Gradwatch: Jonny Holmes & Charlie Patterson, Graphic Design Communication, Chelsea College of Art

These Chelsea graduate stars are setting up together as multidisciplinary design studio Opposite

Jonny Holmes

Describe your work/style in five words:
Minimalist, typographic, craftsmanship, tangible, process.

What drives your creativity/work?
Mostly a love of design and seeing ideas come to life, being surrounded by other creative people helps a lot, and definitely lots of tea and biscuits.

What idea or project of yours encapsulates your approach best?
My last project at university, A Sign of the Times, combined all my passions; craftsmanship, materiality, process and type design. I enjoy working with my hands so being able to utilise both analogue and digital techniques is important to me. The project aims to utilise digital technologies to archive, enhance and support traditional craft methods, through the creation of several contemporary multi-layered display fonts, exploring the typographic values within signwriting and reverse glass sign making. It culminated in the production of a large handpainted and gilded mirror showcasing the fonts while exploring the vernacular of sign writing. A modern take on traditional craft.

What is the strangest thing you’ve done on a project?
Where do I start? Changing my name by deed poll, painting myself 2 3 green, desperately waiting for the sun to rise in an eerily quiet forest, recreating Steve McCurry’s National Geographic ‘Afghan girl’ image. That is just a sample of the many strange moments that art college provided.

If you could steal a talent from three people you admire, what would you choose, from whom,
(and why)?

Wim Crouwel’s type and layout skills, Mark Farrow’s aesthetic and Johnny Cash’s voice.

Who would you give your right arm to work with (and why)?
Dieter Rams I think. He is one of my design heroes and I reckon we would have a very clean, tidy, well-furnished workspace.

What would be your dream commission/project?
To rebrand an airline. I think seeing you work taking off and landing would be a pretty great moment.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Working in/running my own studio in London or New York, doing big projects that really excite me.

How will design have changed in ten years’ time?
Obviously technology will have progressed, hopefully there will be computers and software that don’t crash at the worst possible moment, that is, if computers are still the designer’s weapon of choice. I’m waiting for the device that combines everything we need in one tiny, light, indestructible package.

Charlie Patterson

Describe your work/style in five words:
Big, colourful, fun, funny, physical.

What drives your creativity/work?
Being able to work with so many other talented people. I would much prefer to work with others on a project than by myself. It is a great feeling 2 when you come up with ideas with other people and then get to see the project through to the end with them. I really enjoy creating work you can hold and enjoy.

What idea or project of yours encapsulates your approach best?
My Creative Club project probably encapsulates my approach best, as it was a lot of fun to make and I had to physically create the badges myself. The project allowed me to meet a lot of talented creatives, which was very beneficial both to the project and me.

What is the strangest thing you’ve done on a project?
Painting myself head to toe in pink glittery body paint in a park in New Cross. Another, more recent, strange experience was an Opposite project that involved painting Big John’s ‘big’ belly for an E4 sting.

If you could steal a talent from three people you admire, what would you choose, from whom, (and why)?
I would like Josef Albers’ and Victor Vasarely’s creativity and drawing abilities because they are both geniuses. I always wanted to be a pro BMX rider, so someone like Danny MacAskill would be good to steal from. I just wanted to throw myself around on a tiny bike, really.

Who would you give your right arm to work with (and why)?
I would love to work with the photographer Tim Walker. His work is outside of my field but with my desire to build and make things, collaborating with him on producing surreal set designs would be amazing.

What would be your dream commission/project?
To be given a town and a lot of colourful paint.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
At least five children, living near to London, having a great time doing anything and everything.

Photos: David Ryle. See more at jonnyholmes.com

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