Ten Questions 038 – Thomas Blankschøn

October 1st, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Thomas Blankschøn is a designer whose work manages to cover a wide variety of styles and approaches, whilst still remaining consistently his. Abstracted, disjointed illustrations sit alongside playful type treatments and fluid, textured sketches to create a characteristic and individual style. Thomas works for himself in his Berlin studio, before which he attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and The School of Design in Copenhagen.

He took some time out to answer our Ten Questions.

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Ten Questions 037 – Laura Barnard

July 2nd, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Laura Barnard is a Peterborough-based illustrator, who’s complex patterns, highly detailed cityscapes, quirky typography and characters caught our eye quite a long time ago. We love her work and, evidently, we’re not alone. Clients such as Sainsbury’s, The British Council, Ted Baker and The RIBA Journal have commissioned her brilliantly styled and witty illustrations.

We asked Laura to take part in our Ten Questions series and she was kind enough to get involved. Here’s what she had to say.

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Ten Questions 036 – Jordan Metcalf

June 6th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

We came across the work of Jordan Metcalf quite recently. His beautiful lettering for a recent Adobe campaign caught our attention and after checking out more of his work, we immediately got in touch to say hello and ask him if he’d be willing to answer our Ten Questions. Thankfully, he was.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, his illustration and typography work is truly brilliant. He has worked for clients such as Nike, Smirnoff, The X-Games, 5280 Magazine and, having recently signed up to the illustration agency Handsome Frank, we expect to see plenty more big name clients utilising Jordan’s remarkable talent.

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Ten Questions 035 – Si Scott

May 22nd, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Si Scott is an illustrator best known for his amazingly detailed and elaborate typography and decorative hand-drawn renderings of animals. His work has a unique style of it’s own and his reputation has earned him an impressive client list including Nike, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Channel 4, Converse, GAP, Hugo Boss, Vogue, Wallpaper Magazine… The list goes on. He’s also a visiting lecturer at Leeds College of Art & Design and has exhibited his work at various institutions around the world including Tokyo, New York, Brazil and Sydney.

We’ve been big fans of his work for some time now and are very pleased to have him on board as part of our Ten Questions series.

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Ten Questions 033 – Steven Bonner

March 19th, 2013 by Mat Dolphin

Steven Bonner is a designer and illustrator based in sunny sunny Scotland. His work is largely focused on beautiful illustrative typography and we’ve been big fans of what he does for some time now. He has worked for a range of clients including Audi, The British Heart Foundation, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Nike, The Scottish Government, William Hill and many others. Refusing to stick to a single style, each brief is approached from a completely different angle, the only common factor being that everything he does looks bloody amazing.

He kindly agreed to give us an insight into his world by answering our Ten Questions.

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Ten Questions 030 – Timothy J. Reynolds

October 29th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Here at MDHQ we’re always on the look out for new stuff to inspire us. When we find something we think might inspire others we shove it out to twitter and spread the love to one and all. Recently we came across the work of Timothy J. Reynolds and were instantly captivated by his style and work. Timothy is an exhibit designer and illustrator based in Milwaukee, WI. Born and raised in the south and originally from Winston-Salem, he picked up the random nickname Turnis when he was a kid and it just stuck. He went to school for architecture, worked in a design firm or two, and then his quit his job and sold everything he owned and left. Wow!

We got in touch with Timothy to ask him if he’d be interested in getting involved with our Ten Questions series. He said YES, so check out his replies…

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Justified Magazine

October 1st, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Almost a year ago to the day we received an email from an enthusiastic second year Graphic Design student at Bournemouth university. On any given day we get inundated with emails from students, people looking for work placements and chancers, but we always try and reply to everyone. This day in 2011 was no different. We’re still a little bemused when we hear from people who like what we do and contact us about the prospect of working for us. Us? Really? But in line with our If You Give Love, You Get Love™ mantra, we feel it’s only fair to reply and help out if we can.

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BUG 32

August 30th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

To the uninitiated, BUG: The Evolution Of Music Video is an ongoing series of bi-monthly events at the BFI Southbank in London, celebrating global creativity in music video. The shows are hosted by Adam Buxton — the funny, petite, bearded half of Adam and Joe — and have become an essential forum for fans of music videos and aspiring film-makers alike. If we can get tickets we try and make it along each and every time, it’s that good. It’s not just about getting away from our desks though, Adam literally has everyone in stitches, and the music videos aren’t half bad either. It’s sound and vision at it’s best.

