An ocean and five times zones can’t keep illustrators Craig Redman and Karl Maier from being creative collaborators. (Craig lives in New York, and Karl in London.) With much thanks to Skype, the two create bold and thoughtful—and often humorous—graphic works for Google, Nike, LVHM, and The New York Times to name a few. In just a few weeks, the pair will be showing a new piece for Herman Miller as part of Then x Ten, an upcoming exhibition celebrating the power of the poster.
Herman Miller’s Asia Pacific blog recent spoke with Craig and Karl:
Can you tell us a little about the new Herman Miller poster you’re working on?
We’re lucky enough to work on the Hang-It-All by Charles and Ray Eames; both designers and object fall right into the heart of our aesthetic. We’re going to tackle the piece in our portrait style where we divide the face into colorful parts then recompose it back into it’s traditional form with emphasis on the individual components. It’s going to be fun to try and integrate all the parts into one cohesive piece.
Your style is hard to pin down, what are you influences?
Our influences are pretty eclectic, from PONPONPON to Urs Fischer, Peter Max to My Bloody Valentine, NeNe Leakes to David Hockney, The Renaissance to Memphis design and John Baldessari. There’s no conscious decision towards one or another; our personalities just loosely guide us in a direction.
What’s a typical day in the office?
Since we live in different parts of the world, we talk daily via Skype to discuss what’s going on. Usually as one of us is finishing up for the day and the other is beginning. We’ll talk through projects and discuss ideas for new ones. We’ll work and reconvene at the end of the day or the beginning of the next.
How do you approach a new project?
Whenever possible we work together because it tends to result in new or unexpected outcomes. We think it’s important to collaborate during the initial stages of a project to figure out what we’d like to do and how we’ll do it. Then we’ll consider the project in practical terms: the nature of the project, our individual strengths, how much time we have, and so on. Sometimes we both work on a project together and other times we divide the labor.
Is your work influenced by the past?
We’d like to think there’s a healthy combination of nostalgia mixed with internet futurism in our work. We’re constantly aware of our surroundings, taking snippets from lots of different things—from any era—which we frankenstein together into a big new idea.