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Creative Futures Bursary Project: Kate Moross

Graphic Design

Posted by Creative Review, 11 August 2008, 16:47    Permalink    Comments (1)

Heisphoto by Kate Moross

For almost 20 years, Creative Review has been encouraging the next generation of talented creatives through our annual Creative Futures scheme in which we celebrate the promise of a selection of emerging talent in visual communications.

This year’s crop of Futures were selected by the CR editorial team – our only criteria were to find indiv­iduals or teams who we feel have an extremely bright future ahead of them and who are indicative of the future direction of the industry.

Just before Christmas, each of our selected Futures gave a talk at one of three Creative Futures events. We invited everyone coming along to the talks to bring a piece of work with them – an image, some text, even a piece of music. We then asked each of our Futures to produce a new piece of work responding to the experience of being selected for the scheme, giving their talk and to the work brought along. These projects were funded by a bursary provided to each Future by CR and PlayStation. Over the next week or so we will be posting up the resulting pieces of work plus documentaries on each Future, made for us by Fallon.

Sky1 by Kate Moross

"I wanted to try and work illustrations into some of the photographs I liked from the content we were given," explains Moross of the two new works she created, shown above and top of this post. "I just took phrases that I connected with the images, whether they were lyrics from songs I was listening to, or a line that I heard in passing. I wanted to keep it really simple, and just have the illustration burning through."

In another first this year, a film crew from Fallon made a short documentary about each of our Futures. Here is the interview with Kate Moross:

Thanks to everyone at Fallon:
Creative Director- Richard Flintham
Executive Producer- Nicky Barnes
Director- Rob Heath
Producer- Peter Maynard
Director Of Photography- Canny Richardson
Production Company- Fallon Film

Here's the profile on Kate we ran in our January issue:

Kate Moross is something of an inspiration. Although just 21 and currently in her final year at Camberwell College of Arts, a visit to her website reveals her graphic and illustrative output is nothing short of prolific. On top of her personal and college work she has managed to create pieces for clients including Sony and Cadburys, provide illustrations for a host of magazines such as Vice, Dazed & Confused, Super Super and Fact, and still found time to produce innumerable flyers for myriad London clubnights. Oh, and she’s just art directed a book for an architecture firm in collaboration with Tom Merrell Design, started her own record label and is about to launch her own range of signature clothing at Top Shop.

So what makes Kate Moross tick? “Theory, popular science, economics, weird stuff like that,” comes the response. “Bike rides, tea, stationery, music,” she adds. “And Pantone, systems, architecture, engineering, physics – anything that I can graphic-design-nerd-out on really.”

Moross’ work is wonderfully varied in style though invariably colourful and eye-catching, as she utilises hand-drawn elements, isometric and interlocking shapes and patterns, hand-drawn illustration and also vector graphic work. It is this combination of bright hues, painstaking design, hand-drawn letterforms and bold illustration that announces both her skill and confidence as an imagemaker. And also that she’s happy to do things the hard way, by hand, for the love of it which, in turn, gives her work appeal and plenty of charm.

“With illustration work I normally develop my ideas on the spot,” she says. “I am very impulsive, I don’t like planning for hours. First I discuss what the client wants and I like to put things on paper straightaway. I normally sketch something out very quickly and then tackle it head-on and go straight in with the ink. It normally works out for the best this way. With my hand-drawn work, I focus on intense detail, layering, colour and line. I love finding new patterns, shapes and letterforms to experiment with,” she adds.

Her approach to design work is markedly different, she claims. “I can spend weeks researching a project before I even start to visualise it – there is a lot of thought behind every idea. I like to start with a conceptual seed, and develop ideas from there. Gestalt Theory, for example was the start of all of my isometric patterns and shapes. The idea that ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ started the isometric building experiments that have flooded my work since.”

So perhaps it’s unsurprising to learn that Isomorph is the name of the the record label Moross has recently started – although it’s not just a record label. “Isomorph is a new company I’ve set up to act as an umbrella to any publishing or side project I choose to start,” she explains. “I will also be publishing a couple of books in the new year. The record label part of Isomorph was constructed to create vinyl-only releases for
existing bands, as a chance for a collaboration between musicians and designers. I aim to work on a series of releases designing an aesthetic for each album/single.” The last issue of CR showcased the sleeve of the label’s first release, Populuxxe by Cutting Pink With Knives, which takes the form of a heavyweight green 10'' record, housed in a gatefold sleeve adorned with origami-esque typography. “The vinyl itself is high in production value,” says Moross. “Where most labels would scrimp and save, Isomorph aims to indulge in all aspects of vinyl releases, creating collectors’ editions
in small print numbers.”

This notion of creating collectable limited editions will also carry through to Moross’ forthcoming range of clothing for Top Shop. “I have designed a range of six garments which have all been hand-drawn and coloured using Letraset markers,” she reveals. “Each piece will be completely unique with only a few hundred of each being made.” Moross’ desire to produce her work in her own way, no matter what the cost in terms of expense or time, sets her apart from most of her peers and indeed her fellow students must surely struggle to compete with her remarkable productivity. “I am itching to finish university,” admits Moross, “so I can focus on my work and start having some time off.” On the one hand some time off would seem well deserved – but at the same time it seems unlikely that Moross is going to slow down her output anytime soon.

“I am going to continue with my record label and invest in a studio which I want to convert into a co-operative space where freelancers can work together in the same environment,” she tells us of her immediate post-college plans. “I am looking forward to working with some more big brands and publishing a few more books.”

Visit to see a selection of Kate's work

1 Comment

ace - go kate!

2008-08-12 11:28:06

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