15 April 2016Hyl Random Works 1991 – 2015


Having consigned one too many hard-drives to the ground and experiencing the sinking feeling of knowing work on outmoded devices was unlikely to see the light of day again I made a decision to, finally, salvage my design story.

Since the age of 16 I had kept sketchbooks of experiments with type and illustration, a practise which I came to understand was part of a discipline called graphic design. At university the habit persisted and flourished as you might expect. During my formative professional years I ceased the practise for a while as I got to grips with designing day in day out within a busy studio, reserving evenings for the fun you have when sharing a flat in your early twenties. After a while I began to pick the thread back up, continuing to save everything I created. There's some dross on those disks but also some moments of discovery. It's the discovery of a new direction or turning a corner on a technique, when you become really good at getting an idea out of your head onto paper or screen, which I've tried to illuminate here.

With the task upon me I had the unenviable chore of going back through years of discs and print outs, sketchbooks and scraps. This tome is reasonably deep, but it's not an exhaustive list of work done. It's intended to give an idea of progression. A series of snapshots though time of what I was ‘into’ and what I was up to. The work itself is sometimes sketchy, even naive. Some was commercial and some throwaway – but all fitted into a greater narrative which retain meaning with me. In truth I could have filled this book 4 times over, in spite of the numerous lost drives, broken Macs and obsolete storage devices. This however is a very personal summary of my design history which undertaken by someone else would look undoubtedly different. I hope the progress of my work is evident within the pages below.

Hyl Random Works 1991 – 2015
A graphic design retrospective of Steve Hyland, covering the years 1991 - 2015. Features record sleeve work for Parlophone, Sony Music and Ai Records. Exhibition posters for the Design Museum, Fabrica and Sony. An assortment of identity design and typographic experiments as well as original sketchbook work. Spread across 216 pages split into 5 year chapters.