Joe:So I went to school for illustration—I went to college for illustration, and then when I graduated it was in the middle of the recession, and there was no one hiring for illustration at all, like not a lot of jobs. So I started trying to work in design and in the design field, and I have been doing that ever since.

My name is Joe Schlaud and I'm a Senior Designer at Fuzzco.

The type of work that I typically do in my personal life is usually fine art, or illustration that is presented as fine art. And that is really helpful—or like weaves into the illustration work that I do here, because it’s all drawing, it’s all figuring out how to draw things in certain ways. I think that my personal work has been influenced by the systems set in place by the work that I do here at Fuzzco.

As far as inspiration goes, initially it’s like, compositionally, is what strikes you; if you like it or not, initially. And then it’s getting into the details of how it’s done and seeing if there’s something interesting that they’re doing differently, or some new approach, or something about the line quality.

Everyday Kama Sutra


Joe:At Fuzzco, we have an online shop [where] we sell stuff that we make internally. And doing something, some sort of iteration of [the] Kama Sutra was an idea that I pitched to them—and talked with Josh and Helen who were the owners—and kinda figured out that we were gonna do [the] Everyday Kama Sutra. And from there, started the illustration process, so it was really zoning in on what style we thought was gonna work best for it.

Once it got honed in it was just sketching for positions, which is kind of fun. There'd be back and forth in sketch rounds, like we should add another person, or we should do something else. Then, once the sketch was kind of finalized, I would draw in ink and then scan the ink drawing, and then vectorize it and then colour it. Then after they were all done, we decided to take some of them and animate them, which was fun.

In doing the illustration, I guess you're thinking about the most… giv[ing] it a sense of movement so it isn't static, so it’s probably a little more dynamic in the pose, then adding animation to it. If you're starting with the idea of it being animated you're less focused on what the pose is, and how dynamic it is, because you have the opportunity to add all that motion into it. So it is kind of a different approach.

High Water Festival / Puppet


Joe:So, I got brought into the High Water Festival project from the Charleston office—they had done branding on it and were talking to the client and everything, so they wanted illustrations. It’s less about the style that I actually draw in or whatever, it’s more about producing the style we think is right for the client.

And then a lot of times, clients want a completely new brand that has nothing to do with their existing brand. So like, Puppet was an example of that. They had this brand that had existed for a long time, and it kind of got built up through several different re-designs, and their different pieces throughout all of that.

And they had no attachment to their existing brand at all, so they wanted something completely different, and wanted to re-think everything involved with it. So the concept behind the pattern was what really drove the identity; the pattern has very specific rules to it. And then, figuring what a good mark from that would be for the brand, and then using the pattern as a way to just expand and blow out the brand.

What is Design


Joe:Design, I think, is problem solving. At it’s core, it’s initially solving a problem but there’s so much more to even that. So, there’s the way you do it, [it] can be so different, like I don’t know, there’s always the debate on is there anything new? Or [are] there any new ideas left in the world? Which is a really strong thing to debate over. But there’s definitely ways to make everything feel fresh, or somewhat new, even if it’s an old idea.