Intervista: Duane King

Duane King

Duane King’s style is unmis­tak­ably new-generation, his com­pre­hen­sive knowl­edge of the his­tory and heroes of design make his vision time­less. As cre­ative direc­tor of Santa Fe based stu­dio BBDK he’s pro­duced solu­tions in print, pack­ag­ing and inter­ac­tive that have earned him great recog­ni­tion. Duane is also the cre­ator of Think­ing For A Liv­ing, a col­lec­tion of rec­om­mended read­ings and online links for the mod­ern designer, it’s an ever-growing plat­form ded­i­cated to the con­cept of open source design edu­ca­tion. He was kind enough to answer a few ques­tions for AisleOne.

How long have you been design­ing?
It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been 15 years. I actu­ally began my design career before com­put­ers were a sta­ple in the indus­try. My school­ing included no com­puter train­ing and I had to relearn the busi­ness once I hit the job market.

Who or what turned you on to graphic design?

Who or what are your influ­ences?

My design influ­ences are Josef Müller-Brockmann, Paul Rand, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Herb Lubalin, Tom Car­nase and many more. In order to facil­i­tate my per­sonal attempts to at cre­at­ing rel­e­vant design I have tried to bet­ter under­stand the his­tory of our craft. I feel that it is only by mak­ing ref­er­ences to the past and mix­ing them with your per­sonal inter­pre­ta­tion of the future that we as design­ers have any chance of obtain­ing our own place in the time­line of the his­tory of graphic design.

What is your favorite type­face?

Hel­vetica. No other font has the flex­i­bil­ity of this par­tic­u­lar type­face. Even with it’s famil­iar­ity this font can be dis­tin­guished or insipid at will.

Duane King

What is your favorite color palette to work with?
All of them. Full color spec­trums are par­tic­u­larly excit­ing to me. Tech­no­log­i­cal improve­ments in print­ing and screen dis­plays has allowed for increas­ingly com­plex usage of gra­di­ents.

Can you explain your cre­ative process from brief to com­ple­tion?
I sup­pose that the real begin­ning of the cre­ative process starts with the deci­sion to be a designer. From that moment on, every­thing you see, hear, taste, smell and touch will con­tribute to your design vocab­u­lary and life expe­ri­ence. Travel, lis­ten to music, talk to all kinds of peo­ple, read the news­pa­per, surf the web; keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. The richer your expe­ri­ences, the more tricks you’ll have up your sleeve and the broader your design vocab­u­lary will be. Have a view­point, believe in some­thing, trust your instincts.

Do you use a grid sys­tem when design­ing and how do you feel about them?
I tend to grav­i­tate towards method­i­cal approaches to most any design solu­tion, but I typ­i­cally only use grid sys­tems when I have large amounts of text to deal with. A grid is always help­ful in cre­at­ing hier­ar­chi­cal sys­tems that aid leg­i­bil­ity and give a design an under­ly­ing struc­ture. They can be cum­ber­some and restric­tive if they are over-thought, but with some free­dom and flex­i­bil­ity they are invalu­able tools for cre­at­ing order from chaos.

Who do you feel is cur­rently doing inno­v­a­tive work?
Joshua Davis, Uni­ver­sal Every­thing, Made Thought, Sur­face to Air, 2X4, Parra Janssen, Karls­son Wilker, Graphic Thought Facil­ity and too many oth­ers to list.

What are you work­ing on now?
An ecom­merce site and pack­ag­ing sys­tem for an Ital­ian glass com­pany, a self-initiated prod­uct line called Beau­ti­ful & Use­ful, a new ver­sion of the Think­ing for a Liv­ing site, and hol­i­day cards for the Museum of Mod­ern Art.

Duane King

What is your favorite color?
At the moment, it’s Rubine Red. There’s some­thing about intensely pure pig­ments that I am drawn to.

What is your favorite album?
Lon­don Call­ing by The Clash.

What is your favorite movie?
2001: A Space Odyssey. Stan­ley Kubrick has always been an inspi­ra­tion to me.

Inter­vista is a series of inter­views con­ducted for AisleOne with some of todays top tal­ents in graphic design.


Comments are closed.