Rory Them Finest is a modern Renaissance man. He's become one of the city's most sought after graphic designers and brand consultants. Did we mention he also is the art director + co-owner of Acéphale Records? We sat down with him to chat about artists' portfolios, social media + more!
Rory Them Finest: Tumblr felt like a natural home for the presentation of my work. I have so much material, and the way Tumblr encourages endless scrolling — I thought I could really work with that and offer not just a view of my published work, but the cutting room floor as well. So there is final work and process all in the mix. In fact, I originally conceived of migrating my entire portfolio presence to Tumblr and calling it a day, not even having a conventional site. In the end, I decided having an old guard site was probably useful too, but for me, the Tumblr is more fun.
SEM: Where do you see the trend of user-generated content sites going as a marketing platform for graphic designers?
RTF: The cliché is that the possibilities are endless, that it levels the playing field, it's "democratic." In my experience, working with physical, tactile prints outside of a purely digital sphere, especially in the music and fashion worlds, is still important to the client. And increasingly it sets you apart because, for instance, nobody even prints album packaging anymore. Having said that, when I look at some of the design and roll out campaigns, often UGC heavy, from boutique designers or colleagues like Josh Clancy from Elite Gymnastics — with strong design, animation, interactivity — that can interplay with a physical product too, I do basically think "yeah, OK, this is the future."
SEM: What's your favourite Tumblr (other than Drake General Store's, of course)?
SEM: If you could brand any artist in the world, who would it be any why?
RTF: In the real world: Korallreven. I am most proud of the campaign we rolled out for them at Acéphale, the record label I art direct at. A strong consistency in identity, typography and design, across CDs, LPs, 7"s, 12"s — the kind of campaign where you could throw all the material in a pile and the packaging would all bleed and look good together. That kind of stuff makes me happy. I worked closely with band member Marcus and my label partner Patrick on Korallreven, and having collaborators who understand the long game only makes me think more fondly of the product. (And I love Korallreven's music! Bonus!) In the dream world: Michael Jackson. But the iconic freehand type design of "Off The Wall," "Thriller," "Bad" — I wouldn't shave a pixel off of.
SEM: What are the three songs most played on your iPod this week?
RTF: How To Dress Well - Say My Name Or Say Whatever
Lil Durk Fredo Santana - Eater
XXXY - Fields
SEM: What's your favourite meal at Drake?
RTF: Is the seafood platter back? I like that on the patio when summer arrives. The burger stops my protein nic'ing quite nicely.