Designers Who Are Better Than Me

Heath Killen is a freelance graphic artist, designer and writer based in Newcastle, so not only does he design better than me, he writes better than me as well. But seriously, Heath’s work is some of the most fascinating and under-recognised in Australia at the moment. He manages to mix a unique blend of colour, collage and type into some amazing creations, 
harkening back to the early, playful designs of the likes of Australian designers Alex Stitt, Ken Cato, Les Mason and Martin Sharp during the 60s, 70s and 80s, but at the same time feeling totally modern. I really love the inate ‘Australian-ness’ that permeates his work, I can’t quite put my finger on what makes it so, maybe it’s as simple as the colour palette he uses or the fun his pieces exude, but I tend to think it’s just that he’s just really smart and really good. The best example of this is perhaps his Dreamtime 79 project, A collection of 13 film posters, seemingly designed by the leader of a ‘mysterious desert-dwelling Australian cult’. It reminds me of the type of films that would have been featured in the recent movie ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ in their examination of Australia’s exploitation films of the 70s and 80s, if the Dreamtime 79 films had actually ever been made. I would have loved to have featured an interview with Heath here, but I’ve been beaten to the punch unfortunately – blog ‘Far Out Brussel Sprout’ has an in-depth talk to the man, covering pretty much everything I would have asked him and more. As I mentioned above, Heath also writes as purty as he designs, and his blog/website is well worth the visit, not only to peruse a bucket load of his design pieces, but also to read up on some of his insights and discoveries. On a final note, Heath is looking for a fulltime design gig, he’s obviously choc-full of talent and is willing to travel for the right position and new opportunities, so drop him a line if your looking for someone.

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