Interview with Ian Hutchison
Interview with Ian Hutchison, designer and art director currently based out of Nürnberg, Germany working at adidas in the Global Brand Design department.
LIGATURE: Hello Ian how are you?
Ian Hutchison: I’m good! Currently in Cape Town taking a break from winter in Europe. I forgot what the sun looked like. It’s nice.
L: Can you introduce yourself?
IH: My name is Ian Hutchison. I’m a designer and art director currently based out of Nürnberg, Germany working at adidas in the Global Brand Design department. I’m originally from Omaha, Nebraska in the US. I attended Chapman University in Orange County, California where I received my BFA in Graphic Design. During that time I was lucky enough to intern at Dim Mak Records back in the electro days, which was my first ever internship and has influenced my work ever since. Since graduating I spent 5 years as an art director at Ezekiel Clothing in California and then moved over here to adidas.
L: Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
IH: Skateboarding really ignited my desire to design. I remember getting into skateboarding when I was in the 5th grade from my best friends older brother. I was really interested in the culture and all of the board graphics and magazine ads. It all just felt so new to me and I just instantly wanted to be able to design things myself and contribute to the subculture. Skateboarding led to my interest in punk, indie, and hardcore music scenes in my high school years where I got really into t-shirt and poster screen printing for friends bands. It’s kind of just built up from there ever since.
L: Can you tell us more about the book you designed for the adidas x David Beckham limited collection?
IH: My colleague, Nathan Thomposon, who is the designer of the Beckham shoes, approached me with the idea to do a book. For me personally, it was a bit of a dream project to get to design something for one of adidas biggest assets in Beckham and to dictate a bit how Predator should feel going forward for the brand.
The idea was to do a special book that would be an added bonus to the consumers who bought the Beckham Predator shoes. This is something adidas has done in the past with previous Predator launches, but it’s been at least a decade since the last one, so we really wanted to bring that special element back. The book is limited to 2,750 copies and it highlights the creative process of the shoes from concept, to design, through to production.
Overall the concept was to take the elements we loved from the Predator franchise and remake it into a visual aesthetic for what Predator can be going forward. There are three central colors to the collection and to Predator (red, black, white) so the book doesn’t deviate much from this color palette. As you flip through the book you’ll notice the page colors change from red to white, and then to black. As the colors change the content of the book moves from the past, up to current day, so in the final section of the book the product photos are shown in full color while everything else in the book is in black and white. I chose our classic font adineue Pro to use throughout the book but created a stretched version of it to use as a headline, and within type layouts to harken back to an extended typeface that was used in some early Predator marketing materials back in 1994. This call back is also reinforced by some of the headlines in the book being taken from old Predator ads as well like “0% Fair, 100% Legal”. We finished it off with some gold foil embellishments which tie back to the gold detailing on the product and highlight the numbers Beckham wore that our identity team designed specifically for this project.
L: How does it was to work for / with David Beckham?
IH: Although I didn’t get to speak to him directly, his personal input was communicated to us via his team. Going into it, I were unsure how involved him and his team would be, but they shared input on anything from photography to page layouts. It was really cool to get to work with such a legend of the game.
L: What can you say about Imprimerie du Marais (where the book was printed)?
IH: Only great things, their body of work speaks for itself but we were very happy with the outcome. It was great to get to be in Paris for the press check and to see the book being printed in the Marais. We were working on very tight and ever changing deadlines, but despite that, they were able to help us deliver a really unique piece of adidas Predator history.
L: Are you on new books for upcoming adidas releases?
IH: Yes. I can’t speak much to it but there are more football related projects in the works. We really wanted this book to be a catalyst for more limited collection pieces going forward so it’s exciting to see that now it’s becoming a reality.