No one ever said the creative process was easy. If they did they were most probably lying or showing off. At HGT we’re lucky to have two big forces who help guide our ideas down the creative path and out into the wider world. There’s the steady flow of inspired nuggets that seem to come from the mind of founder Russ. In a way it’s a good thing he wasn’t tied up chasing a formal design training (he doesn't have one) as this might have meant less time to attend intensive training at the esteemed University of Life (working in his previous gig as a music producer and DJ) which, since he founded HGT, has helped to inform our style inspiration - patterns, fonts and that kind of thing.
But there’s another big player who we can also thank for our look. And, via an acclaimed career of unique and beautifully executed graphic design work for a client list spanning a generation of the very coolest (in music, clothing and later TV), he brings his own style and skills with the heavy weight design approach we need. Ian “Swifty” Swift was discovered and worked initially for Neville Brody who is considered one of the UK’s most important and influential graphic designers. Brody was responsible for the look of the iconic 80’s style magazine "The Face" amongst other high profile commissions.
Swifty’s portfolio follows the journey of design immediately before and post digital era. Early clients included James Lavelle's MoWax label (Swifty designed the logo) and cover work for artists (Young Disciples and Galliano) on Giles Petterson’s Talkin Loud imprint.
But despite successfully mastering early Apple Mac publishing software his reverence to hand finished (pre digital) design work of earlier masters (such as Saul Bass - see top row images) has influenced his style throughout his career and is really what makes him so special. Combine this with a passion for the processes of the pre digital era (screen print and hand drawn type for example) and add in inspiration from clubbing culture, hip hop and graffiti and you can really start to understand what’s helped to shape his style.
Swifty has just released a special hard back book of his work covering his career so far. "Swifty Funky Typo Grafix" is available via Gamma Proforma limited to 500 copies and priced at £74.95. For more information click here