It’s normally a packed out event, so for those that couldn’t make it along, or for those that didn’t even know it existed, we’ve compiled all the videos shown at last nights event. Watch / listen — have them on in the background. There’s dubstep, there’s throat slitting, there’s weird horse dancing and something a little perverse. So, something for everyone. Just think of it as your Mat Dolphin Friday visual playlist.

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Ten Questions 029 – Magnus Voll Mathiassen

August 15th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

From his home in Norway, Magnus Voll Mathiassen produces some stunning design and illustration work for a wide range of clients. It’s difficult to describe his style, as he brings a completely new and different approach to each project. In 2009 he parted ways with Grandpeople, the studio he co-founded, and set up shop under his own name. Since then his work has effortlessly crossed the boundaries from hard-edged graphic illustrations to experimental typography treatments to loosely sketched drawing styles to abstract, organic watercolour. Always different and always brilliant, he has collaborated with the likes of Nike, Intel, Microsoft, Sony, Varoom Magazine and Adidas as well as a number of personal projects and exhibitions.

We got in touch with Magnus to ask him if he’d be interested in getting involved with our Ten Questions series. He swiftly obliged and here’s what he had to say…

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It’s Nothing Personal

July 25th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

One of the things we find ourselves saying to clients time and time again is ‘we’re not artists’.

Obviously the difference is quite clear in certain ways (nobody has asked us to paint their portrait or create an installation for them… yet), but there are times when the boundaries between the two disciplines become blurred.

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Ten Questions 028 – Sam Green

July 10th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

It’s been a long time since the last installment in our regular Ten Questions series. Too long. With this in mind, we got in touch with the brilliant Sam Green and asked him if he fancied getting involved.

Thankfully, he was up for it.

Sam is a London-based illustrator who creates stunning, abstract, dreamlike images. Since graduating from Central St. Martins, his work has attracted a client-list which includes 55DSL, Big Chill Festival, Dazed & Confused, The New York Times, Nokia, The Times and Wallpaper* amongst others. We love what he’s doing and can’t wait to see what he’s up to next.

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BUG 31

June 15th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

To the uninitiated, BUG: The Evolution Of Music Video is an ongoing series of bi-monthly events at the BFI Southbank in London, celebrating global creativity in music video. The shows are hosted by Adam Buxton — the funny, petite, bearded half of Adam and Joe — and have become an essential forum for fans of music videos and aspiring film-makers alike. If we can get tickets we try and make it along each and every time, it’s that good. It’s not just about getting away from our desks though, Adam literally has everyone in stitches, and the music videos aren’t half bad either. It’s sound and vision at it’s best.

It’s normally a packed out event, so for those that couldn’t make it along, or for those that didn’t even know it existed, we’ve compiled all the videos shown at last nights event. Watch / listen — have them on in the background. There’s dubstep, there’s manga, there’s people jumping out of windows. Something for everyone. Just think of it as your Mat Dolphin Friday playlist.

Keep reading…


Five Things 017

March 30th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

You know how it works by now, we show you Five Things we’ve seen this week that we think are of interest, and you love ‘em. Simple as that. Always a random mix, this post includes amazing architecture, scary monsters, beautiful bookmaking, a nose into someones diary, and lot of lipstick. Enjoy.

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Ralph McQuarrie 1929 – 2012

March 14th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Whether we like it or not, here at Mat Dolphin, we conform to a few incredibly predictable ‘designer stereotypes’. One of the big ones is the fact that we’re unashamedly geeky Star Wars fans. And we’re not alone. Amongst our peers it’s clear that whilst it’s not a prerequisite for a graphic designer to be hugely influenced by the creativity and storytelling of the George Lucas masterpiece, it helps.

So, it’s with great sadness that we heard about the death of Ralph McQuarrie, the conceptual designer and illustrator who’s sketches and paintings played a huge role in defining the look of the original trilogy. Designing key characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3PO as well as many of the sets and vehicles, McQuarrie was instrumental in creating what would become some of the most iconic imagery in film.

Also playing the uncredited role of Pharl McQuarrie in The Empire Strikes Back, he has had an undeniable impact on millions and his pioneering, unique vision will be not be forgotten.

George Lucas remembers “…his genial contribution, in the form of unequaled production paintings, propelled and inspired all of the cast and crew of the original Star Wars trilogy. When words could not convey my ideas, I could always point to one of Ralph’s fabulous illustrations and say, ‘do it like this’.”

