Recent Graphic Design graduate Matt Webber designed our glorious cover. I love its textures and palette, and asked how he went about it? “I started with the idea of a pinball machine,” he said. “But then decided to focus more on Lewes games: golf, toads, pool. They’re all about getting a ball in a hole – so that became the central theme. Left over from the pinball machine, though, was the idea of the letters separated, the separate blocks.”
Looking through Matt’s work, it’s clear ideas often ‘travel’ like this, with him. His work brims with imagination. He says he likes having regular commissions such as his promotional material for ‘Foundations’; a weekly club night held at Patterns, in Brighton – because that brings certain constraints as well as, within those, allowing him freedom. “The job has a brief, a style: a collaged background photo playing with geometric shapes. That’s their brand identity, and they want something that will bring people in. Beyond that, I do exactly what I want each week…”
Matt likes quirky ideas and pursuing them. Take his ‘On Board Entertainment’ project. This is a cartoon strip following the antics of a character called Jeff who behaves completely selfishly on a flight. “I was thinking about liminal space,” smiles Matt. “And that took me to the thought of the limited space we each have on a flight, and how we cope with that. I went on a flight myself and took notes: including a timeline of when the baby behind me cried. It’s based on a safety card… though I’ve reversed the advice.”
The style of much of his presentation has a retro feel. “For these university projects,” he says, “I used an old-fashioned printing method – called Risograph. You apply only one colour at a time, and often the register is slightly out: an effect I like. I also always favour a limited palette. At the beginning of any project I choose between two and five colours at most, swatch them in a corner. With Risograph printing, the orange particularly is brilliantly bright – really popping.”
Another project he shows me, Lost in Translation, was also printed by this method. Again, the idea’s wonderfully idiosyncratic. “My mum’s French,” Matt says – his ‘Matt’ is short for Matthieu – “and she’d told me about some French phrases whose meanings are completely lost in translation… L’esprit de l’escalier, for instance, which means thinking of the perfect reply too late, loses everything if you literally translate it… But I enjoyed playing with this for my project.”
Or Ça cartonne – it’s cardboard. How does that relate to the idea of a box-office hit? Perhaps strangest of all is the expression ‘C’est le petit Jésus en culotte de velours’ – which is used to describe a fine wine. Matt had enormous fun with this….
The other piece of work we have room to share is his lovely ‘postcard’ of Lisboa, 2019 – which he constructed from a photo he took on a recent trip to Lisbon… Again, colours and shapes meet beautifully with his distinctive, retro feel.
mattwebber.co.uk / @matt_webber_design