Interview with Amazing Designer Jonathan Haggard
Mon, 09/07/2009 - 10:08
If you love poster design then you probably have stumbled across Jonathan Haggard before. Amazing typography, gorgeous colors and witty social commentary are common tools of Haggards trade. Keep in mind though, once you’ve seen this you probably won’t ever look at propaganda the same way. Enjoy!
Well, let’s start with the usual. Who are you and where are you from Mr. Haggard? What is your brief design background?
My name is Jonathan Haggard and I usually go by the moniker skryingbreath. I was born and raised in California; my current residence is San Francisco, California where I'm attending The Academy of Art University to build my portfolio and get my degree in Web Design and New Media.
Design has been something I've been fascinated with since I started creating minor user experience ideas with Winamp skinning. Though, I quickly realized that whenever I told a pretty girl I made skins I got a confident decline to my phone number invitation. Switching things up and doing a ridiculous amount of scientific experimentation with typography and advertising paid off, and I got the girl too!
Your poster work and photography are really truly amazing. How did you get into the poster / print realm of design?
To be completely honest I somewhat fell into it. I started making these simple and ugly typographic renditions of Daft Punk songs, and figured I'd print them once I saw a show by my biggest influence - Scott Hansen/ISO50. After realizing the freedom that the print world allows, designing and thinking of substantial concepts became easier.
Since most of the client work I receive is identity/layout dominant, posters give me a chance to exercise total control and execution of a concept from beginning to end with no other input or distractions.
I know you're heavily influenced by propaganda aesthetics. Care to elaborate on how that came about?
Through type experiments and looking for inspiration via FFFFOUND or flickr streams, I found myself returning to the basic principles of design that are so gracefully combined in vintage Russian and German propaganda posters. Balance, repetition, contrast, dominance and solid concepts executed in the most perfect manner to convince a population to follow an idea.
This built itself into an obsession, and I'm always on the lookout for anything propaganda related.
Music often finds its way into your artwork as well. Do you work with musical artists often? Or just as inspiration for personal pieces? Both?
I have worked with musicians' logotypes and identities. Most of the time I have a great idea while listening to a song for the 900th time in a day, decide to make a poster about it and then email it to the musician. It really pumps me up when they respond, even just a “thumbs up, kiddo”. It's a thrill I haven't found elsewhere.
One last question, is there any sort of art or design work that you aren’t currently doing that you wish you were? Why or why not?
What a coincidence; I just started a course on motion graphics which is something I admire from afar but have never participated in. It seems like the ultimate skill to have and make pretty stuff and then add an entirely new dimension that alters everything. I'm confident I'll get a handle on motion graphics and be posting kinetic propaganda soon.
Jonathan Haggards Website: http://jonathanhaggard.com/
Jonathan Haggard on DeviantArt: http://skryingbreath.deviantart.com/