This week we caught up with designer and illustrator Stuart Gardiner. Fans will know him best for his infographic style homeware designs including the Glove & Hate Oven Mit (one of our best sellers) and the Beer of the World Tea Towel. Find out about his inspiration, his design and whether beer or wine is more his thing.
Where do you find inspiration? or Who has inspired you?
These days it comes easy by trawling online design blogs, but growing up it was music and skateboarding. Album artwork and skate graphics were always an inspiration. Once at art college I was particularly drawn to graphic art from the late 50s to the 70s, so many of my design idols are from that period; Saul Bass, Herb Lubalin, Milton Glaser to name a few. Broadly speaking I’m inspired by super-talented people no matter what their field.
Which is your favourite product?
Of mine? Tough question... I get to a point in my design process where I get bored of the project I’m working on. Finishing off becomes very laboured, and I’m never satisfied with the final design. Bearing that in mind, my ‘Glove & Hate’ Oven Mit possibly qualifies, as it was quick to design (as you can probably tell) and immediately popular. It’s been blatantly ripped off at least 3 times now, which I suppose is flattering, if somewhat frustrating.
Who is your favourite designer/artist/maker?
My list is endless but if I had to pick one it would be Edwardo Paolozzi.
What do you do when not designing homewares?
With running my own business it's all down to admin when I'm not designing. It takes a while and I find it a bit tedious, I'm much more interested in doing designs so I'm trying to outsource it to free up some time. ‘We’ is my wife Sam and who is also a designer and works with me part-time. Outside of work we have 2 young children which keeps us very busy, and we’ve also just moved out of London into a house needing a lot of work which will be a challenge. I'm looking forward to getting into my studio and doing more design. Once things settle I’m hoping to get some side hobbies back, especially making music - I dabble with drums & piano.
Favourite shop (hint hint)?
Can I pick a few (of course)? Liberty, Folk, Rough Trade, Magma, Foyles, Clapton Craft, Bottledog and BALTIC Shop (Yey!). I have lots of family in Newcastle, so I do actually go there. I’m not just saying it!
Now time for the quick fire round…!
Beer or wine?
Beer. I know a lot about beer and it’s many foamy forms. I did know a lot about wine when researching my Red Wine and White Wine Tea Towels, but it’s all been forgotten.
Red or white?
What’re we eating? I’ll have to consult a handy guide I’ve got somewhere...
Meat or veg?
Mostly fish and veg at home, and meat when I eat out. My wife’s a pescatarian, so I don’t each that much meat at home.
Starter or dessert?
Staying in or going out?
Both. It used to be going out, but since we’ve moved from London that’s changed, mainly due to being able to relax in and enjoy our new home.