Rian Hughes is a British Graphic Designer, illustrator, Typographer, and comic artist, noted for his work on 200AD, where he illustrated Robo-Hunter, Tales from Beyond Science, among others. His work was highly distinctive, wearing its design influences on its sleeve, daring to be two-dimensional and bold and in its use of large expanses of bold colours. This particular style is really famous during the 1990’s, when british and american comic are leaning towards full coloured illustration.
After quitting making comic illustration Rian started to create his own fonts and typeface for his own purpose, which led to the birth of his well-known design studio named “Device”. Device has done design works for major companies such as DC Comic and Virgin Airways.
Hughes’ discovery of the Mac in 1993 pushed his illustration work in a more stylised graphic direction. Adopting first Freehand than Adobe Illustrator, he used a wide variety of flat colour and texture in asymmetric and dynamic layouts, his characters became more elegant and exaggerated, and the type, generally custom designed for each illustration, became an integral part of his imagemaking process. This very influential flat vector style has been dubbed “Sans Ligne” school by artist Will Kane.
Hughes illustration work includes title sequences for The Box, poster designs for Tokyo fashion company Jun Co.’s Yellow Boots chain, the animated on-board safety film for Virgin Airlines, Eurostar’s poster campaign, a collection of Hawaiian shirts, a range for Swatch and the BBC’s CD edition of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. In 2007 he collaborated with ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell on a series of six children’s books, Ugenia Lavender.
Now widely copied, the influence of Hughes’ illustration style can be seen in advertising, on covers for mass-market women’s paperbacks, children’s books and editorial illustrations worldwide.
Example of Rian Hughes Artwork: