JOSH SCHAUB — Interview
Josh Schaub, Swiss graphic designer.
Hello Josh Schaub, how are you?
I’m good, thanks! After six great months in Berlin I’m looking forward to move to Zurich in a few weeks. By the way – I still don’t have a place to stay. Just saying… in case anyone knows of something.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m a Swiss graphic designer. Three years ago I graduated from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucerne. Since then I’ve been self-employed – I continue trying new things to find my greatest passion.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
I have always been poor at languages – even German. But especially French. The words didn’t tell me anything. I began to invent a secret language based on my own pictographs to be the master of my own ”language“ at least. Well, and based on this strange amusement an intense relationship with form and content began, which still fascinates me now.
Can you describe to us one of your projects?
This spring I was invited to design a poster for Soirée Graphique, a graphic-event in Switzerland. Apart from the format specifications the briefing said: ”you can do everything“.
Usually I begin my work by reading about the theme and doing a lot of research – both formal and contextual. I always try to look at the topic from different angles until I feel comfortable with it. Only then I can start to design. As I said – normally it works like this. But with this project I had to find a different approach.
How can I start researching without having a theme?
After a long journey starting with pseudo political through to total arbitrary themes, I stopped my research and decided to start from scratch again. I tried to find a clue and reread the briefing: ”you can do EVERYTHING“ – without further ado I decided to simply take this sentence literally and with humor. So I visualized ”everything“.
You find the answer for ”everything“ in Adam’s story ”Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“. The answer is 42. Finally I designed a poster which pictures numerous questions with the answer 42 (such as ”how many black stripes does a mountain zebra have?“ or ”how old was Elvis Presley when he died?“). One of the questions has to be the right question for life, universe and EVERYTHING right?
What are your interests on motion design?
I love motion design as much as I love graphic design. That’s why I recently tried to find a way which connects both – graphically reduced but still in motion, which makes it poetic somehow. I think that partly animated info graphics are better at explaining a message and moving posters get more attention on the streets than still prints.
Who are the designers that you admire most?
One of my childhood heroes was definitely M.C. Escher, whose pictures are great crafted and additionally have an irritating and intriguing level.
What stimulates you outside of graphic design?
Time without my computer, a fascinating theatre performance and cooking without a recipe.
Which books are on your bedside table?
Haha – well there is one lying there for nearly three years now and I just can’t get ahead – ”Gödel, Escher, Bach“. I always forget what I read – so I have read the same 200 pages again and again. But I will finish it soon – I’m working on it.
The last word…
Always make backups!
Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 11.15
Projects ©Josh Schaub + The Japan Poster exhibition in collaboration with Stephanie Cuérel. Infographics for the Young Swiss Magazine in collaboration with Sabrina Staudinger.