Embracing mistakes and materiality with the Bath School of Art & Design graduate designer
Combining a rich mix of type and image, Charlie strives to create a sense of both tangibility and rawness which subverts much of the clean, glossy graphic design out there today. Instead, this approach engenders a sense of playfulness that ensures Charlie’s work is visually engaging; the more unrestricted he is, the more intriguing the end result. Having grown up in a creative environment (his mother is an artist), Charlie’s visual references are broad in nature. He cites language, architecture and psycho-geography as interests, and it is perhaps this broad array of influences that drives him to push the boundaries of his own work.
While reluctant to confine himself to any particular subject, a favourite feature of his process is printing. An extension of his central design philosophy (that we should increasingly embrace uninhibited, even gritty, work), Charlie’s love of print stems from the accidents and materiality that the process involves. Be it “on a large format scale, on a risograph or even on an inkjet printer at home, these all aid a different quality or style,” he contends. Where the digital process facilitates greater precision, dealing in print has allowed Charlie to develop bolder, more inquisitive work, like that of Neither Documentary Nor Fiction, below.
This desire to experiment was developed at both Kingston University and Bath School of Art and Design, where Charlie studied for foundation and undergraduate degrees respectively. Both environments allowed him to challenge conventional graphic design as a result of their encouragement of refinement and exploration, and the tutelage of Nigel Robinson in Bath, and mentorship of Stefi Orazi more recently, has also motivated him to embrace mistakes. Rather than starting again, he’ll look refine them into something more dynamic. To that end, Charlie summarises his practice in the words of Tibor Kalman: “when you make something no one hates, no one loves it. So I am interested in imperfections, quirkiness, insanity, unpredictability.”