Gabriel Tilbury's graphic design practice centres around two key and crucial pillars: exploration and experimentation. A recent graduate from Falmouth University – where he's currently based – Gabriel strives to shed light on new perspectives, weaponising his skills in the medium to open up different points of view and ways of seeing the world.
"I seek inspiration not only from fellow designers but also from other creative areas such as fashion, art and literature," he explains. "This helps me find different avenues to go down creatively and pushes me to see graphic design in a new light. I believe simply staying in purely graphic design bubbles limits the opportunities for our practice. The creative sector as a whole should be a fluid cycle constantly inspiring one another."
One of the ways in which Gabriel applies his experimental outlook is through his approach to concept. In The Door In The Wall, a project made during his final year of university, he dives into the topics of tactility and texture. In this body of work, he raises some intriguing questions regarding surface design. "We frequently look at different types of paper during the print process to identify the perfect look and feel. But why is this research only limited to paper?" As a result, this project seeks to uncover these musings by testing out a range of different materials, achieved by applying his designs to different surfaces to see how it's altered by the material. The result is a marvellous and diverse array of poster-like artworks, where the same design has been printed across various materials – from fuzzy ones to shiny ones.
Additionally, Gabriel states how the project was a way of "elevating" the design from the two-dimensional form of a poster and transferring it into an object. So much so that his works can in some ways be perceived as their own piece of art, "in turn giving the design more prominence in a space," he says. It all came together through Gabriel screen printing a design onto a handful of different materials ranging from hard to rough, including ceramic backdrops and even a fake fur rug. "This change in material also offers an interactive component that lets viewers 'feel' the design by touching and exploring the different textures of the materials."
When the project reached fruition, Gabriel collated all of his findings into a cohesive catalogue detailing his research and processes. And yep – the book also pays on the notion of tactility and features an embossed cover that references the "haptic" nature of the prints. The paper also interchanges throughout the chapters, adding a dynamic feel to the publication and making it "feel alive and fluid", he notes. It's an eye-catching addition to Gabriel's already expanding portfolio, and we're excited to see where he takes things next.