If there is a word that sums up the work of Steve Simpson it has to be ‘Distinctive’. The Dublin based illustrator’s work is instantly recognisable; the textured, organic shapes jostling with the vibrant lettering to create a colourful tapestry that never loses sight of the need to convey a message but offers endless and delightful details and visual humour.
Simpson’s career is almost as storied and detail-packed as his illustrations. With over 30 years under his belt and a client list that runs the gamut from coffee shops to international festivals, Simpson has made a name for himself as a designer/illustrator who refreshes and reinterprets familiar brands.
Key to this process is an adherence to a workflow that starts where all good ideas must – the sketchbook. Almost all of the projects showcased on his website include a peek behind the curtain at the rough drafts that form the foundation of his work. An entire section of the site is given over to exploring the permutations that go into refining those roughs into the characters that populate his work. His love of nature’s forms and patterns is also revealed through these studies; strong lines and monotones capturing and codifying everything from moustaches to leaf shapes to jellyfish.
The Manchester-born creative is evidently at home with both the craft of inking and colouring as well as the possibilities offered by digital collage and composition. Many of his projects layer in text as texture, adding additional meaning and further deepening the complexity of his work without sacrificing the clarity of his designs.
Much of Simpson’s work is available to view on his elegantly simple site.
All images © Steve Simpson
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