Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
I have been a passionate designer since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2004 with a Bachelor Of Design degree in Graphic Design. I have always favoured conceptually relevant design over trends in style. I started my own studio Hart Black in November 2011. Since that time my focus has shifted to facilitating Design Thinking and Human-Centred Design. This process allows me to assist my clients gaining and empowering insights from their customers to co-create solutions to their product/service/environment/communication and cultural challenges. I really love this kind of work, bringing clarity to complex and vaguely understood challenges.
I have been working with the WA AIDS Council as their official STYLEAID brand partner for three years now. I work exclusively on STYLEAID –WA’s most expansive Spring/Summer fashion runway and fundraising event. The event has raised over $1.2m for the WA AIDS Council since its inception. I am responsible for helping them develop the STYLEAID brand, identify opportunities for innovation and also the design of all the event collateral including the STYLEAID Magazine.
As for the Style Aid Magazine, how did you approach it? What’s your creative process like?
I am known for Typographic design due to my involvement with the International Society of Typographic Design (ISTD) and I enjoy creating a typographic hierarchy to guide the journey of reading. I typically start by reading the content and then creating a list of contents so that I can make sense of the document structure. I will then spend a lot of time upfront getting the document grid and typographic specifications (paragraph and character styles) just right. I do heaps of super quick pencil sketches and layouts.
I always import all the content roughly to begin with –literally dumping everything (text/pictures/graphs/captions etc.) on to the appropriate page without any thought towards the design. I like to do this so that I don’t get caught up in detail too soon. I will follow the dumping stage applying my style sheets to all of the content. It is only after doing this, once I have a good sense of what I am working with, that I actually start to design individual spreads. Once I have laid out the complete document I can start on my favourite part of the process… extremely anal typographic detailing!
I believe in the power of consistency so the magazine format I created in 2014 is still in use today. In 2015 Rike Melzian (studio intern at Chil3) took the document template and designed the full magazine layout. She did such a wonderful job of establishing the 2015 GoGo theme whilst maintaining all of the original styles. The result… you would never know the magazine was designed by two different designers. I am about to start the process of finding a student to get involved this year… STUDENTS get in touch now :)
What design tools did you use to create this?
Adobe Creative Suite and the amazing photography of Richard Jefferson under the impeccable creative direction of Aly May who has been driving the STYLEAID vision since the very first event.
What does the client think of the end product?
The STYLEAID Magazine serves multiple clients; WA AIDS Council, Advertisers, Sponsors and the Reader. I have received a lot of positive feedback on the quality of the end product across the board. It is an unusual hybrid created for a unique purpose covering fashion stories, the event itself, opinion pieces, the incredible work of the AIDS council, design, travel, food/beverage and beauty and I believe we have created something worthy of the event it supports. The 2016 STYLEAID Magazine will be available for a gold coin donation for the month ahead of the event at select fashion and lifestyle retailers and of course in the legendary STYLEAID gift bag for guests to take home on the night. Why not grab a ticket or better yet a table and come along yourself! A fun way to support a very hardworking charity.
You chose Prado Linen 315gsm and HannoArt Silk 130gsm. What were your thoughts behind this?
I believe we [Chris Grant from Stockman Paper and I] talked very early in the process. I am a stickler for stocks that engage the reader in a tactile way to complement the design. I knew I wanted a heavily textured cover stock and contrasting smooth text stock to complement. Stockman’s created a full-size mock-up for me so I could get an idea of what the magazine would feel like to flick through. HannoArt silk prints so beautifully –it really is perfect for picking up the detail to best showcase the work of WA’s preeminent fashion designers.
And finally, what tips would you give to anybody who is looking to choose stock for their next project?
Ask yourself what the stock needs to do? Does it need to be written on? Does it need to wipe clean? What do you want the project to convey –quality and prestige, smooth modernity, rustic earthiness? Paper is a design tool not to be overlooked and certainly not an afterthought. I recommend collecting a box of printed objects that you love… figure out what it is you love about them and how they make you feel. This is a good place to look for inspiration and start educating yourself on the importance of tactility in design.