PRINT’s latest Designer of the Week, Elroy Klee, is an illustrator, art director and creative who enjoys collaborating with other creative types as much as possible. His clients include UPC, Opel, Boxfresh, Coty, JOOP!, Hyperboloid and Pixelord, and he specializes in 3D work, which he elevates with unique treatment of typography and bursts of color.
Name: Elroy Klee
Location: Enschede, Holland
Design school attended:
Self-taught, from graffiti, graphic design, packaging design to 3D illustrations
How would you describe your work?
I find it difficult to describe my work because I’m still searching for my style.
I used to be a graffiti writer, so letters have my attention. My work is colorful, and I love to work in the field of 3D digital and crafted as well.
Where do you find inspiration?
Oh, that’s from everywhere. If a stranger in an elevator tells me a story, I hear things [that] my brain turns into ideas/images. A strange shape formed by wood and sticks, in a forest, also. But my Instagram timeline is also full of inspiration.
You can imagine, I’m distracted very easily. That’s a disadvantage sometimes because I lose my focus often.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?
Well, because of my last name I like Paul Klee of course. Also I like the isometric style of Igarashi Takenobu. Graffiti artists like Futura and Dondi because they influenced me as a teenager. Nowadays I like the 3D work of Plasticbionic and Six n Five. The illustrations of Merijn Hos are also top notch. To name a few because there are so many talented people.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?
That’s the Mindplay series. The 3 Lego wigs, which were my first self-initiated projects after I decided to make more set designs and illustrations and [do] less graphic design. Mindplay went viral, and I had the opportunity so show the wigs in Paris and New York.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
This is a self-initiated project also. It’s Kings and Queens. Photographer Jeroen Nieuwhuis and I put a lot of work into it. After two years it was picked up by Coty in Paris, and it was turned into a limited-edition campaign, which is my biggest project [because] I work on my own.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
I hope to develop a more signature [look for] my work and work in America as a freelancer sometimes.
What’s your best advice for designers today?
Probably said often before, but do what you like and try to develop your own style.
It will pay off, and in the end it doesn’t feel [like] work.
All too often, typography gets overlooked in larger design competitions—which is why we developed one that gives the artforms their full due and recognizes the best designers in each category. Whether you design your own typefaces, design type-centric pieces or create gorgeous handlettered projects, we want to see your work—and share it with our readers.
Enter today for a chance to be featured in Print magazine, receive a prize pack from MyDesignShop.com, and more. Early bird rates for the competition—which features both pro and student categories—end Oct. 14.