Gustav Greffrath

"Untitled" / Edition 05 / SOLD OUT

GUSTAV GREFFRATH (b.1980) is a graphic designer and creative director at one of South Africa's foremost digital marketing companies. As a designer, he has worked individually and in collaboration with other artists on typographic design, industrial design and editorial design, including a recent piece of work featured in iJusi Magazine's 'Afrikaner Typographica III' (2011). He is a vinyl collector, a lecturer in typography at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a published photographer.

artwork

How would you describe what you do?

I'm a designer and visual communicator. I work with image and text to inform, educate or convince a viewer of a particular point of view.

Can you describe your studio and the way you work?

The agency's design studio is a space that allows for collaboration. Busy, noisy, energetic and a bit chaotic. It is a place where skilled individuals with different areas of expertise come together to dream, to make and to debate effective communication. It is through this collaboration that the most disruptive, and often unexpected, ideas and designs come to life.

What tools do you use in your work?

Ideas often happen outside of the studio, so a notebook and a pencil is most often the first tool I use to quickly capture a thought or an image. Ultimately, however, these ideas end up on a computer where craft and the attention to detail begin to play a role. I don't believe that a deep degree of experience with any particular software programme is a prerequisite for a good piece of work, but it often helps to successfully visualise and craft a piece of communication.

What role does play or experimentation play in your work?

Working with technology always involves a degree of experimentation. Technology allows us to quickly and effectively assess our work and to adapt it to better meet the desired results or requirements, but that can easily become a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the real craft of objects or designs is often lost in the process of striving for faster and faster turnaround times, but, on the other hand, it can have a positive impact where it facilitates better, clearer communication.

How do craft and concept overlap in your work?

Concept comes first. It's the foundation. Without good craft, the concept is often overlooked. Likewise, beautiful craft without a strong concept can sometimes seem meaningless.

How did you approach this project?

We tend to overlook the craft that underlies objects, and focus on the veneer of their branding and marketing instead. My board attempts to expose this by bringing the attention back to the object. The traditional processes of sealing and laminating boards creates a high gloss layer that is at first beautiful and beguiling. Yet it only covers up the true beauty of the matt, white object underneath. So, I've omitted any graphic elements to shift the focus to the shape of the board. And, more importantly, by leaving part of the board exposed, specifically the section featuring Spider's signature, I've tried to draw attention away from the surface to the real focus of this project – the craftsman and his work.

Richard Hart

Richard Hart

Michael McGarry

Michael McGarry

Frances Goodman

Frances Goodman

Jonathan Barnbrook

Jonathan Barnbrook

Asha Zero

Asha Zero

Olivier Schildt

Olivier Schildt

Anton Kannemeyer

Anton Kannemeyer

Givan Lötz

Givan Lötz

Roelof Petrus Van Wyk

Roelof Van Wyk

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