Posted 31 October 2018
Interview by Indi Davies

Get productive: Introducing the 2018–19 Lecture in Progress Year Planner

For this new academic year, we’ve teamed up with design studio B.A.M. to create a series of wall planners, printed on G . F Smith paper. Made up of four unique designs, the series celebrates the work of industry-leading type designers Alaric Garnier, Dinamo, Heavyweight and Kia Tasbihgou. Read below to find out more about B.A.M.’s approach to the project, and discover how each of the featured designers approach time planning and productive working patterns.

The four wall planner designs

With a strong reputation for slick editorial design for the likes of Esquire, Christie’s Magazine and The Times’s Luxx, B.A.M. is the London-based design and art direction studio founded in 2014 by David McKendrick and Lee Belcher. For our collaboration, the team decided to produce not just one design, but four: each championing a different type designer. The result is a set of planners that each bring their own “big personality”, says co-founder David.

“B.A.M.’s approach is to always place importance on communication, content and functionality,” he shares. “We wanted to create a wall planner that was super-simple, but above all, useful. The outcome is a set of planners featuring contemporary typography and an unusual format, but which still remains functional.”

To mark the occasion, we spoke to each of the four type designers or studios, asking them for their top tips on time planning and remaining productive in your work...

Each of the type designs featured in the wall planner series

Tips on productivity and time planning

Discuss everything and complete one task at a time

Working from both Berlin and Basel, Swiss design practice Dinamo was established by Johannes Breyer and Fabian Harb. Interested in the overlap between graphic design, typefaces and technology, their work has attracted clients including Kunsthalle Zürich, Nike and Warp Records.

When it comes to making sure they work in the most efficient way, they share, “At Dinamo, we work on a wide variety of projects and ideas simultaneously. We are constantly searching for the best ways to work, and most of the time we don’t follow one recipe.”

“But one thing we keep coming back to, is stopping and talking. We are always talking about what we want to do and how we want to do it. Once we agree, usually we work at a good pace – but if we don’t, we stop and talk again. Besides that, we just do one thing at the time. Plus, in 2019, we’re planning to only work three days a week!”

Detail of the planner featuring Dinamo’s type design

Kill two birds with one stone

Alaric Garnier is a graphic designer specialised in lettering and type design and working from Paris. After graduating from the School of Fine Arts Lyon, he trained as a sign painter in the USA, before establishing his own studio and working with clients include Centre Georges Pompidou and Holiday Magazine.

On getting the most out of his own time, Alaric tells us, “I love the expression ‘faire d’une pierre deux coups’, or to ‘kill two birds with one stone’. At the studio, we take this approach because it’s just more efficient. For example, when designing lettering for something or someone, many of the rejected ideas will end up in another project, maybe as a typeface.”

“Avoiding distraction is an everyday struggle, but distraction can also be necessary. To plan my time well, my agenda is my best friend. If I forget to write something in it, there’s a chance that the day turns into a big mess!”

“Avoiding distraction is an everyday struggle, but distraction can also be necessary.”

Detail of the planner featuring Alaric’s type design

Be disciplined and set a deadline

London-based graphic and type designer Kia Tasbihgou’s typefaces are distributed through his type foundry Op. Cit. Ibid., which was created in 2018, and has already attracted work from the likes of Vanity Fair, Greenpeace and Frank Ocean.

Asked how he remains productive through the working day, he tells us, “I’m in the fairly ill-advised position of having made a profession of my dearest hobbies, which means that productivity can actually manifest itself in distractions.”

“The key is time management. Indulging that urge to work without ‘working’ can open doors to some really interesting inflections on professional work and new ideas. But this isn’t tenable without a clear mind, a sharp focus and the discipline to set a cut off point.”

Detail of the planner featuring Kia Tasbihgou’s type design

Keep each other motivated

With clients including Apple, Camper and The New York Times, Heavyweight is a digital type foundry established by Filip Matějíček and Jan Horčík. The pair met whilst studying at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, where they now run their studio.

In terms of time management and efficiency, they talk about finding their way through the distractions. “There’s always a lot to do, follow and watch online, but we feel that we’ve started to become resistant to this. The main thing is that we enjoy our work, and type design in particular is a time for relaxing, so there aren’t many opportunities for procrastination.”

“The next thing is that we both work in a quiet environment, which we consider really important. We also constantly discuss things – showing each other what we are making, which becomes motivation for us both.”

Detail of the planner featuring Heavyweight’s type design

If you’d like to receive a wall planner and are currently studying, you can request these by asking your tutor to get in touch via [email protected]. If you’re a paying member, you will be receiving on of these in the post soon. Just check here to make sure you’re delivery address is up-to-date.

Interview by Indi Davies
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