Interview: Joel Evey – Art Director Urban Outfitters
Joel Evey is a Designer based in Philadelphia and being Urban Outfitters print art director for a while now. He’s the man responsible for some fancy and high quality print products for them. Evey combines well thought out considered design and typography with images to create exciting pieces of work.
Name: Joel Evey
Place of residence: Philadelphia
Profession: Art Director
Transportation: Bike, or truck depending on the weather
Are your print designs for Urban Outfitters inspired by your own experiences or, if not, do you have any other ways of inspiration?
Are you also involved in the production process–photography for example–for Urban’s print campaigns and catalogues?
I work with the very talented Anouck Bertin our Photo Director at Urban. She works with photographers like Tim Barber and Charlie Engman, from there she and I talk about the photography, then it’s handed off to the print department to design the catalogs, PR books, poster etc.
Currently you’re developing a new corporate typeface system GRD GROTESK for Urban Outfitters. Can you tell us some details about the creative process?
GRD GROTESK was developed out of a need for a consistent branding system that also had the ability to shift and evolve. It’s has about 30 different cuts at this point which allows it to be really varied, while still being a recognizable identity. I had the pleasure of working on this project with Andy Rementer and Namik Schwarz. It’s been a great process so far. The next cut is a mono space / OCR version.
How does the kind of design you create differ from other forms of design—industrial for example?
In my own practice I feel like it’s all linked in some way. I have made furniture, I produce music, I’m starting to do some structural design. I think graphic design is just one of the facets that makes me a well rounded “designer” instead of only identifying myself as a graphic designer.
Do you show your client more than one solution?
Depends on the client!
Together with Rasmus Emanuel Svensson you’re also running the project entitled “Lifestream”. Can you tell our readers more about it?
Lifestream was a collaborative project commissioned by Bodega Press here in Philadelphia. That publication formed a visual “call & response” between Rasmus and I, film and digital, objective and subjective. I liked how it turned out.
I was drawn by your symbol contribution for PWR magazine. Is this form of object design another focal point when you’re creating your work?
I’m interested in iconography. Symbols (or logos today) occupy a special place in the modern psyche. From cave paintings to religious markings to logos, the idea of the “icon” is something I think warrants more exploration.
You created a poster contribution to FourFiveX. How did you go about “designing” it?
The brief was very open. They asked for a piece that looked like it could have been taken off a gallery wall. I opted to play with the ideas of space and perspective as the basis for my piece.
What’s one essential that you always carry on you?
Music. The things I listen to really influence what I make and how productive I am.
What’s your next project?
A Collaborative show with Joe Gilmore of Qubik at the Catch-Up gallery in Leeds. ❚