Curated by…Anthony Burrill

Anthony Burrill is a true icon of why it always pays to stay curious (and eavesdrop), with his most famous mantra having been overheard whilst stood in the queue at Sainsbury’s... With his skill and knowledge of a cracking typeface and bold statement style, he produced a poster which quickly appeared above every designer's desk, but reached as far as offices and homes across the globe; and we even heard a rumour that James Cameron owns one!

“Work Hard & Be Nice To People” has become a mantra for studios worldwide and Anthony hopes to change the world with it, one poster at a time. We heard his story at the recent ‘Curated by…Anthony Burrill’ event, hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.

Humble and funny, Anthony aspired to become a member of The Human League or Kraftwerk (he didn’t mind which), but thankfully he chose a path into design instead, creating his own global following and design manifestoes. In this talk, he highlighted his aim from a young age of being ‘anti-advertising.’ His lightbulb moment was when he realized he could put coloured paper into the photocopier transforming his early college work.

Since then he has worked alongside traditional printers across the globe, including a small studio in South Paolo. After a run of just 2 prints using 100-year-old printing blocks and machinery in this studio, the fan belt broke, making it a very limited edition of a Portuguese language adaptation ‘Work Hard & Be Cool With The People.’

He lives the ethos of jumping into new projects whenever he gets the chance, which has led him to produce a design book, be interviewed on an American news channel, and create a print using a steamroller... not your average bucket list, but an inspiring one!

Anthony’s work is tied to the traditional techniques of print and process, yet embraces how digital has expanded our connection with people across the globe, spreading his defiantly optimistic messages.

With his love for bold messages, play on words and optimistic outlook, these are definitely some commandments we could live by…

This talk was part of the Curated By... series in Sheffield, which bring together inspirational speakers from the design world – we’ve also seen legends like Ken Garland and Patrick Burgoyne talk at the event. Keep an eye on our blog page for more upcoming creative events.