Graphic designer Tom Muller’s reputation means that he is often asked to speak in public or collaborate on one-off design experiments with fellow creatives, where he indulges his creative talents by producing posters for them.
Muller likes to keep the designs simple, but not simplistic. He’s very much a fan of Josef Muller-Brockmann’s posters. “They’re timeless and they don’t use any gimmicks,” he says. “I like posters to be very pure, where you have a central focal point that draws you in and then around that focal point you have everything else, like text, imagery, whatever.”
When Tom was asked by LongLunch to address attendees at a recent Glasgow gathering, he was also invited to create a promotional poster. He decided to test drive a font of his design, Nagasaki, and his budget allowed only a two colour-print, though one was fluorescent.
“The primary issue is that it doesn’t really display correctly on the screen, so you kind of have to design with an approximation of some very pale orange and bear in mind it’s going to look different when it’s printed,” Tom explains. “It’s the same as working with fluorescent or metallic inks, or varnishes. You have to always approximate it on the screen.”
But inks and paper stock should never detract from the central point of poster design: good design. To paraphrase Tom, a bad design on lovely paper still leads to a terrible poster. That’s always worth remembering.