Interview with: Max Guther
form 269 will be published on 16 December 2016. In the forthcoming issue, which also marks the beginning of our 60th anniversary year, we have focussed on the subject of playing in design. Alongside contributions on gamification and games theory, interviews with the computer game developer Crytek and the participatory studio Moniker, we also present individual design projects based on the same theme. Max Guther has also made a contribution with his illustrations, which were recently published in Fount Magazine that we present in the media section of form 269. In a brief interview he reveals all about how he came to create this series of illustrations and also talks about the working methods that he prefers to use.
How did the project “Plant A Mountain” come about?
The “Plant A Mountain” series of illustrations was created for the newly founded Fount Magazine, and deals with the courage needed to be part of a new venture or new project. In this context, I decided to visualise different keywords that describe the creative process. I associate these with personal experiences from my childhood: trying things out, failing, taking courage and learning things anew.
What got you into illustration?
I have always loved drawing and am also generally a very visual person. I am also interested in pictorial worlds and illustrative design. It took me a while before deciding to focus on illustration in my studies. However, I have known for a long time that I wanted to work in a creative field professionally. That’s why I chose graphic design. It is because of my studies that I also engage intensively with typography and layout. I think it’s important to look at other creative areas that you naturally come across in the course of your work as an illustrator. Another area of design that really fascinates me is architecture – and you can see its influence in some of my work.
Tell us about your education so far.
I am currently studying at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences doing a BA in communication design. Two years ago I completed a term as a guest with Eike König at the HfG Offenbach, which led to my work in creating digital collages. I also did an internship at the Hort design studio in Berlin. This resulted in my series of illustrations for Fount Magazine in their first issue entitled “Plant A Mountain”.
Why do you so frequently use an isometric perspective?
I think isometry is a very interesting perspective because you can look down on what is happening from above and thus create an all-seeing observation position. Of course, I’ve also played computer games based on isometric perspective, but my fascination for this point of view is mainly derived from the isometric representations of Bauhaus architects and designers such as Walter Gropius and Herbert Bayer.
Which media do you prefer to work with?
I build digital collages from many different photos, textures and constructed objects. For editing, I mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator. The most important thing is, of course, the idea and the concept behind something. Once I’ve decided these, I prepare sketches to get a rough idea of division and composition. Only then will I start taking photos and editing them. Once I finish arranging individual elements, I then do the final colouration. As far as the choice of themes for my illustrations is concerned, I often use everyday situations. However, I am always open to other topics, because I like working with new things.
What kind of environment would you like to work in?
I'd most like to work together with other people in a kind of co-working environment. As a rule, in order to work, I need people with whom I can exchange ideas and discuss projects.