Interview with Bread Collective

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Here at BlogAndBuySale we are absolute suckers for Typography so when we spotted the work of Bread Collective last year at The Power of Summer outdoor cinema we almost wet ourselves with excitement! We didn’t…we promise but it was a close call! However when we got home we thought we must get in touch to find out a bit more about the creatives behind this fantastic work.

Bread Collective is a network of creatives working across a variety of disciplines, based in the heart of East London. We have specialists in art direction, graphic design, illustrative typography and video work. We’re very flexible and work on a project by project basis, from large scale to small.

We have an authentic design aesthetic and aim to maintain the balance between digital and traditional media, embracing both past and present techniques. We’re happy getting our hands dirty, often finding that getting away from a computer screen helps stimulate more creative outcomes.

In 2013, Bread were very proud to have had their work selected by Creative Review for the Annual, and to have won a Design & Communication award at the YCN Professional Awards.”

We caught up with Luke from the Bread Collective who very kindly answered a few questions for us.


 

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When did your adventures in baking bread begin ? And what empowered you to start this collective?

Well, we were friends and had been doing little jobs or self-initiated projects for a few years. We ended up all living together in Hackney Wick and one morning we were at our local cafe when we spotted a flyer calling for ‘creatives’ to apply for their project to be funded. We applied and were successful. Those of us who weren’t freelance quit our jobs and we embarked on our first proper project, ‘The walls have ears’ in 2012.

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We were certainly in the right place at the right time however we had been looking for an opportunity to start the collective for a while. We all shared the same desire of wanting to do new things creatively and have the means to do bigger, more ambitious projects.

Looking through the hand painted installation projects Bread Collective are involved with there is always a high level of craftsmanship in involved. How does each project begin life? Where do you begin to start?

Getting a new brief is the most exciting part of our job and the start of any project is always the most creative part. We make sure the whole team gets together and shares their initial thoughts and ideas for the project. At this stage we try not to think about, or be restrained by logistics and what may or may not be possible. The good thing about us being friends is that we’re not afraid to say silly things – some times our best ideas come from something that starts off sounding completely absurd.

We then go off and do our bit of research planning before meeting back up and presenting our informed ideas. From there a route is chosen and project structure / schedule decided on.

Bread Collective Hey typography

What is the best recipe to work to for a successful project?

Tread that fine line of listening to your client and trusting your own judgement. Sometimes it’s not easy and there are of course times when it’s hopeless but on the whole if you’re both happy then there’s a good chance it’s a successful project.

Is there a large team of you involved hand-painting and installing all the onsite creative? Is there such a thing as too many cooks?!

We do all of the hand painting ourselves and the majority of the installation of any given project. The size of the team obviously depends on the project however there’s rarely more than a handful of us. It’s not that there’s such a thing as too many cooks, however if you have a larger team it’s often more about managing than doing the onsite creative.

Bread collective southbank

What is your secret in transferring each design to the surface albeit wood/wall/metal? Do you work with stencils?

We would love to tell you but then we’d have to kill you!

We don’t have a set method as each job comes with it’s own constraints. Because of this we have to be open-minded about using a variety of methods and different materials.

We loved visiting the power of summer (a cinematic experience based in London) and seeing your large scale art installations in the flesh. We were blown away by the colours and use of typography. What’s it like seeing your work in such large scale across the city?

It’s incredible to work on projects at such iconic locations. Last year we painted on the South Bank Centre, one of our favourite buildings in London and then this year to ‘The power of Summer’ with Battersea Power Station as a backdrop was amazing, especially it was the last event to be held there before it’s all turned into flats. Someone recently asked us why we rarely use imagery to accompany type and we came to the conclusion that environment is our image and very much part of the final design.

Bread Collective Battersea Typography

Where do you dream of seeing your work next?

The majority of our work is based in this country so we’d love to see our work in places outside the UK. New york is an obvious choice but we’d also like to explore some remote rural locations like the Fjords in Norway.

Often your work involves hand painted pieces – do you prefer this to working digitally?

The computer is a great tool and we are all excited by new technology. However, there is something peaceful about hand-painting something, especially outdoors. It’s so rare that you allow yourself to only focus on 1 specific thing without the distractions of emails, phone calls etc… I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s meditative but it definitely acts as a relief to being glued to your screen.

Bread Collective Creativity is a weapon