Visually arresting and quintessentially minimalist, a typographic insider could spot his designs a mile off. With suits and bohemians equally keen to sign him up for projects, Anthony is a busy boy. But luckily, he loves nothing more than a collaboration and his self-styled mantra ‘Work Hard and Be Nice to People’, which is why we’ve been lucky enough to snare him in for an exclusive.
So with the introduction out of the way, let’s kick things off with a brief Q&A…
1. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1991 and have worked independently on a wide variety of projects including music, fashion, film, advertising, and publishing. My work has been exhibited internationally and I travel widely to lecture and lead workshops.
‘I like it, what is it?’ Woodblock poster designed by Anthony Burrill. Printed by Adams of Rye using traditional woodblock printing techniques.
2. THE IDEA FOR THE OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX POSTER WAS PRETTY PROFOUND, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT AND WERE YOU IN MEXICO AT THE TIME?
The project was conceived by Happiness a communications agency in Brussels. They came to me with the concept and we worked on the message and design of the poster. The team from the agency did the field work, I was connected via Skype during the production of the poster. The reaction to the story was amazing. The simplicity of the project appealed to a broad range of people, and in a small way we contributed to the wider public debate.
Screen-printed poster made with oil from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. Proceeds from the sale of the print were donated to CRCL (Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana)
a non-profit organisation dedicated to restoring the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal wetlands.
The project was conceived and produced in collaboration with Happiness Brussels.
3. WERE YOU EDUCATED AND BROUGHT UP ON TRADITIONAL PRINTING TECHNIQUES, OR IS THIS SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNT THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER?
I was taught the basics of letterpress by Alan Kitiching when I was studying at the Royal College of Art. Computers were only just being introduced into art colleges in the early nineties, I feel fortunate that I have had experience of both analogue and digital design.
4. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR STYLE OF WORK?
I am interested in making work that engages with people in a thoughtful and playful way.
5. DO YOU FEEL TYPOGRAPHY AS AN ASPECT OF DESIGN IS BECOMING EVER MORE IMPORTANT FOR DESIGNERS?
The access we have to a huge variety of fonts is staggering. I remember the days of the Letraset catalogue, and that seemed baffling enough. I am fascinated by typography and feel that I’ve only really scratched the surface so far, there is so much to learn and explore. Typography is a hard subject to master, that’s what makes it interesting.
Watch out for Anthony’s Exclusive Faces font coming very soon!