Studio Filippos Fragkogiannis - Graphic Design
- Author Filippos Fragkogiannis
- Published December 2, 2020
- Word count 711
One of the experiences that shaped me, and lead me towards graphic design, was my decade-long involvement with graffiti since the age of 14. Tags, names, and letters were the main elements we were spraying in the streets at the time. This premediated injection of verbal forms in public spaces has much in common with the way posters make walls speak. No wonder why my early steps as a graphic designer was making posters for school parties, graffiti stores, and rap artists’ concerts.
At the same time, I was always drawn to language, and its power to determine, disseminate, and establish any given information. The way the written word can be archived, shared, printed, and reproduced inspires me. Whether it’s for advertising, propaganda, political discourse, religious proselytism, or the expression of feelings, language is a powerful tool. Based on that, I conceptually explore its capacities to produce designs with simple forms and condensed meanings, that can make as big an impact as possible.
Slogans, one-liners, idioms, catchphrases, above-the-fold headlines, and other similar shortcuts to larger, more complex narratives, targeted to mass audience are amongst the things that trigger my mind. I’m fascinated by how language can take shape through visual communication to inspire or demoralize, unite or divide, raise awareness or spread false beliefs. As a designer, a number of my projects explore these ideas, like the limited-edition Take Away tote bag using PolySans Bulky on a happy yellow fabric, a project which is as much about what those two little words mean nowadays as it is about the use of the bag, and promoting Milos Mitrovic’s font.
Actually, this is one of the many collaborative paths I explore with type designers. Typefaces, to me, are not only an essential design tool but also a true inspiration. I think of them as vessels for concepts, moods, and gestures. More often than not, a specific type will spark an idea in my mind, like the Plain Jane tee which sprung from the airplanes-related Valerio Monopoli’s Gatwick font.
Overall, my design approach could be described as sharp, transparent, and plain-spoken. It calls for the viewers’ attention and tries to earn their trust, all the while allowing for multiple interpretations. I want the outcome to be direct and honest, to serve its purpose, and get the message across in a straightforward manner. I aim for easily recognizable and aesthetically appealing designs, that speak a universal language, and can reach a wider audience. The Stay Home poster, as part of Poster Jam’s challenge, is one of those endeavors, where I tried to capture the alarming global message of Covid-19 using comfy elements like the beloved Helvetica font, the light blue tone so closely linked to hygiene and cleanliness, and the amusing curves of Typefesse Pleine font.
Instead of adopting one style or another, I follow my own creative methodology which starts with the accumulation of information and ends with condensed meanings and abstraction. First, I do a comprehensive research on the given subject, gather all the necessary materials, then I process them and find a sensible hierarchy between them and, finally, I take out everything that seems unnecessary or redundant. For instance, the 365+1 project we did with Georgia Harizani manifests this system of work, and can be seen as an exercise of simplicity, while dealing with such a vast theme as a year calendar.
The calendar is an ongoing project and a new one will come your way soon for 2021, as well as other merch through an online platform I am currently creating. Together with Georgia Harizani, we’re also currently curating the type specimen of an exciting new type that will be out shortly. My efforts are equally directed toward expanding my online and offline outreach, introducing my work to a wider audience, and developing new collaborations with creatives and brands that are open to bold, radical, and unexpected design.
I will keep on celebrating contemporary design through blogging, staying alert on what’s happening out there today, experimenting, and pushing my creativity further. My hope is to continue being involved in projects that would allow me to bring something new to the table, like the gentle gesture of elevating the tittles over the “i” in Highpoint Homes’ new logo.
Filippos Fragkogiannis is an Athens-based graphic designer, with an MA in Visual Communication, and a BA in Graphic Design from Vakalo Art & Design College and the University of Derby. His research-based approach is rooted in semiotics, symbolism and the mechanics of visual language. His projects center around visual identities, posters, and print collateral.
Visit Filippos Frakogiannis's website: https://filipposfragkogiannis.com
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