Matthias Hofmann is born in 1970 in Basel. He is a graphic designer and teacher based in Lucerne.

Hello Matthias how are you?

Hey. The last two years I had some health struggles. Slowly I feel better and I hope I will recover totally. Apart from that I enjoy the summer.

Can you introduce yourself?

I am a good looking human being. Accidentally Graphic Designer… and interested in anything that has a beautiful appearance.

Where does your interest in graphic design come from?

I grew up with graphic design and all the masters. So I am accidentally a Graphic Designer.

You teach since more than 10 years in the fields of visual communication and typographic design. Do you have an advice for young designers?

My first words in class are: It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll… So that is what it’s all about. You have to be open-minded to everything and everyone especially in arts. That’s the basis to all confrontation in the visual communication.

What does teaching to others give you?

Teaching has a high interpersonal aspect. You have to understand the thought processes of every student. Only then – you can help the students to find their own personal way to design. This process and the solution takes a lot of time and energy but is necessary and gives you satisfaction for a long time.

Would you like to explain to us one of your projects?

Right now I am working on a project for a band that will play on six evenings at the same place (Neustahl’s Souterrain Club). My task was to find a way to split the band’s name (Fischermanns Orchestra) into six single posters and give every poster and performance a new independent meaning (FISCH) (ER) (MANNS) (OR) (CHEST) (RA). After the six concerts the posters will fit together as one visual appearance.

Do you have a favorite typeface?

I love the rebellious forms of the Akzidenz Grotesk. Next to that I love every type which is not to sleeky.

A designer that you admire?

I admire the intelligence and the thought processes of the work of Ralph Schraivogel. Since I know him personally this fact became even stronger. I love people who think beyond borders.

Is there a book which opened your eyes about design?

Yes several. First of all Armin’s “Graphic Design Manual” was very essential to me (family affair). Also Wolfgang Weingart’s “My way to typography” is very artistic and had a strong influence on me.

The last word…

It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll…

Pictures & projects by Matthias Hofmann.

Interview: Dennis Moya and Tiffany Bähler, 09.16

Graphic Design