Australian designer and art director Nicholas Barclay is known for his trademark minimalist rendering of pop culture products. He strips movie posters, album covers, corporate logos, fictional characters, modern cities, human psychological states to their very essence and projects them in simple rectangles or circles or strips of colour.
Nick went to university at the Norwich School of Art and Design (now called Norwich University of the Arts) and obtained an HND in Graphic Design. He worked in publishing in London for 8 years before moving to Sydney and freelancing in publishing over there. “Although I love magazine work,” says Nick, “I always had the feeling that I wanted to do my own thing so I started to produce my posters as a way of self-promotion. Luckily, people seemed to like my style and they got a little interest and it kinda went from there.”
Nick prefers to work with a limited number of clients – generally small businesses looking for a re-brand and a little lift – who are really engaged in his style and work and with whom he can have some quality time.
He is influenced by the art movements Bauhaus and De Stijl – and Wallpaper Magazine (established in 1996). He says, “Growing up I was in love with the look and layout of Wallpaper and then further on into uni, as most designers do, you become aware of Bauhaus and the strong simple forms and colour have stuck with me ever since. As for inspiration, if I’m having a real block, I take myself off to the Gallery of New South Wales and wander around for a few hours and just soak it all up. There is surfing as well…Surfing is a great way to clear my head and arrange my thoughts.”
Nick is based in Bondi Beach in Sydney. His work has been exhibited around the UK. Recently, it was part of the Łódź Design Festival in Poland.
Here is a selection of his very basic and clever movie posters and album covers. See if you can identify them.
Images used with permission.