Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Kyle Wilkinson: Earlier this year, DMSQD partnered with local laser company Cutting Technologies to create the Enlightened Exhibition: an exploration of lasers in design, which showcased the work of some of the UK's top creatives – such as Sawdust, Sneaky Racoon, Melbs and Raid 71 – pushing what can be achieved by lasers. We wanted to create something special for the invitations to the VIP launch night and naturally we felt that a design based around lasers was the only option. We decided to engrave the type-led design onto thick black acrylic, which gave the whole piece an elegant and luxurious feel. We've had some great feedback on them, with the majority of people saying they were keeping them and hanging them up in their offices and studios.
CA: How did you put the piece together?
KW: I begin, initially, with pencil sketches, as I did with the Enlightened project, to get an idea for composition nailed quickly, then scan and move into Illustrator to start building the final image. Currently, I'm testing out an all-digital workflow by using a Cintiq and Sketchbook Pro, too, which is feeling quite natural. The most challenging aspect of this project was the time scale: the entire exhibition was organised in a matter of weeks, which resulted in the invitations being designed, prepped and laser-engraved ready to send out in just over two days.
CA: How did you get into design, and who or what inspires you?
KW: I was originally en route to becoming a photographer, at college, when one of the graphics tutors saw some work I did to promote my portfolio and invited me to join his course. That's where my design career started and within weeks I was hooked. Half-way through the course I managed to land a job at a local studio. A few years passed in which I also worked in the design department for a local publisher, before making the decision to start up DMSQD with a few friends. I wouldn't say I have a particular style as such, I'm more of an all-rounder working across pretty much all platforms – I even designed a chair for the exhibition – but I have a passion for type. I'm a big fan of Rob Clarke, Sawdust and Steven Bonner. Like most, music plays a big part, inspiration-wise, as well as architecture and just seeing the world. Understanding different cultures is important, especially when some projects are on a global stage.