Thursday, 23 April 2009


Jocelyn Marchington and Jon Brantschen set up their design studio after graduating from a motion graphics degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design. Joining forces with photographer Joschi Herczeg, they operate between London and Zurich.

“We all wanted to start something up,” Joc explains. “We’d had some experience in agencies and working for other people but wanted to do it ourselves so we had more input in the whole creative process. We knew we wouldn’t be able to do that if we were working in a traditional agency.”

Jon recalls how the seed had been planted long before graduation, with talks that encouraged students to think laterally about life after lectures. “Before the final show, we had our website up. We’d had people like Designers Are Wankers coming in and saying it was a really good time to set up a studio. That was before everything happened.”

While these might not have been the most prescient words of advice, the good old credit crunch hasn’t pummelled this sector of the creative industry as much as you’d think; with the team pooling together their talents in graphics, animation and photography to work on commissions and personal projects that span Europe. When jotta speak to the trio, projects in New York and Taiwan are in the pipeline.

JocJonJosch’s commissions are varied; from designing a show brand and package for Endemol UK and Virgin Radio’s Punch Drunk TV, to album artwork for Australian electro artist Tim Koch. They've produced the graphic identity for a Bratislava based exhibition, The Language of Humour, and photography for European magazines like Bilanz.

When it comes to personal work, the team are in their element. Today's project -which saw them suffer for their art - is an extension of an ongoing series of elongated, manipulated body shots, and a labour of love.

“We decided to film and create photographs in motion,” Jon says. “We put a lot of details in the background, like this anecdote of naked people walking at the very back, or a little stuffed deer. It’s something people should only recognise after a second, it shouldn’t be the main thing.”

Other projects have been equally adventurous. Take their series of figures in natural landscapes sporting balloons for heads. Their luminosity against the subdued background beg the question, have they been Photoshopped?

The answer to which is a resounding no: “We don’t put special effects in as there is this theoretical nature of the happening, of the moment,” explains Jon. “We went to a special balloon shop and they were massive and perfectly round.”

Joc adds, “People value that. There’s something human about it. It’s funny as well as you can imagine people doing it. There’s no romance in thinking of someone on a computer doing some special effects.”

The team are setting up a blog and a Twitter to run alongside their website for avid viewers and design fanatics to get a sneak peek into the preliminary stages of conception. “What we want is somewhere we can have experiments and be a bit free,” says Joc. “The idea is not that we want to make it perfect but cause a bit of discussion." Jon adds, “it gives a personal touch- thoughts on our daily life, that sort of thing.”

It may also prove beneficial to those students and graduates seeking insight into the industry's higher echelons. “We thought it would be a nice record for us and maybe for other people who are starting now to see what we’re actually doing day to day; the highs and the lows basically,” Joc explains.

Other projects in the pipeline include an exhibition at 123 Bethnal Green Road, a vintage shop come gallery in London’s East End, set for September. Two shows in Zurich and Bratislava are to follow, and who knows, by that point the team could have ridden out the recession in style and those visiting lecturers proved resoundingly right.

Visit JocJonJosch’s jotta page or see their website for more information.

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