17 Mar Featured: Unique Weather Reports from Chris the Pencil
Graphic designer Chris Moore first caught our eye with his blog “Weather or Not“, a daily graphic study and documentation of the weather in Cape Town. Working under the pseudonym Chris The Pencil, he creates clean, bold designs using undulating lines and lively geometry. Keeping it simple and unembellished, Chris lets the colours and shapes make a statement. It’s great to find a designer whose sense of humour is communicated in his work, both in the playful use of his medium and choice of content. Chris is currently working for the creative agency, Am I Collective, but look out for the launch of his personal portfolio which is currently under construction. We spoke to him about his designs and creative process.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your background. When did you know you wanted to pursue graphic design?
I’m a 29 year old graphic designer from Cape Town who can’t get enough music through his ears, images through his eyes and work done in a day. As a teenager, I started surfing and then skating – I think this is where I first started thinking about my future and what I wanted to do as skating gave me a freedom that I never wanted to lose. I took up design which was pretty rare as a subject back then, and the freedom of the discipline within a school system absolutely blew my mind. I knew if I could get paid to be a designer and come up with crazy shit all day, I would be a happy man and keep the freedom I found in skateboarding.
How’s it going so far? Any career highlights or projects you are particularly proud of?
My career so far has been fantastic. I think as a creative every now and then you asked yourself, ‘what am I doing with my life?!’ but I really do love what I do and that’s enough. I started at CODE which is where I really got to know the industry and how to create and develop brands that are not just attractive but effective, otherwise what is the point of developing them at all. I then moved over to Am I Collective were I headed up a design team and got to explore and play with the relationship between illustration and design. The process has been fascinating and it has been a privilege to work with such a great team with amazing creative minds and talent. One of the projects I am particularly proud of is Salud Taqueria which was a pop-up restaurant my fiance started in Woodstock. I didn’t get paid for the job or have much time but it was a pleasure to create and I found myself doing thinks like painting wall murals and building furniture which was really refreshing.
Another highlight was Tommy Tucker sound studio for which the brief was, “what does sound look like?”. At first the brief really freaked me out as I struggled to find a solution but this forced me to use new techniques and type systems. I was super stoked with the final product and it really set the tone for a lot of my future work.
How would describe your style?
I was hoping you wouldn’t ask this question as I find my style is constantly evolving but at the heart of my work I always try to maintain a sense of humour and play. I strive to create relevant, well-crafted and thoughtful work.
Take us through your design process?
My process always starts with great enthusiasm towards the project I am about to get my hands dirty with. Then I go straight into absolute terror – I make myself believe all previously successful projects were executed on pure luck. Once that melt down has subsided I move on to research, which I feel is the most important and enjoyable part of my creative process. Only once I have all the information worked out and unpacked in my head I can play and start to create a real solution.
Where do you get inspiration?
Music, friends, food and unexpected experiences.
How did ‘Weather or Not’ start?
“Weather or Not” was a bit of a freak of nature. Something I do every morning is check the weather on my weather apps – in the Cape you never know what you are going to get. Over the years I started to take more and more note of the seasons, mainly due to climate change and how the whole world’s weather is slowly changing. But like all things, people never notice slight changes until it is completely different so I decided to start documenting the weather in Cape Town on a daily basis. I give myself 30 minutes every day to produce a piece that either resembles the weather, echoes my mood or comments on society. The great thing I am finding is that the more I do the weather, the more my graphic/type styles and ideas are changing.
What do you love about your job, and what do you not like so much?
I love the fact that I don’t feel that I have a job but rather develop creative solutions with people every day.What I don’t like is when clients think I am working for them and not with them.
Anything exciting coming up?
I am currently busy designing a complete package CI for a restaurant/bar/theatre on Sunset Blvd in LA with Am I Collective which I am super excited about. I am also busy building my first personal website which is proving to be a bit of a nightmare but I’ll be stoked when it’s done.