• Artist Editions: Ted Guerrero X UO


    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited edition graphic t-shirts created by a rotating roster of artists from around the globe. 

    Originally hailing from St. Paul, MN, Philadelphia-based graphic designer and image maker Ted Guerrero chatted with us about his contribution UO’s ongoing Artist Editions series.  

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? 
    Originally grew up in Minnesota. Lived both in St. Paul and the tundra that is northern Minnesota, actually very close to Fargo. After school I went out west to live and work in L.A. After working in L.A. for a little while I got a chance to come out, and start as graphic Designer at Urban Outfitters. 


    Are there any particular artists or designers who have inspired you throughout your career? 
    So, so many, and it's always kind of switching up. But, a few artists that I find influential at the moment; (no particular order and I know I am missing a bunch of people on this list) Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Gilbert and George, Friedrich Kunath, Jeremy Deller, Seth Price, Sterling Ruby, Matt Connors, Roe Ethridge, Tetsumi Kudo… This is probably an ok place to stop, I could go on for a good deal longer. 

    Your work often incorporates spooky elements— ghoulish hands and ghosts become design elements. What draws you to this kind imagery? 
    I think it has a lot to do with growing up going to private religious school in my early years. And because that imagery was outlawed or taboo, I was attracted to that sort of subject. Now being in a profession that allows me to explore using those types of images, it's hard to resist. 


    Can you tell us bout your designs for Artist Editions? How did the ideas come about and how did they develop over time?
    A lot of my work revolves around appropriation, and using my personal frame of reference to create a narrative. I usually tend to be sitting on a bunch of ideas or concepts, from there I go through a bunch of resources and ephemera I have collected over the years, then I just sort of jump head first into the making process. 


    How has working at UO influenced your work? 
    It's taught me how to adapt and be good at a lot of very different types of styles and skills in order to tackle the many different types of jobs that UO throws at me. I have also been influenced by the exceptionally talented people that I have had the chance to work with over the years. 

    What are your favorite typefaces of all time and why? 
    This is going to sound so very lame, but I am a total sucker for Helvetica or typefaces that look like Helvetica. But, also right now I am loving really cheesy '70s display typefaces. 


    What are your pet peeves and inspirations when it comes to design? 
    A big pet peeve for me is, when motifs or styles become played out, it just shows a lack of interest. I find my biggest inspiration or drive comes from my friends and peers, it really just makes me want to try and keep up. 

    What is special about t-shirts? 
    They are probably the greatest clothing invention. T-shirts and jeans, doesn't get a lot better. 

    What makes the perfect t-shirt? 
    Simplicity. 


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