Featured Artist 2016: Phil Regan
Published: 27 May 2016
Skipton Open Studios isn't just for painters and those doing Fine Art. This year we also have Artists whose medium is a touch more digital......Typographic and Graphic Designer Phil Regan talked to us about his work on the endangered languages of the Channel Islands and the designers who inspire him to make his work:
"How would you describe yourself as an Artist?
Loosely. I’m a graphic designer with artistic ability.
Have you taken part in Skipton Open Studios before?
How did you first get into Art?
I’ve always had natural ability and had the option to pursue a fine art degree but instead chose the path of graphic design. It’s a career that has opened up many creative avenues for me, including copywriting and digital art through the use of Adobe illustrator and Photoshop.
Who is your creative inspiration?
There are a wealth of graphic designers whose work I admire. Peter Saville, Michael C Place, Wim Crouwel, Herb Lubalin, Ken Garland. This project though, is inspired by Swiss designer, Josef Müller Brockmann. Who is best known for his work in the Swiss design movement, also known as the international Typographic Style. Which is design which favours simplicity, legibility and objectivity above all else. The use of sans serif typography, strict grids and asymmetrical layouts is also very noticeable. The most influential pieces were developed as posters, as, at the time, in a pre-digital era, they were seen to be the most effective means of communication.
Why should we visit your Studio?
Effectively my laptop is my studio. So for Skipton this year I’m exhibiting in the Elms in St Mary with a diverse range of artists. All our work is very different from each other and contrasts nicely with the surroundings. I feel my strong, bold, contemporary designs will stand out in the rustic surroundings of the Elms.
What have you been doing so far in preparation for this year’s Open Studios?
It takes a lot of work to make something this ‘simple’! I have been through numerous iterations of the various poster formats before I was happy with each layout (a designer is never happy). I’ve also created different size variations of each poster, from postcard size to a single A1 piece. These variations are not strict resizes, each has been designed in its own right and needed careful consideration of the placement of all the elements. I’ve also been working with different printers on making sure I can get the perfect black in ink production. A rich black is much darker than a standard black and the choice of paper stock played a crucial part in achieving the right tone.
What can we expect from you from this year’s Open Studios?
The theme of my work is endangered languages. A series of posters set in the international typographic style about the endangered languages of Jèrriais, Guernésiais & Sercquiais . The set concludes with a poster about Auregnais, which though remembered, is considered extinct. The surroundings of the Elms is significant in that it too, is about the preservation of the past for future generations.
Describe Jersey’s creative scene in 5 words…
Diverse. Burgeoning. Traditional. Contemporary. Playful."
We love that Phil is exploring, and in a sense protecting, the hugely special endangered native languages of the Channel Islands through his work. We can't wait to see what he has in store for us at National Trust for Jersey's The Elms where he will be exhibiting his typographic work alongside pieces by Nanette Regan, Lisa Le Brocq, Jodie Spriggs and Beverley Speck during the West weekend of Open Studios: 25th + 26th June, 10:00AM - 5:00PM. Please visit Phil's artist profile to find out more about his work, and his contact details and where to find The Elms.