Julian House for YMC

London graphic designer Julian House is the epitome of what the practice was before InDesign was commonplace or you could ask your 15-year-old cousin do your website for you. Inspired by the pulp magazine style, popular in the early 1900’s before phasing out in the ‘40s and ‘50s, House is best known for his collage-style seen across album art from artists like Stereolab, Oasis, the Prodigy and Broadcast. Going with the theme of DIY culture for this season, it only made sense to call on the designer for a four-piece collab for AW17. The Julian House for YMC collection is set across four tees and sweats.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you developed your style of work?

I went to art college in Newport, South Wales and then to Central Saint Martins. During my degree, I focused mainly on collage image making, then applied myself more to design/typography during my MA. I never really liked the distinction between what was seen as illustration and design at the time. In the old copies of Graphis magazine that I pored over, there was more of a sense of people being commercial artists, in whichever medium they chose for a job. I also didn’t like to see collage as just an illustration ‘style’. I was into William Burroughs, Robert Rauschenberg, Max Ernst…whoever seemed to see cutting things up and rearranging them as a sort of magic.

Many recognise your work from album covers from a range of UK music acts, can you explain a bit about your connection with music?

I was always obsessing over LP covers (and comics, etc) in my room growing up. I knew this was the popular art form I wanted to be involved with. My friends from college went on to form the band Broadcast and I became sort of a hidden member. I did all the sleeves as well as being involved in the ideas behind the music and the world we were creating. Through that, I got to work with Stereolab for a number of years and then, after getting a job at Intro, Primal Scream, Oasis, Can, etc.

How did the YMC collaboration come about?

I’ve known Fraser for years, we’re both from Newport and both big record collectors. We worked together on the first YMC collection and we’d been intending to collaborate again for a long time. The themes of this collection were perfect for me to get an angle on.

What are you working on at the moment? Do you have any exciting projects coming up?

I’ve got a few music videos in production and I’ve also got more involved in film title sequences, since working with Peter Strickland on Berberian Sound Studio. A few quite dark films, the adaptation of the play Ghost Stories, a b-movie style horror/comedy called ‘Mom and Dad’ and a very unsettling film called ‘Possum’ by Matt Holness. I’m also still busy with Ghost Box, the record label I co-founded with my friend Jim Jupp from Wales (we also put our own music out as The Focus Group and Belbury Poly). Bit of a mix of media, really, which is how I like to work.

 

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