Having spent the early part of his career in leading design agencies in London, Craig Black currently runs his own art and design studio in Greenock, Scotland.
Best known for his bespoke and innovative typographic artworks, as well as large murals and installations. Craig has recently worked on high-profile projects for UEFA Euro 2020 and Rangers Football Club. His client list includes BBC, Sony, Monotype and The Washington Post
We caught up with Craig to discuss his recent work, how he got into specialising in typography, and his advice for aspiring creatives.
Firstly, what sort of impact has the on-going pandemic had on your approach to projects and work?
During the pandemic, my wife Ally and I welcomed our little girl Olivia into the world. This instantly changed my whole perspective in relation to my career. With both the pandemic and Olivia coming on the scene, it made me incredibly focused on what I really want to do with my career and that is to pursue my art practice. So I used my downtime wisely to invest in this area of work. And as a result, I’ve created some incredible opportunities for myself.
That project resulted directly in a collaboration with UEFA to produce a promo video for one of the matches at Euro 2020 this summer, that must have been a special feeling?
Absolutely! I put six months of time, money and effort into bringing this project to life. It was a huge investment, but deep down I knew I was onto something special. When I released the project, the response was insane and the positive feedback is still continuing now which is incredible. So when UEFA reached out after seeing the project, it was truly special. Within days of receiving the email, I was whisked away to London to do live painting of the footballs. The whole UEFA crew were amazing to work with. It was an amazing experience that I will forever cherish.
With such a vast portfolio, is there a particular project that really stands out for you and is your proudest piece?
The typeface for Rangers stands out due to the connection to the club, the global brand and responsibility on me to get it right. Football fans can be incredibly ruthless as we’ve seen with many football rebrands over the years so when my work was met with so much positivity, it made it extra special.
Also the Fusion Series – Footballs because there were moments as a self-initiated project that I wondered “ Is this really that good? Is it worth the time, money and effort?” But I am really proud of myself for believing in myself and bringing the project to life as it has been a catalyst for my art practice and has certainly created many exciting opportunities.
With the current situation in the UK, what advice would you give for aspiring creatives, and those who are graduating this year?
Build relationships, connect with people, brands and agencies. Be at the forefront of their minds so when opportunities occur, they think of you. Work hard is a given and use your down time wisely to invest into self-initiated work that will enhance your portfolio.
All creatives have different approaches to receiving a brief, what is your usual design process for a project?
All briefs are different so the approach will be curated to that brief especially as I work in various different areas. I build the relationship with the client to understand and receive as much information as possible then use that as the building blocks for the project.
What are you currently working on, any projects in the pipeline?
This year has seen an evolution of my career with my art practice being the forefront of the studio. There’s a lot of exciting art projects I am currently undertaking but unfortunately I can’t spill the beans on those yet. Last month I enjoyed collaborating with The Midnight Club in a live performance acrylic fusion paint pouring event at The Protein Studios in London.
This series is all about putting the spotlight on creatives, are there any creatives who you have recently come across that you would recommend?
It’s been great to get a perspective of some of Craig’s recent work with UEFA Euro 2020 and Rangers Football Club and how his career has developed over the years.
We’ll be back soon with our next creative spotlight, so keep an eye out for that one.
In the meantime, we share some of the cool and creative stuff we spot over on our socials. Follow us on Twitter here.