Meet The Hidden Dingbat Collective, a.k.a. designer/illustrator duo Lauren Baker and Phil Howell. With a combined height of 10’7″, it is hardly surprising that these two are a mighty force when it comes to their field, and their clients have included the NHS, University of Essex and rock-band Gallows.
In their spare time, Lauren and Phil enjoy reading, making and listening to music, swing dancing, skateboarding, charity shopping and a whole host of other hobbies. They also rather intriguingly list ‘Pokemon hunting’ as an interest…we wonder if there are more than just Level 3 Rattata’s and Pidgey’s roaming leafy Essex…?
Tell us a bit about yourselves…
We both studied at The Colchester School of Art, Design and Media and have BA Hons in Graphic Media. The Hidden Dingbat Collective is our design and illustration studio. We have been established since early 2009, working to a large number of briefs and eclectic clients, who include the NHS, The British Army, Essex Fire Service, Essex University, Dalebrook Display Solutions, Colchester Institute: School of Art, Design and Media, Gallows (Epitaph Records), Turncoat Annie (custom decoupage furniture), Chocolate Studios and Mind Your Own Business (club night). Our work is accessible and lighthearted, as well as informative and intuitive. We believe in giving people the design they deserve. Good design doesn’t just sell your products. It is the key to communicating exactly what your business is all about in an efficient, contemporary and aesthetically pleasing way. We pride ourselves in being approachable, affordable and enthusiastic!
What are your inspirations?
As a studio our biggest influence is the 1960’s the music, films, fashion and most importantly the graphic design and illustration from that era, we are in love with pastel colours, paper cut outs, hand drawn typography and really simple illustration work. Small seaside towns, Americana, romantic movies, also massively inspire us and of course music studio favourites include David Bowie, The Beatles, Joy division, The Smiths, The Clash and The Gaslight Anthem.
It is almost impossible for us to have a number one favourite piece of work but we have really enjoyed working with performance artist Jamie Moakes on his latest show You Will Be Rare as well as working with local arts organization FirstSite to produce promotional material for ‘the vintage mobile cinema bus’ which was a brief that really fit with our house style. Our latest project that we are really in love with has been working on a project involving The Beatles, which we can’t really talk about because of publishing but has been kind of a dream job.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
Hands down our favourite artist/illustrator is Margaret Kilgallen. Her balance of image and type is just so perfect and her hand painted typography is something we would love to be able to master. Her line is effortless and the work she produced just had so much feeling an emotion in just really simple shapes, that’s what we are trying to achieve every time we pick up a pen.
All images © The Hidden Dingbat Collective. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.