Summer 2017

Pleasure in the process

Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir are graphic designers who construct typefaces through mathematics, systems and experimentation, pushing hard at the boundaries of alphabetic form

Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir are on a mission. They are designers who – as MuirMcNeil – make typefaces that work in mysterious but mathematical ways. Using methods that are entirely contemporary, though they can seem arcane, they explore ‘parametric design systems’. And there is something about their commitment to a punchy, practical, systems-based approach that communicates far and wide. Though they eschew ‘style’, their fonts and posters – including identities for the London College of Communication (LCC) and TypeCon – are recognisable within seconds. They also have robust theories about the experimental, almost scientific methods they apply to design and design education. One might be tempted to describe these two articulate and opinionated designers as ‘bursting with ideas’, except for their highly public rejection of ‘ideas’ as unnecessary and problematic – for emerging designers and students in particular.

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Silk-screened poster (2010) for the Interact type system using the colours PMS 926 and 809, in of an edition of 100 printed on 160gsm Naturalis Absolute Smooth. Dimensions: 100×70cm.
Top: MuirMcNeil’s identity design for TypeCon, the annual convention of the Society of Typographic Aficionados (Sota) held in Seattle in the United States, 24-28 August 2016.

Interact_Poster

John L. Walters, editor of Eye, London

Read the full version in Eye no. 94 vol. 24, 2017

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Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can see what Eye 94 looks like at Eye before You Buy on Vimeo.

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