Rachael Cliffe

Rachael Cliffe

Rachael CliffeMeet 23-year-old graphic artist Rachael Cliffe.

‘I love music – who doesn’t?!’ she says. ‘I’m very rarely without my iPod or books these days.’

‘I feel like I’ve been born in the wrong era!’ she continues. ‘I should’ve been 23 in the ’50s, the ’60s, the ’70s or the ’80s… really, I don’t belong in the 21st century. I love everything about those periods – the fashion, the lifestyle. I like vintage treats, too!’

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m based in the north-west and have recently graduated from Leeds Met Uni with a degree in Graphic Arts & Design.

I have a strong hands on approach to design, focusing on typography.  I use various print processes, along with many other hands-on elements. I believe that collaboration is an inevitable, necessary and exciting part of design, especially my own, & I’m always looking out for new projects with new people.

I’m a bit of a loner – a bit of a hermit in my personal life, but I don’t mind.  Despite that, I like making people happy, that’s what I do, I make work that will make other people smile, I make work for myself, but also for the benefit of other people.

I don’t want my design to be questioned too much, like ‘what does this mean?’ or ‘what’s the point?’ I just want people to think ‘yes this is nice, I like it’. I don’t want people to over-think it.

What inspires your work?

I’m inspired by everyday things, things that go on day-to-day, random things. This is what I tend to base my design on. I change my mind a lot, I’m very indecisive, so my ideas change a lot too.

Music plays a big part of my inspiration, lyrics from songs, or a certain band, the era they came from.

I use the fact I don’t want people to over-think my design as inspiration. I like to keep things simple and to-the-point.

The other side to my design inspiration is my love of hand-made things, anything where you can really see the time & effort & love gone into creating it. I just prefer design that has that hands on aesthetic to it, I always have done!

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

My opinion on my work has already rapidly changed in the five months I’ve been away from uni and I’ve been enjoying producing some of my recent work much more than my university pieces.

I’m having to use pen & paper much more as I no longer have the letterpress and other print facilities at hand. I love to hand-draw type, really detailed letters, I find it quite soothing to draw them!

Saying this though I have always loved my woodblock type samples that I produced in my final year especially my ‘Am I using the wrong type right?’ collection.

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

I wouldn’t say it is one person but it is one design movement – well two, actually!

I adore the Dada era of typography -, Jan Tschichold, Raoul Hausmann & Kurt Schwitters – their use of letterpress has really influenced my love of woodblock type. Also the Russian Constructivist designers, such as El Lissitzky has been a big influence on my design. The simple colours, shapes and letters really appeal to me.

Visit Rachael’s website and blog; tweet her – @Rachael_Cliffe.

All images © Rachael Cliffe. To view the images more clearly, click on them.

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