Remembering his first project at Williams Murray Hamm, Craig Kirk talks of ‘initial fits of nerves, terror and defecation’, in a loose-lipped humour that tends to creep into his vernacular. The project that struck fear into the newest recruit was a limited edition ten-year anniversary book offering a glimpse into the original thinking behind the work at WMH.
‘It was a fantastic project to be part of,’ says Kirk. ‘To get an insider’s look at the diverse and exciting projects that had made WMH famous, but also to work closely with Garrick [Hamm], Richard [Murray], Richard [Williams] and the whole company on a project that was very important to them was an amazing opportunity.’
By rifling through old job bags to discover the workings of ten years’ worth of projects, WMH’s reputation for having a good idea at the core of every concept ‘really hit home’, says Kirk. ‘We’re always pushed to make sure that every idea or application is doing something new and different.’
Working on a range of projects, from packaging for big brand names to print and posters, is what makes the work exciting, says Kirk. With a degree in graphic design and a keen interest in fine art, he appreciates the variety of everyday projects. ‘It was quite a surprise. There is such a mix of things going on in the studio. You can apply your design process to different things and you don’t get pigeonholed into always doing logos or identities.’
His latest projects include a rug-design poster for the Print Lounge at Gavin Martin Associates, which ‘shows off print so good you could mistake it for a real carpet’, and a new identity and stationery using chromatography to add colour for Dutch creative consultancy Waterbranding.
One of his personal projects is also gathering pace. World in a Matchbox, a series of little matchboxes that contain different scenes and settings which Kirk leaves on the streets for others to find, has appeared in Rotavision and Die Gestalten publications. ‘It’s just a bit of fun that keeps me sane,’ says Kirk, who adds that such personal projects and hobbies complement his work. ‘I find it important to look everywhere for inspiration,’ he adds.
When quizzed about his motivation, he simply states, ‘[I got into design] to hopefully brighten visual culture in the everyday. Everything has been designed whether good or bad – you’ve got to try to bump up the good.’
2006 BA Graphic Design University of Gloucestershire
2007 to present Designer Williams Murray Hamm
‘It is the mark of a successful designer to be able to avoid convention, discover unexpected outcomes and create surprising creative solutions. Craig Kirk was the student who always surprised, not only with the range of his conceptual work, but also with the quality of his execution.
Craig first demonstrated his fascination for Glastonbury, the Olympic Games and record players by creating them in miniature inside matchboxes, beautifully produced, illustrated and crafted. He created a delightful map of his life and silk-screened it on to his duvet and slept under it. “Dee and Adie” were two students, one go-ahead, one hopeless, representing a campaign idea for the D&AD Student Awards.
He’s brilliant, a rare talent.’
John Brewer Course leader, Graphic Design University of Gloucestershire