This is the third year we’ve run our New Visual Artists: 15 under 30 issue. What was once a highly edited list of 20 of the best and brightest young designers is now a deeper exploration of 15 of the most original talents working in visual communications today.
This issue of Print comes at an interesting time. This new group of designers, while undeniably adroit, is part of a generation fully proficient in the art of self-promotion in a digital age. Getting the word out about one’s work is now de rigueur. But at a time when new work is relentlessly blasted out on platforms where seemingly everyone in the room is shouting, is it really possible to break through the volume of voices all vying to captivate and capture attention? Moreover, in the Insta-culture of the early 21st century, how does one navigate through the metadata to find the meteoric? As in years past, that’s exactly what we’ve sought to do here. We’ve gone in quest of craft and cunning ideas and ideals. We’ve looked for substance and style and star-power. The list of Print’s New Visual Artists has become a who’s who of the industry’s leaders, and includes Scott Dadich, Eddie Opara, Alan Dye, Jessica Walsh, Jessica Hische, Frank Chimero and, more recently, Zipeng Zhu, Joe Hollier and Joey Cofone. This year’s 15 New Visual Artists are bold in name and in voice, and are bravely making new work in a new world.
“… A custom-lettered, 1:12 scale version of a magazine cover, constructed of flowers and acrylic paint on a large roll of paper.”
Meet New Visual Artist Adé Hogue
From: Asheville, NC (but my family is from South Boston, VA).
Current city: Chicago.
Education: University of North Carolina at Charlotte; BFA with a concentration in graphic design.
Path that led you to design: After essentially flunking out of engineering school, I stumbled into a drawing class in college because I needed enough credit hours to remain a full-time student. I thought it would be an easy ‘A.’ I quickly realized it was going to be much tougher than I expected and I began practicing more. I just happened to fall in love with it!
Career thus far, in a nutshell: I would say that my career up to this point has been about exploration and self-discovery. Every move I have made, and every piece that I have created, has been about trying to find what I enjoy doing the most.
Current place of work: Freelance.
The key to good design: The key to good design is an obsessive [amount] of preparation, knowledge and understanding. Knowing what has been created before you, knowing what’s worked in the past, and knowing what hasn’t is key to creating successful things today. Perhaps it’s my lettering background, but I’m a firm believer in referencing older pieces to create something new—borrowing subtle details and techniques from different places to ensure the final piece is cohesive.
Motto/design philosophy: Share, share, share. It’s easy for us as designers to curl up in a corner with something we’ve created and not solicit feedback from others.
Work of which you’re most proud: In October of 2013 I started a simple daily lettering project. I was interested in learning something new, and thought it might be a great way to get started. While I’m not necessarily proud of those particular lettering pieces anymore, I realize that it literally kickstarted my career and pushed me to where I am today.
Biggest influence: A few years back, one of my uncles told me a story about what made him join the military. It was a crazy story that should never be repeated, but he ended the story by simply saying, “That was my GO,” and told me to “Find GO, nephew.” That simple little phrase inspires everything I do, and now it’s tattooed on my arm as a daily reminder. It reminds me to get up and find what is worth living for each and every day.
How you would classify your style: Modern, personal, thoughtful.
Design hero: My design hero/icon would have to be Doyald Young. To be able to flourish like him is literally a dream of mine.
Favorite typographer: Adrian Frutiger.
What defines you: My energy and my willingness to experiment in life and in art.
Cause that means the most to you: The fight against systemic racism toward black people in America and across the world.
What you want to accomplish before all is said and done: I want to create something iconic that will be used for decades at a high level. I also hope to have my own solo exhibition at a gallery one day.
Your idea of happiness: I’m not sure exactly what happiness looks like for me, but I think it has something to do with living a comfortable life and the opportunity to create work I’m truly proud of each and every day.
The future of design is: In my opinion, the future of design won’t be a positive one if we don’t stick together and fight for respect for what we do. We have to get the world to stop looking at what we do as a “hustle” or a “side gig,” and realize that this is our profession. We can’t pay the bills on $50 logo projects and exposure.
Meet more of PRINT’s New Visual Artists in the Fall 2017 issue of PRINT.
Get the latest issue of PRINT to discover our annual list of 15 of the best creatives today under 30. Plus …
- A look at the rebranding of an old industry made anew: marijuana
- A Manifesto from Scott Boylston on the dire need for sustainability in design
- Paul Sahre’s memoir/monograph Two-Dimensional Man
- Debbie Millman’s Design Matters: In PRINT, featuring Jonathan Selikoff
- And much more!