Designer: Ryan Duggan
Client: Heavy Times
Size: 12 x 24 inches
Printing Process: Screenprint
Number of Inks: Four
The main deciding factor in what I truly enjoy in poster design is often whether or not it is something I think I could have come up with on my own. That smack on the forehead that accompanies a "why didn't I think of that?" right before the smile that crosses my face as I realize that I never would have in a million years. When talking to many of the designers that I put in that elite category of operating in a higher creative aura, I find that they share an awe for some of the very same folks. The one that truly stands out is the work of Ryan Duggan. The fascinating aspect is that he treads in a style based on simple drawings, not far removed from the rudimentary sketches that graced many of our notebooks in high school. He makes it look obtainable. If we picked up a pen and started doodling, surely we could make something as amazing, right?
After days of frustrating moments, and mountains of crumpled paper, it becomes obvious that it is Duggan's unique outlook on his surroundings, and his sly sense of humor, that makes his work so engaging. That he applies it to simple and direct images, and bold and flat color, allows all of us to dive into it immediately, before being amused with all of it's smart little decisions (and there are plenty to enjoy.) His inclusion in New Masters of Poster Design: Volume Two placed his direct style against the world's top talents and quickly highlighted how incredible his work truly is.
Duggan can balance cutting a graphic image down to its core elements (the hat and beer label are fascinating in their simplicity), while placing them in a manner that only he would. Of course, none of this would be possible without a recent move. "A few years ago, I inherited a vintage beer can collection from my Uncle," Duggan explains. "He had collected them all throughout the '70s and stored them in his garage." Finally having a garage of his own, he says, "I unpacked the cans and put them up on display, finding some truly wonderful packaging designs." Getting down to work on a new Guided By Voices poster, well known for their heavy drinking over the years, "I went to the garage and browsed for a Pittsburgh-based beer to use for the head, and alas—there was the beloved Iron City."
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