Whilst art, be it fine art to graffiti, illustrate points with avid detail and hand worked finesse, design and graphic art are distinctly more visceral. They demand a simplicity that can give its message clearly and with purpose. Humanstudio represent a great example of this. Their own particular brand of no nonsense Northern creativity is undeniably modern […]

Whilst art, be it fine art to graffiti, illustrate points with avid detail and hand worked finesse, design and graphic art are distinctly more visceral. They demand a simplicity that can give its message clearly and with purpose.

Humanstudio represent a great example of this. Their own particular brand of no nonsense Northern creativity is undeniably modern and the tight and distinctive style across a bewildering variety of media stands as testament to masters at work.

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What started you wanting to make things?

Because we can and because things around us didn’t look good enough.

Can you describe the process of starting a new piece?

As our work is so varied, the process is tailored for each project, but the initial stages always involve research regardless of whether it’s selfinitiated or commercial.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Anywhere that isn’t a graphic design website.

Tools. What do you use regularly and what’s your favourite?

Our brains. Obvious but 100% true. Think before clicking.

Whilst your client base is clearly international, you often work with locals, like The Black Dog and Shaun Bloodworth. Do you think it’s important to represent Sheffield in your choice of collaborators and in the end product itself?

It’s more a question of involving people we trust and enjoy collaborating with. Having said that, we do love Sheffield and tell people everywhere, from Barcelona to Buenos Aires, how great it is.

With more and more ways to show visual work, what do you find to be the most satisfying? Does design for print still hold interest over installations and live media?

Each medium has its own quality, but we don’t really worry about the media – just the message. The best method is the one that gets the idea across.

What other artistic media have had an effect on your work?

Fashion. Architecture. Dance. Pies.

How do you spend your days?

We typically spend eight hours a day touching electronic devices and talking to people. In between this we try to make the world look a better place and express ideas that make people think differently about the world around them.

How have your products evolved over time?

When Human was launched in 2007, iPhones and iPads didn’t exist, so apps are new for us and everyone else. Also, advances in camera technology make previously difficult places accessible for filming in HD.

How has art in general changed since you started?

We now use computers. For anyone under 40, look up “Rotring pen”.

What are you currently working on?

We’re currently developing a new exhibition with Dubfire’s SCI+TEC label for Barcelona during Sonar Festival this June. Also, on a music tip, we’ve just produced new branding for Richie Hawtin and are working on some more projects with him. In other sectors, a branding scheme for a new cable company and more fashion work for Kilgour and Fitriani.

Also, we’re currently producing an animated film with human geography experts Professor Danny Dorling and Carl Lee, as well as working on a virtual exhibition with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield for this year’s Festival of the Mind.

Any tips on how to survive making money from creativity?

Work hard and be nice to people.

What do you dislike in art?

Lazy corporate artists.

What makes you smile in art?

Jeremy Deller. Heartwarming and life affirming.

Good advice you wish you’d been told earlier?

Do what you love. Or do something else.

humanstudio.com

Interview by Matt Jones.