Rod Hunt and Kate Moross Get Personal on Oyster Cards
Transit is personal. Every day 1.1 million people use the Transport for London transit system to go home, go to work, visit loved ones, or see the city. Between the Underground, Overground, Boris Bikes, and London Buses, there are thousands of ways to access London, and every rider has their own style and preferences. The system is omnipresent within the city, and the Oyster Card is the key to the map. The Oyster Card lets riders access almost any aspect of the public transportation system, so it goes with any experienced Londoner wherever they go.
This season TfL teamed up with a bunch of artists to design a series of special edition wallets to hold these Oyster Cards. Rod Hunt and Kate Moross were two of these artists who put their personal experiences into the project.
Rod Hunt opted to take cues from the actual transit map. On his wallet we see a spread of bus lines moving, converging, and winding around each other. Stops are clearly marked and parks are ready for picnics. On top of the lines are mini double-decker buses, known as Routemasters, the red London icon, zipping from end to end. It's a combination of graphic interpretation and illustrative realism.
As the bus lines zig and zag over his design, between the parks and stops, his map spells out “London takes the bus.” This conceit wasn’t forced into existence, it was directly inspired by his experiences. “I found inspiration by looking at the Key Bus Routes in central London map and seeing that it almost looks like the map is spelling the word ‘Bus’ in route lines,” Rod explains. Sometimes you have to fight for ideas in the dark of night, and wrestle them into submission. But other times they reach out and smack you in the face.
Kate Moross' wallet features sayings and phrases from all around TfL. Using bold, saturated colors reminiscent of the bus lines and maps. From a distance the words blur into a bright camouflage, a distinctive aspect of Kate’s work. Like Rod, the inspiration for this design was taken directly from her own experiences riding TfL. “I ride a new Routemaster every day and I find myself looking at and reading the various stickers and signage around the bus,” she explains. “These polite messages, statements, and warnings are very much part of the Transport for London experience and so I decided to illustrate all the messages in a new Routemaster and highlight the words that other commuters might miss.” She’s taken an aspect of the bus system that might otherwise go unnoticed and put it directly in the pockets of the riders.
Transit is personal, and Londoners have their own personal affinity for the TfL system. “I love getting the bus,” Kate says, and these wallets let riders put that right into their pockets.
Kate Moross Releases First Book, 'Make Your Own Luck'
Bernstein & Andriulli newcomer Kate Moross recently released her first book, "Make Your Own Luck: A DIY Attitude to Graphic Design & Illustration" (Prestel, $34.95), and this month sees the opening of an accompanying show – her debut solo exhibition – at The Cob Gallery in London.
"Make Your Own Luck" (the book) includes sections on "how to thrive in art school, developing your own style, how to self-promote, collaboration with other artists, how to deal with 'copycats,' and when to consider working for free," written in a refreshingly honest tone, according to Prestel. Moross "also touches on the fine points of music packaging and videos, how to find an agent, and looks back on the touchstone moments that helped shape her career," featuring examples of her work for companies like Google, Adidas, and Nokia, and musicians such as Simian Mobile Disco, Jessie Ware, Zomby, and Pictureplane.
But Moross's client list began with the school magazine, local clubs, and bands on Myspace. "I followed a simple DIY ethos inspired by the riot grrrl and punk music culture that I had been absorbing … through pirated music, gigs, zines and, more importantly, the Internet," the designer remarks in her introduction. "I didn't emerge into the world with a fully formed style or approach. Rather, I've worked hard for years." She adds: "Having a Bachelor of Arts doesn't make you employable. Experience is just as important."
"Make Your Own Luck – The Show" runs from April 14 to 24 in Camden Town's Cob Gallery. Moross will host two talks – "Freelancing Tips & Advice Workshop" on April 19 at 3 p.m. and "Making Music Videos: Behind the Scenes" on April 20 at 3 p.m. – and be on-hand for an artist-in-residence's day on the 18th. The exhibit features hundreds of original illustrations, designs, and works-in-progress, along with videos and moving images.