Ceri Jones is a 23 year old Designer from Cardiff, Wales. He’s pretty awesome to say the least. Combining a blend of hand-drawn art and using great graphic sense he does produce work that everyone will lust after. Using nothing but his mind and research, no ‘training’ as such, the talent oozes throughout his work. Starting by creating posters, flyers, logo’s etc for his band The Muscle Club, Ceri is now developing at a fast pace and is creating posters for bands such as Johnny Foreigner, Cursive, Dananananaykroyd and several others. He also runs a pretty sweet blog too, it has a ‘Other People’s work’ section, where he uses this to share work and inspiration that he has seen from other artists. Well worth a look! Click here to view his work! Ceri took a few moments to answer a few questions here at The 405, and even pose a few questions himself!
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What did you want to be when you were a child? Was Graphics always an interest from an early age? I think art was something I was into until I got the art teacher from hell at the age of 12. She was all rules and regulations and totally put me off, I did graphics to the age of 16 and then forgot about it, well, went to college to do 'proper' subjects. Then, when I started putting on my own shows I figured I needed to make posters, and that's where it started. Early influences were just what I saw when I was buying records, in their record sleeves or what the bands were doing with their t-shirts, I had no idea what I was doing but it was cool, people were pinching my posters from cafes so I figured it was something people were into. What is your main inspiration for your work? Is it things you see, places you visit? It totally depends on what the work is man, if it's music based I'll just blast a band out of my record player until I get something, pick up on something or just end up with an idea. I think the places that I end up in are really the main influence though. Going to galleries, seeing other peoples work and such. There's nothing better than going to a gallery to see traditional art and being confronted with a bunch of artists involved in political movements or artists that have shaped the cultures we live in and subscribe to today. The work you produce has a strong Graphical sense to it, however you also bring in illustration into your posters, where did you first discover that you could link the two together so well? (example Dananan poster.) Totally by chance, well, when I moved from being a Photoshop user to being an Illustrator and PS nerd... Illustrator is SO flexible, you can draw with your mouse, your tablet, your pencil and scan it in and EVERYTHING is editable, perfectable, changeable. I find it mental that Photoshop was only released just 20 years ago!
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Where did you start off being able to have the chance to design posters for bands such as Lightspeed Champion, Bombay Bicycle Club etc. I think there was a whole bunch of begging going on, early on it was a case of I wanna go to that show, why not try and do the artwork, I think a bunch of people in the past 5 years have been getting sick of just seeing some pixelated image of the band with the logo from 4 albums ago shoved together in word and then Times New Roman typed all over it! It was a bunch of luck and then it just started growing. Not that I'm anywhere near happy with the amount of work I'm doing, it's just getting to do artwork for awesome bands like CURSIVE that makes doing art for rubbish bands worth it!
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When looking at your posters, you always have a strong typographic sense to it. What is your favourite font, and why? Wow. What a nerdy question! I don't know, I like to use Rosewood STD fill and then one I found lately is Alte Haas Grotesk. It's got a really strong swiss feel, working in a whole load of situations! The work you produce has a very clean, fresh, minimal style. What inspires this? Peter Saville and the Factory revololution! He drew so much on minimalism and shaped the post punk period with his personal and striking creations, I'm a huge fan of Lichtenstein and pop art and most importantly the Bauhaus movement who subverted so much of the art in the 20th Century, operating in Nazi Berlin under a regime that thought their art was anti establishment must have been such a challenge but the work speaks for itself, Vassily, Kandinsky and Clee are all big influences. As far as my minimal illustration skills, they are simply inspired by Raymond Pettibon and the SST records, Black Flag early 80's... Simple. Black and White and vital. Which out of all your work is your personal favourite? I think my most recent poster for JOHNNY FOREIGNER is my favourite. It's the first where I have just put some of my illustration onto a poster, with no editing or changing it, just pen and pencil!
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Are any of your posters available to buy prints of? I know I'd certainly be interested in a few! I started to screen print in my last house which probably annoyed my housemates at the time, on the kitchen table printing band t-shirts. It was ace man! It's what i'd love to spend time doing, being so precise and using methods I probably shouldn't have it made the mistakes and smudges part of the artwork, which I think the bands gus, as opposed to just sending the artwork off to some printes and getting shirts back! Once work and the band gets a bit more settled I'm going to attempt to print some of my work at my flat, or maybe find a garage someplace! It's definitely on the agenda! What other interest do you have outside Graphic Design, what keeps you buzzing and ticking over? Outside graphic Design the other thing that keeps me sane is my band, Muscle Club, we've been playing loads, well, we did last year, averaging 2 gigs a week whilst juggling everything is pretty nuts! Totally worth it though, meeting ace people and getting sweaty on stage, waking up without a voice and driving 7 hours to a new city is THE best experience ever. Especially when you get to do it with three of the best dudes on the planet! Music wise – Who are your top 10 bands for the coming year? Saturday's Kids. Evariste Galois. (i'm releasing an EP for both these guys this spring) Harbour. Among Brothers. Caves. The Arteries. Stagecoach. Eelectricity & Lust. 4 or 5 Magicians. Laura Hocking. What do you want to wake up to tomorrow morning? A day off work, whereby I get to go to the Tate modern, record a new song with the boys, Eat dinner with my girlfriend, play a show in an obscure town and be asleep, drunk on fine red wine by midnight.
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What do you think is next for you personally and with your Graphic Design? Well, I hope screen printing comes sometime soon. I'd like to get a nice little setup with a 4 colour press and a huge amount of space for artistice projects, sort of a communal place people can come, spend their time and create some cool stuff. Our generation is suffering from dross advertising, corporate music and a political scene that needs to be overturned! Does making music inspire you to design more? Without the chance of designing band posters and flyers, would you do as much? I probably would, now that I'm away from ANY chance of reverting back to being a student I figure that I should attmpt to be as happy as possible when it comes to what I do day to day, not just eanring a wage and going home and slobbing in front of a TV! Is there anything you would like to question to the readers of The405? DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL INDIE SCENE ENOUGH?!