Why Charles Williams’ stunning magazine covers matter
“As a designer, I fall in and out of love (ok, lust) with many typefaces as I work, but as an illustrator who uses type as a vehicle for illustrative purposes, I pretty much exclusively like working with forms that allow me to explore my own visual ideas with as much freedom as possible” says Charles Williams. A skilful master at work he embraces “letterforms that will withstand being isometrically extruded, melted, exploded, humiliated”.
Raised in Manchester, England, and now based in London, Charles’s work is rooted in drawing, geometric shapes, the continuous line, isometric grids, interconnected forms, and a surreal three-dimensional aesthetic. His work has graced magazine covers, ad campaigns, branding design, animation, and various exhibitions. With digital design dominating our culture, its is always inspiring and exciting to feature magazine covers that resemble typographic printable art. Charles Williams just draw the line to supremacy. This is a selection of his work curated by him on June 2016.
“Campaign Asia, Asia’s Top 1000 Brands 2016
Campaign Asia wanted a bold, dynamic cover for their Top 1000 brands issue. They had a strong idea of what they wanted me to do stylistically, so I was able to get stuck into the design pretty quickly: isometric, interconnected, 3D, bright colours. Job’s a good’un.
Lawn & Landscape, The Top 100 Issue
For this cover I created some stripy type, which at the sketch stage was a reference to grass, but ended up being more abstract, with just the colourway referring to the subject.
Science Magazine Signals in RNA
Most complicated brief EVER. For this project, Science mag, a US publication, wanted me to communicate “some of the sequence features and base modifications that modulate the many and diverse functions of RNA”. I created a typographic rollercoaster with various events occurring along the type. I’m not going to attempt to break it down any further here as it is way complicated but you can read about it here. Good luck!
Creative Review The Annual
Best commission ever. And probably the only job that I would cancel a fully-paid-up stag do trip to Dublin for. Gan aiféala. CR gave me a fairly open brief - “something with depth”. As a compendium of so much creative work it made sense to attempt something simpler for the cover, so I included a sketch just using 3 strands interwoven to create an A. It was a double cover so I made the 3 strands feed through to the back to create another A. I’m so pleased CR picked this route as it presented an opportunity to work in new ways.”
More info here