Shelby Guergis is a multidisciplinary, London-based Canadian designer whose work doesn’t shy away from exploring big, big questions.
Guergis recently completed the MA Visual Communication course at the Royal College of Art, where she found much of her research examined notions around "societal division and the conception of national identity in divisive times," she says.
From that starting point, she began to use her design practice to explore more "existential questions" such as "what connects us?". Guergis says she feels such explorations are particularly pertinent right now, "at a time when we're confronted by a lot of hatred in the media and the focus seems to be on what divides us."
These explorations manifested in a number of ways, one being a postcard set called Conflict Cards, which were produced and hand-delivered to "friends and foes" – with some designs bearing traditional floral scenes, others coming with a razor blade attached.
Perhaps her most comprehensive piece of work around this subject is Again, Together, an editorial design project that saw the designer create a large-scale publication "compiling visual explorations into modern conceptions of community amongst a shifting landscape".
Guergis’s work also takes more illustrative avenues around the theme: Forever Together / Together Forever is a gorgeous series of riso-printed posters exploring the relationship between conflict and conversation using collage and subtle tones to create deliciously abstracted, complex images.
"My work is situated somewhere between romanticism and reality," says Guergis, "with kitsch being a dominant theme, and the pursuit of sentimentality/authenticity within this area that's otherwise known for its 'faux-ness'."
Alongside these projects, the designer has also worked with a range of clients across North America and Europe in sectors spanning fashion, arts and culture, publishing, not-for-profit and technology.