There’s real skill in designing a portfolio that feels as fresh as if it were created yesterday. Such is the joy of the work of David Rudnick, who didn’t even study graphic design.
As befits his brash palettes, contorted compositions and experimental approach to typography, Rudnick mainly designs for electronic music clients, creating posters and sleeve designs that are as experimental in their use of materials and processes as they are in aesthetics.
Rudnick was born in the UK but raised in the US, studying art history and philosophy at Yale before finding his calling in design. His approach to visual culture can perhaps be attributed to a grounding in the humanities; the postmodern pilfering of tropes from different eras, splitting doctrines, disciplines and cultures is rarely accidental, and hints at a studied and academic approach to image-making that belies its busy execution.
In 2006, Rudnick founded the music magazine Volume, and decided to take responsibility for its design. He taught himself the ropes as he went along, and in doing so picked up numerous music industry clients and commissions along the way.
His working process is built on foundations of viewing clients not as separate entities, but as partners, working closely with them at every step of the design process. Such partners have included record label Turbo, the Making Time club night in Philadelphia, artists like Evian Christ, and New York streetwear brand Wil Fry.
Alongside his graphics work, Rudnick has also designed a number of typefaces, with titles as outlandish and eccentric as his images—a slim, blocky, yet playful sans serif is named HyperZoa Hi Impact Condensed. In 2013, he designed the promotional material for artist Jon Rafman’s New York solo show, You Are Standing in an Open Field, marrying this typographic nous with an approach that borrows as much from modern digital culture as design technicality.
Rudnick is currently in the UK on speaking engagements, and can be seen discussing his career on September 23 at Cover Club in east London.