Your Space Or Mine
Celebrated graphic artist, printmaker and designer Anthony Burrill shares a message of patience, hope and positivity across the UK
At the heart of Anthony Burrill’s longstanding and extensive visual art practice is a beautifully guileless mantra: keep things simple and direct; say the most with the least; connect with people through words.
After completing Graphic Design studies at Leeds Polytechnic in 1989 and going on to gain an MA at the Royal College of Art in London Burrill’s early career was concerned with making his way as a commercial graphic designer. But, as he explained in a recent interview for D&AD’s New Blood digital festival, “There’s always a tension working commercially […] delivering other people’s messages that maybe I didn’t believe in myself. I very gradually began to kind of move away into something that was more fulfilling and nourishing for me as a person.”
The first major project where Burrill was able to use his penchant for brevity, wit and bold typography came in 1997 working with Erik Kessels on a campaign for Hans Brinker’s budget hotel in Amsterdam. His kitchen table, cut ‘n’ paste collage approach chimed perfectly with the creative brief: namely to flip the failings of very shoddy accommodation and non-existent facilities into USPs.
It worked a treat. At a time when advertising graphics were leaning towards the ‘slick and sophisticated’ – read busy and a bit oblique – Burrill’s clarity, humour and plain-speaking shone through. That success eventually meant he could work on select commercial jobs as well as lending his skills to charities and pressure groups close to his heart and pursuing personal projects.