Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hamish Muir

Hamish Muir


Hamish Muir was our visiting lecturer today, he showed us his work, his studio and told us about how he formed 8vo and Octavo. His work is very type based and clean cut. He described how most of 8vo’s designs were made by collage and then photographed and re edited. It was an amazing process that he explained. He was very open with what he thought about graphic design and wasn’t scared to say what he thinks.

He met Mark Holt and Simon Johnston at Basel school of Design, together they formed 8vo (named from a meaning for a printing process)

8vo designed a wide range of typographically-based projects in identity, print, publishing, record packaging and information design for clients in the UK, Europe and the U.S. between 1984 and 2001. Clients including factory Records and Hacienda.

Swiss Legacy:Interview with Hamish Muir

I am a graphic designer who uses type. I am not a typographer. I happen to use type a lot. But to me ‘communication’ is more important. Typography is only a means to aid communication, not and end in itself


“in the UK things generally followed a kind of traditional approach and it seemed type was always there to support the idea or image, it never seemed to be the idea or image itself.

So what we set out to do was to make design where type and typography were central to the idea. Where type would be the image. Our influences were from outside the UK; Europe (Switzerland in particular) and the USA (Holt had spent time working freelance in San Francisco). But we didn’t want to copy what we knew – we wanted to develop our own approach which was relevant to the context in which we were working in terms of clients, jobs, purpose and audience.”


Hamish Muir isn’t really my sort of designer, but it was interesting to see his process and how he has made such an impact on designing. He is very much ‘the design process’ and I am more the ideas person so I think we are like opposite magnets in that sense.


From what I learned from Craig Oldham in the last lecture i consider Hamish Muir to be in Bunch A (logical designers)

While I am in Bunch B (emotional designers)

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