Job no:81378-5 Title : RP_All Access (New PB Verdions) Client : Pro-vision
175 Size : 203.2(w)254(h)mm Co : M6 (mac J)
Dept : DTP D/O : 22.10.05 (Job no:000000 D/O : 00.00.04 Co: CM0)
Born, raised, and educated in Switzerland
and inspired by working in New York,
Martin Woodtli set out to become an author-designer
and established himself with his signature style
of subversive technical illustration.
basic idea is still the most important thing to be able to do
work. But if all you do is start with an idea and execute it,
you’ll end up with something you—or others—have done before.
I want all the insecurities and doubts of the production process
to be part of the finished piece.”
Martin Woodtli began his formal art education at the Schule für
Gestaltung Bern und Biel (School of Design in Bern). He spent two
years majoring in ceramics, then decided to switch to graphic design
instead, only to learn that his school is no different from most others:
The administration balked at the transfer. They insisted that to switch
his major, Woodtli would have to reapply to the school. Woodtli
relented, reapplied, and was—remarkably—rejected.
Instead of seeking a place at another college, he took an apprentice
position at a local graphic design studio where he designed projects
for research institutes and clients in the cultural policy sector. “Working
as an apprentice, you have less room to experiment than you would
at school, because you have to wrestle with the reality of clients, but
you quickly learn to take responsibility managing projects.” By the
end of his apprenticeship Woodtli had a few clients of his own, mainly
emerging artists on the local scene. One of them was Kiosk, a gallery
that would later become the Stadtgallerie Bern, for which he still
designs today. Working for clients such as Kiosk allowed him to start
developing a strong, highly idiosyncratic visual language. Using
exactingly detailed technical renderings, he created a constant flow
of machine characters and Dadaist objects, such as rotary picture
phones and memory-chip-enhanced remote controls.
Schooled in production techniques and printing, Woodtli loves to push
the boundaries of his tools. One of his techniques involves saving files
and opening them in other versions of a program to generate errors
and artifacts. “I don’t take for granted the functions of the computer.
I combine them in new ways to discover new possibilities.
“The idea used to be that it’s only good design if it’s anonymous design,
without a detectable signature style identifying the designer. Today we
see an established school of graphic authors, well-known names such
as Neville Brody or David Carson, for example. I enjoyed a lot of freedom
with these assignments. I didn’t want to practice anonymous design,
so I accepted only jobs that would benefit from authored graphics.”
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