Q. First of all, congrats on the winning design. How does it feel to know that your design will now become ubiquitous?
A. We’ll I’m a little overwhelmed to be honest. I’ve never really won anything such as this before so it’s a little surreal. I’m extremely honored for my work to represent all of what living uptown is about. I guess it still has not hit me yet that I won, so I’m cool and collected on the outside but bursting with happiness on the inside these past few days.
Q. What is the thought process behind the design?
A. One of my favorite graphic designers is Paul Rand. He mentioned that a graphic designers value to a businessperson is that the designer can add a great deal of value to the product whatever that may be. I try and work with that mindset whenever I have a problem to solve. Simplicity in design is sometimes the hardest to achieve but when done correctly it can be extremely powerful. I’ve always tackled design as if it were a math problem. I need to get to that answer but in order to do so I first need to deconstruct what the actual problem is. Much like a math equation there are formulas and ways of getting to that numerical answer. I just do the same thing but visually and taking it apart in my head. When I am working on a logo or any sort of design I back up from the screen or paper and soften my vision – that way I can see what part of the design stands out. Also that is the part I want the observer to see first? There are so many ways of going about design this is just what best works for me of course.
Q. Tell us about your company 83 Mark Collective?
A. Well 83 Mark Collective is a creative outlet for me. 83 was the year I was born, Mark is my middle name. I had a brother who passed away at 3 years old so my mom made that my middle name, I kind of feel like I’m living for two people so I named the company after my brother. Collective is everyone that enjoys what I do and supports my creations. The brand is a way for me to show my artwork, thoughts and ideas via apparel.
Many of my friends and former colleagues loved the work I produced. I worked for an apparel company for 6 years and really enjoyed what I did there. A lot of my friends at the time had their own tee shirt lines so I decided to start my own and give it a shot. I wanted to be my own boss, and start making a living for myself instead of for others. Plus if people enjoyed what art I made that made everything worthwhile. I’ve had a bunch of fans from Europe, for me it was unfathomable at first that people would like my stuff all the way over there. As an expression of gratitude I’d try and do small things like small paintings or hand written notes to say thank you. Even selling at the Farmers Market I try and get to know something about everyone I meet there. It’s such a high for me to get to know people in the neighborhood.
Q. Your work is really clean and you employ typography in very unique way. Who are some of your artistic inspirations?
A. Well artistic inspirations…lets see, I have so many but honestly I’ve always been in love with antiques and typography on antiques. From old seltzer bottles to vintage wash wringers, old cigar labels the list goes on. I just felt that the typography on these items is so precise and clean, it definitely struck a chord with me and my design aesthetics. It seems this is definitely a trend right now with that vintage type look but me personally I have always really liked that style. Aside from that its a lot of time spent in clothing stores and on websites collecting hangtags, ads, and other designs to fill out binders worth of graphic inspiration. Like I mentioned above, Paul Rand was a huge inspiration for me, he was such a smart dude when it came to design and his work was so simplistic and effective. Also other designers like Shepard Fairey, Herb Lubalin and Saul Bass I really enjoy.
Q. Your designs are very Uptown-centric, why is that?
A. Wow that’s so great of you to say that. Well, I think as a designer I’m always observing things around me. Riding my bike all over Washington Heights and Inwood I’ve gotten to see some pretty amazing and shocking things. From people playing dominos on the sidewalk to the small empanada stands to other artists playing at local restaurants. All of this and more encompass what living up here is all about. There is certain energy up here that you can’t find anywhere else in Manhattan in my opinion. So I think I take that energy into the designs I produce.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. I’m usually at the Inwood Farmers market on Saturday if anyone wants to, please come by and say hi. I’m always up for talking to people and thank you to everyone who supports what I do, to all my friends, family, and future friends thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Clothing line: 83markcollective.com
Instagram name: @83mark
Personal Design site: andrewshortdesign.com