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Insane in the Brain

February 29th, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Fancy seeing an exhibition featuring some stunningly rendered illustration work? Want to check out some beautiful and delicate sculpture? In the mood for some elegant, balanced typography? If you are, we would advise you to steer clear of London’s Haywood Gallery until the middle of May. They’re currently showing Brain Activity, the first major UK solo show by Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley. Being big fans of his work, we checked it out last weekend and whilst we can confirm you won’t be seeing any of above, you will see a fantastic mix of interesting, bemusing, weird, thought-provoking and utterly hilarious drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and animations. Thankfully, the opportunity to exhibit old and new work on a large scale in such an established gallery space hasn’t tempted Shrigley to stray from his signature style; a combination of crude, cack-handed imagery that effortlessly walks the line between ridiculous visual puns and abstract, emotive poignancy.

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Ten Questions 025 – Abigail Dixon

February 22nd, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

This is the 25th post in our Ten Questions series and as it’s a bit of a milestone we thought we’d do something special. Since we started the series, we’ve spoken to some of our favourite designers, illustrators, writers, artists and creative directors. This time, after months of talking to her agent and countless emails, we’ve finally managed to pin down a response from a uniquely talented individual who can turn her hand to all of these disciplines and many more. A true visionary and all round creative renaissance woman, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Abigail Dixon. Writing, illustrating, art directing and overseeing production of her own independently published books, she has forged a unique, distinctive style that is gaining a huge amount of attention within the creative industries. Expect big things from this one, you heard it here first…

See below for what happened when Abigail was kind enough to take some time out of her day to answer our Ten Questions.

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Ten Questions 024 – Jon Burgerman

February 1st, 2012 by Mat Dolphin

Jon Burgerman is a multidisciplinarian artist and illustrator who has created a unique, distinctive style of his own. Often working on a large scale, his loose, colourful creations are instantly recognisable and have graced all manner of client commissions, personal work and solo gallery shows around the world. Alongside drawing on stuff he lectures at a number of universities and produces lots of lovely things for you lucky people to spend your money on in his excellent shop – in need of an laptop sleeve, pillow or pair of socks? Get them all and much, much more at Burgerplex.

Mr. Burgerman kindly agreed to be the first Ten Questions participant of 2012 and we’re very happy to get him involved in the series. Read on for plenty of random ramblings, beautiful doodles and a glimpse inside the mans mind – it’s an interesting place to be.

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Ten Questions 023 – Chad Wys

November 24th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Born and based in Illinois, Chad Wys is a ‘visual conceptual artist, designer and writer’. His work covers a number of mediums including digital manipulation, painting, sculpture and mixed media, and his interest is largely focused around the deconstruction and appropriation of pre-existing images and objects. His work explores ways of finding a new meaning within the art he finds by altering and playing with what’s already there. After coming across his work on sites such as Ffffound and Behance, we got in touch with Chad to see if he’d be interested in answering our Ten Questions. Luckily for us, he was.

Read on for an insight into the thought process, concepts and inspirations that go into Chad’s work.

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Ten Questions 022 – Simon Birch

November 17th, 2011 by Mat Dolphin

Simon Birch is and artist based in Hong Kong. Working mainly in large-scale, figurative oil paintings, his recent direction has included installation and film. Past exhibitions have been held throughout the world including at London’s Haunch of Venison Gallery and Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. With more recent shows in Hong Kong, such as ‘Laughing With A Mouth Full Of Blood’ and a large-scale collaborative exhibition entitled Hope & Glory. Filling the 20,000 square feet of ArtisTree Exhibition Space in Beijing’s Taikoo Place, the installation took the viewer through a metaphysical world, or ‘conceptual circus’ and saw Birch working alongside a broad range of collaborators including artist Stanley Wong, photographer Wing Shya, British music producer James Lavelle, filmmaker Eric Hu, designer Douglas Young, architect Paul Kember, actor Daniel Wu and Beijing-based artist Cang Xin. Birch’s work explores the concept of ‘universal ideas of transition, the ambiguous moment between an initiation and a conclusion, the unobtainable now and the future, inevitably crashing towards us’.

His work has been featured and reviewed in many international publications, including Artforum, The Guardian, The International Herald Tribune, Time Out and the New York Times. He was kind enough to take some time out and get involved with our Ten Questions series.

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