Klaas Verplancke, illustrator, animator and art director from Brugge, Belgium, has done a bang up job again. Verplancke‘s smartly conceived and wittily designed second “promo” publication once again makes me happy just to look at it. “Just the idea that Verplancke invested in a printed tabloid paper in this digital age to show off his very clever offerings, earns him a place in the illustration pantheon” I wrote over a year ago. Now he tells me more about his present and future plans for BANG! here.
What has been your motivation in producing BANG?
I challenged myself to create an artist promotion that stands out from the usual goodies that are send around. I liked the idea of a tabloid from the beginning. First of all because of the grand pages that allows a combination of poster-like images and thumbnails compositions.
Second, I wanted to play with the short lifespan of a newspaper and turn it into a high quality printed and designed publication. A one day paper that changes into limited and exclusive collector’s item, that was a contradiction that fascinated me and gave me the opportunity to show my portfolio in an unusual, new environment.
Context determines the message and meaning of an image. A different design can reveal a different visual story. That’s how I came up with the idea to use BANG! also as a showcase for a talented young graphic designer. A unique fusion between graphic design and illustration, this is what BANG! is about.
What makes this second issue different from the first?
Every BANG! has singular heading, look and feel. For every issue I invite another young, groundbreaking designer who can start from scratch with my portfolio and create a publication conform his or her vision and signature.
This issue has been art-directed by Tim Bisschop. He is a cutting edge book designer, and I wanted to challenge him in designing a tabloid.
It gives me great joy to get it. What is your joy in doing it?
Each issue is a new interaction with a creative mind, and I learn from this. I want to think as an illustrator ànd an art director as well, to get better in understanding both sides. ‘Art-Directors are humans too’. This quote is hanging on my studio wall. It struck me in an interview with an AD talking with passion about the daily challenges in his job. The simple and clear message reminded me of a breakfast conversation I had with Christoph Niemann. He told me about his experience as interim AD at The NY Times, and how this changed his point of view as an illustrator. His testimony was eyeopening.
There’s a strong AD behind every victorious illustrator. Many AD’s are illustrators and think as an illustrator. Every illustrator should think as an AD or an editor as well. Illustration is not only about the idea and the art, but also about being fast, reliable, consistent and professional in an ever evolving market. It’s not only about how it looks like, but how it works. Making BANG! broadens my vision as an illustrator, as well as my experience from an art director’s standpoint.