Graphic infusion

If you’re still sitting on the fence in the can-design-be-art debate, you might want to jump off and visit the Embankment Galleries of London’s Somerset House later this month.

The venue is host to contemporary graphic art fair Pick Me Up, which will present affordable work by some of the world’s best-known graphic designer/artists and illustrators. Curator Claire Catterall says the distinction between the artist and the designer is ’almost becoming irrelevant’. ’Having said that, the difference between personal and commercial work is fundamental,’ she adds. ’One has no boundaries, the other has a client, a brief and a budget. The work on show straddles the two, demonstrating how the graphic artist/designer can do both without compromise.’

Among the exhibitors are collectives Evening Tweed, Concrete Hermit and Nobrow, and graphic artists such as Rob Ryan and Andy Gilmore.
The fair also includes an exhibition of prints and original drawings by 20 up-and-coming illustrators, events, talks and workshops with guest designers including Pentagram partner Angus Hyland and type designer Jonathan Barnbrook.

’The aim is for visitors to get immersed in the creative energy of the graphic design scene,’ says Catterall. It will be a space where the graphic design community can come and meet. ’We’re hoping that lots of interesting and unexpected things will happen,’ she says.

It was also important to attract a mainstream audience, says Catterall. ’There is a growing interest in graphic design and illustration, and this fair aims to open it up to them as much as to the creative community,’ she claims.

Pick Me Up: Contemporary Graphic Art Fair is at Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2 from 23 April to 3 May

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