Like a technicolour shot between the eyeballs, Mike Joyce’s Swissted designs scream passion for punk, and like Clarks, a penchant for reinventing a classic.
As we wave goodbye to our haute goth and punk inspired AW15 Clarks V&A collection and the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition (which runs at the V&A in London until January 31st 2016) we catch up with New Yorker Mike who runs Stereotype Design in the West Village and has created album packaging for artists such as Iggy Pop, Katy Perry and Aretha Franklin and was invited to exhibit his Ziggy Stardust print at the V&A's David Bowie is exhibition.
Laying his punk heart on the table with Swissted.com he re-imagines old show flyers into hundreds of International Typographic Style posters. Here he spills to us on his passion for Swiss graphic design and punk rock.
For me, the most interesting thing about punk was that it challenged the mainstream’s preconceived notions. Punk was all about thinking for yourself and rejecting the status quo and this really spoke to me at a young age. Things like punk, art, and even skateboarding taught me that there was something else out there and that I could do whatever I wanted to in life.
Basically punk rock and typography are my two favourite things. I grew up completely inspired by punk, new wave, and indie-rock and would later find that same inspiration in Swiss graphic design—more specifically the International Typographic Style. I always liked that these two movements seemed at odds with one another in that punk has an anti-establishment ethos and Swiss modernism is very structured. And at the same time there’s a common thread between the two—the Swiss modernists purged extraneous decoration to create clear communication, while punk rock took on self-indulgent rock and roll and stripped it to its core. So I thought it would be an interesting study to combine the two and see what happens. I really like how both art forms contrast and compliment each other.
It’s funny, I have a bunch of Swiss posters hanging in my apartment from the greats like Josef Muller-Brockmann, Armin Hofmann, and Emil Ruder and I could stare at these things forever where that might bore the hell out of someone else. I think it’s how minimal yet effective they are. They somehow achieve perfect communication through abstraction. It’s kind of the opposite of how things are done today.
I hope people are inspired to see things in a different way. I like that there are some people who love graphic design but know nothing about punk rock, others who love punk but know nothing about design, and then there are those who love both. And I think Swissted is a tribute to the true independent spirit of punk in that it shows there’s not one specific way in which things should be done.