Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview: Neil J. Rook, Graphic Designer

I came across Neil J. Rook's work recently on CleverCards.com, an online showcase for graphic designers. He graduated from the London College of Fashion after studying surface textiles. The freelance designer, illustrator and fashion enthusiast focused his schooling on the more graphical elements of fashion design like illustration and textiles because of his strong graphical aesthetic. I recently caught up with the London based designer to have him share a bit about his work.
What do you typically look for in a client for inspiration in designing for them? I always try to get a feel for what they want, either by talking to them, getting them to perhaps gather a few images or themes they might like or even details about my own previous work they might like. When designing for someone else it's critical that you listen to them and understand exactly what they want before you start thinking about things or ideas that you might have.
How to you begin your ideation; hand sketches, computer, other media? My normal process of working is that I'll have an idea in my head, I'll quickly jot it down on some paper or a post it or whatever I can lay my hands on, then I'll start to research things or collect images as visual aids. When I've done all that, I'll then open illustrator and get to work. I have lots of ideas/drawings/plans that never see the light of day though.
What tools do you use to create your work. What's your favourite gadget? I create everything I design with my mouse and Adobe Illustrator, sometimes with a little help from Photoshop. Some people find working with a mouse tedious but I find that it allows me to be as meticulous and precise as possible which is great for someone whose a slight perfectionist like myself.
Would you like to apply your graphics to products rather than just the packaging? If so, what would those products look like? Of course, like most designers and illustrators I'd love for my work to be on display in as many places as it could possibly be or fit, within reason. I'm not exactly sure what those products would be but I'd like to imagine they would be something fun and innovative. I think as my education is also fashion based it would always be nice to see my work on fashion based goods as well.
The branding of your work is very consistent. Do you only want to take work that would result in similar looks? I think it's important to be consistent, especially in design so people know exactly what they are getting and who you are as an designer or illustrator. I like the idea of people being able to see my work and identify it as mine without actually having to be told, I think it's good to have that branding and style. I'd like to think I'm pretty open to most or all types of work though.
Your work looks like a party. It reminds me of Colorforms that i had as a child. Do you ever do anything on the dark side or a bit more serious? (Laughs), thank you. I think that the world in general is so serious that I don't particularly want to do anything majorly serious or dark. Maybe for me design and illustration are ways to escape all of that and just have some fun. Sometimes you just need a party and if my work is a party and brightens someone's day then I'm quite happy with that! 




All images courtesy of Neil J. Rook. To see more of his work, visit is website here. Neil also writes a blog, Ennsense, on fashion, design and architecture. 

4 comments:

  1. Looks brilliant!! Thanks again!

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  2. How did you ever find this person? leave it to you, Shaun - you have such a good eye! This is a wonderful idea and I look forward to more.

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  3. Thanks for shared it! I really love theme

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