula: very, very solid joke + design that would make a good shirt even if the joke weren’t funny at all = memorable and funny shirt… maybe. Olly Moss knows how it’s done.