Featured maker: Andrew Neyer
There’s something special about a cohesive designer—one who cannot keep from embedding his signature choices in whichever object he tackles. A designer who offers a clear and recognizable voice; an audible perspective invites us in, and encourages a visceral reaction.
Andrew Neyer—whose clean, elemental work is easily spotted from across a room—is one of these designers. In addition to his industrial design, Neyer has been recognized for his illustrations, his collaboration with brands like Madewell, and a series of thematic zines. All are united by a kind of playful minimalism that is airy but never anemic. We spoke with Neyer about his influences, his process, and what he has in the pipeline.
On deciding what to create:
Most of my products either offer a solution, or are a kind of pun. The objects themselves often already exist, but changing the context in which a product is used—or even its title—inspires new uses and appreciation.
On main influences:
I’ve always loved the work of Charley Harper, Alexander Calder, Dieter Rams, Ellsworth Kelly, Massimo Vignelli, Verner Panton, and Saul Steinberg. These are the artists and designers whose work has built me over the course my life—even when I was too young to realize.
On his process:
Sometimes, I will deliberately choose to design an item like a chair, or a light, and I will have intention goals to design around. Other times, I’ll generate an idea from an unexpected observation or situation. But everything follows the same progression: I juggle the idea in my mind, then scribble it down onto whichever surface is in arm’s reach. Then I make a prototype. Sleep on it. Decide if it’s still a good idea. Refine. Consult friends and family. Sleep on it. Refine. If the idea makes it that far, I’ll proceed to take it further and prepare for production. Sometimes it takes a few passes through this cycle, and many ideas do not survive.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I have some new lights, and other products, that I should be releasing this year.