Josh Higgins interview

We're acquired an interview with Mr. Josh Higgins, one graphic designer-musician we're glad to collaborate with. Josh blessed us with prints for both Reinventing the Wheel and CONSPIRE, and we're happy to learn more about his ways. So read on. Below: One of our favorites, Josh's design for the Hurricane Poster Project, a project that encouraged collective action from the design community to ignite change. All proceeds from limited run posters went directly to Red Cross to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Josh in turn established the So Cal Fire Poster Project, which compiled designs donated by designers and artists around the globe. Funds from these poster sales have gone towards Salvation Army for the victims of the wildfires that devastated Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties.

You've established yourself as a musician -- as bass player for fluf -- and as an award winning graphic designer. How do you balance it all?

It seems to be pretty easy. i think because i love every minute of each thing so it does not seem like a "job" and because i dig it i am motivated to be better and try harder. organization and scheduling is the key. i got lucky with that gene as i feel i am pretty organized and have good time management skills. that helps balance it all.

Best creative memory?

oh man, thats a tough one. as a musician it was touring with Jawbreaker, one of my all time favorite bands and got to spend many weeks with them, became good friends that still talk and hang to this day, plus lots of high-jinks ensued. as a designer, it was getting a job at miriello grafico. i had wanted to work there since i was in school and 6 years later, Ron gave me a chance. there are many others but those stick out the most.

What's inspiring you this week?

Car print ads. i am working on Yamaha's 2010 campaign/collateral. we have a photo shoot coming up and i am being inspired by car photographers' lighting techniques. beautiful.

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What has being in a band taught you about approaching graphic design and vice versa?

i think the band taught me to be organized. i was always in a "manager" roll as well as a bass player and marketing a band is much like marketing any other product or service. i don't think design has helped the music - just hurt it as i play less now.

What's your power animal? Explain.

Ferdinand the bull ::  Because I would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights.

What would your dream assignment be?

i have always wanted to figure out how to earn a living doing non-profit work. (hurricane poster project, so-cal poster fire project) my dream assignment would be to do great work while helping a cause i believed in. What do you feel you still need to accomplish in this life?

A bunch. i am constantly learning and never feel content with my abilities. until the day i do, i will have something to accomplish.

In Roman mythology, individuals were said to have a "genius", a guardian spirit that granted them intellectual and creative powers. Do you have a little guy?

no. i wish i did. i could really use him or her right now. i just have my dog "Fender" who i think is genius. logos2 Who do you admire most?

Designers? Reid Miles because he was one of the most underrated designers ever: the simplicity and exercise of restraint. The use of type was very progressive for its time. The photo cropping creates a single focal point in the composition. His record covers defined a whole genre of jazz with a look. In his time, he completely defined visually a music style. His cover design for Blue Note Records blended modernism and photography. His most memorable covers incorporated dynamic typography with Francis Wolff’s eloquent photography. His cover for a Freddie Hubbard album was the first of his covers I ever saw. Even after buying every book on his work that I could ever can get my hands on, it remains my favorite. and Paul Rand because his work was simple, innovative and rebellious. He employed a wide variety of design techniques including typography, collage and photography.  This combination of elements produced distinctive design across many media, such as a poster design, editorial design and corporate identity. But simplicity was the common element across everything he created, no matter what the medium.  in general, people who are driven. i am inspired when i see people with a mission and are doing whatever they can to make it happen.

Words of advice on being a creative human being? never be satisfied. always seek to learn. give until it hurts. and remember, what comes around goes around.



If you could board any ship any time, what's the date and destination on the ticket?

the date would be June and headed for Hawaii. Maui in particular. my favorite place on earth.