EK Interview: Ryan Tym

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Ryan Tym is a huge fan of Hitchcock.  We here at Empty Kingdom are big fans of both of them.  Ryan Tym is a UK based graphic designer, he has worked on a variety of campaigns for a wide array of employers and has a unique style that stands out with whatever project he applies himself to.  His typography is particularly eye-catching.  So is his interview.

Tell us about yourself. 
I’m a 25-year-old Graphic Designer, working as Senior Designer at London based branding and advertising agency Unreal. I have a passion for branding, identity, typography, good cheese and, ashamedly, Bon Jovi.

art blog - Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom

Designed at 300million

What is the best kind of jam?
I’m more of a fan of marmalade.

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Designed at Unreal

What do you think about the current trend of text in advertising and marketing?  Do you think it’s becoming more dynamic?  Do you think it’s stagnating?
There’s always been a strong combination of typography and design in advertising as it all helps to create a good layout. I think it’s always as dynamic as it can be for the era it’s in. These days it’s a lot easier for individuals to create their own fonts, many of which are getting more and more experimental. In that respect I would say it’s set to be quite a progressive time for typography in advertising and design.

 Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Designed at Unreal

What is/are the coolest font(s) that you’ve seen recently?
I’m a big fan of the fonts from UK foundry Fontsmith; particularly FS Conrad, FS Alvar and FS Sophie. Their work on the Channel 4 corporate typeface is great too. I enjoy fonts with a more geometric feel to them, echoing to the work of Wim Crouwel, of whom I am a great admirer. Tephra by Dalton Maag is also great in this respect.

I think the fact that it’s becoming easier for individuals to create fonts at home has opened up a lot of opportunity for type experimentation. The site YouWorkForThem is great at showcasing a lot of new talent. I recently discovered the font TJ Evolettte A on there by Timo Tizmann and Jakob Runge.

art blog - Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom

Who are some artists/blogs/sites that you are currently excited about or following?
Jack Pierson, a photographer and artist from the US, working in California and New York produces some fantastic work. He’s maybe most famous for his photography of celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Snoop Dogg but his work covers word sculptures and installations which I’m particularly fond of. As a collector of vintage signage myself, his artworks such as ‘Showbiz*’ and ‘Last Chance Lost’ really appeal.

On the blogging side of things, I think David Airey’s Identity Designed and Underconsideration’s Brand New are great at showcasing new branding work. Identity Designed in particular often shows the back story and initial sketches of the work featured. In terms of typography, Typetoken is a great resource.

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Above: Quick Brown Fox, an ongoing collection of vintage signage.

How has Hitchcock influenced the work that you’ve done?
It’s not so much Hitchcock himself who has influenced my work but I have long admired the work of Saul Bass. His work certainly influenced the design of DVD Collection I created. I wanted to reflect the classic film posters and title sequences from his body of work, without it being too much of a pastiche.

Bass has a fantastic minimal approach to design, stripping anything from a poster to an identity back to a pure and direct form. That’s certainly something I’d like to build on in my own design work. Anything that helps to communicate an idea or philosophy faster is a good thing.

 

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Above: The Hitchcock Collection.

 

Where did you get the idea for the Hitchcock Collection?
I bought a Hitchcock DVD box set from HMV and I was amazed at the poor quality of the covers… they were really average. Considering the seminal nature of many of his films and the design history associated with them, it all seemed a bit of a let down. As it was a Christmas present for my girlfriend, I set to work re-packaging the set in a minimal, typographic way. I really enjoyed producing the series and the response was very positive. There’s now a limited edition of prints available through my online shop at http://ryantym.bigcartel.com.

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Above: The Hitchcock Collection limited edition prints.

Where do you go to find inspiration?
It’s a big cliché but I don’t really have a set place, it can come from anywhere. It’s fair to say that the Internet and books form a big part of that. Getting out and about helps to refresh or re-set the mind too. When I was studying my degree in Cornwall I found that the open space and coastal location was a big help in freeing my brain up to think more freely.

 

What current projects are you really excited about?
I’ve been working for a couple of years now on updating the branding for the Muscle Help Foundation, a charity set up to provide unique experiences for children with Muscular Dystrophy. I do the work in my spare time so it’s started slowly but has grown to include the creation of two sub-brands and a realignment of the brand family.

The project is very campaign based so it’s been great to see the work on t-shirts, wristbands, banners etc, particularly when it’s such a good cause. It’s been really great to see that the design has had a big impact on the standout of the charity. The next stage of the project is to redesign the website which I’ll be working on in the next couple of months which will really help bring the brand together.

 

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Ryan Tym - Empty Kingdom - art blog

Above: Campaign branding for The Muscle Help Foundation.

If you could be mentored for a month by any artist alive or dead whom would it be?  How do you think learning from her/him would help your personal development?
Can I have two?! Saul Bass and Wim Crouwel would be my choices, Bass for identity and poster design and Crouwel for typography. They have both created work that hasn’t aged at all over time and are as influential now as they have ever been. They both have a real sense of purity and simplicity in their work and it’s this that I would like to develop in my own projects.

 http://www.ryantym.com/