Noah Baker on poster design and how to avoid being “stuck in aesthetic holes”

A recent favorite of Noah’s was the poster for musicians Avalon Emerson and Anunaku’s collaborative project A+A. Using Sudanese photographer Suleika Mueller’s photos, “he superimposed one over the other and the poster designed itself from there (after many versions, of course).” He was equally enthusiastic about the series of posters produced for Jamie xx, a project that pushed him outside his comfort zone. As he explains, “I wanted to make something that was free of textures and effects because I leaned a little too heavily on it.” It is this unexpected mix of natural shapes and tighter geometric patterns that makes his work so powerful. This tendency is reflected in Noah’s work for Jamie xx, where shapes and layouts were loosely inspired by hand-painted trucks he saw on a recent trip to Beirut.

Noah anchors this free-flowing quality in everything he does, but especially when it comes to his typing. “Type is something I’ve always gone deep into. I try to keep an open mind and not get bogged down in certain aesthetic holes,” he notes. “Lately I find myself returning to older and more classic fonts.” In Machine Lifea poster made for New York-based Public Records, we see experiments contrasted with classic and unobtrusive lettering.

Now, Noah plans to be a bit more selective with the projects he takes on. By standing out himself, he has come to realize that he wants to prioritize the really valuable things. “It’s necessary to save time and energy for the things in work and life that matter most,” he says. In addition to his practice, Noah’s outlook as a designer has also changed, meaning he is now more confident in setting boundaries. “I also don’t feel as hesitant to say ‘no’ as I did a year or two ago.” With more energy into the things he really cares about, we can’t wait to see what Noah will do next.

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