Sahre Victore Wilker is a graphic design workshop led by Paul Sahre, James Victore & Jan Wilker. Usually held in New York City where all three live and work, thanks to Design Indaba and NAMPAK they’re in Cape Town for the first time this year.
The workshop has been running all week and Between 10and5 was invited to a guest lecture on graphic design last night. The very relaxed discussion rather than lecture was kicked off with the three designers each showing a few seemingly random slides – cars, sketches, favourite places & album covers – chosen specifically to start group discussion around the challenges of being a designer today.
Discussion quickly turned to debate over whether graphic designers need to be able to draw and whether there is a specific moment in your childhood that sparks a career in design. Having known each other for years, watching and listening to their American-accented banter was a bit like watching a live sitcom. Only one that posed a lot of interesting questions.
On influences Paul was quick to say that he hates the question – What influences you? – as the answer is, ‘Everything that’s ever happened to me!’. James shared that Robert Brownjohn‘s design for The Rolling Stones’ Let it Bleed was what got him into design, mentioning that the best time to be a graphic designer was in London in the late fifties. As designers were so few and far between the ones that were around, like Robert Brownjohn, got all the best jobs, cutting their teeth on James Bond title sequences and now iconic album covers. When asked if he is influenced by other artists, Jan’s great reply was, ‘I try to be as forgetful as possible’.
Naturally a talk on graphic design today included the topic of computer design and the number of hours spent in front of the screen. James believing the inundation of computers, iPads and apps is an epidemic making us weaker was met with opposition from Jan saying he didn’t think designers back in the day had any fun, not having the luxury to experiment that computers allow us today.
The very entertaining talk, composed of generous swearing, friendly arguments and outrageous statements, ended with comment on the age old creative struggle between what you really want to do and what’s commercially viable.
Thanks for having us, Design Indaba!
¬†Paul Sahre is a graphic designer, illustrator, educator and editor. He has his own design company in New York established in 1997. Consciously maintaining a small office, he has nevertheless established a large presence in American graphic design.
James Victore is a self-taught, independent designer. Victore’s work ranges from publishing, posters and advertising to illustration and animation. His clients include Mo√ęt & Chandon, Target, Amnesty International, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Portfolio Center.
Karlssonwilker inc. is a design studio located in the heart of Manhattan, founded by Icelander Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker from Germany. The two of them (plus one intern) are working on all sorts of projects, and from time to time there are parties on their backyard rooftop.