Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann: Cross Border Conversations

A Rule called Freedom
STIR X LOCO Design present graphic designer Aniruddh Mehta in conversation with senior design editor Julius Wiedemann, on decoding the rules of randomisation in creativity.

by Zohra Khan Published on : Jul 24, 2020

With an intersecting passion for language, music and visual communication, Aniruddh Mehta aka ‘thebigfatminimalist’, the founder of Mumbai-based Studio Bigfat, engages in a fascinating dialogue with Julius Wiedemann from Brazil in the third episode of Cross Border Conversations by STIR X LOCO Design.

With over 20 years of editing and co-authoring design and architecture books with TASCHEN publishing house, and serving as the global Chief Curator with creative education portal Domestika, Julius has come to believe that 'authenticity takes time to evolve – to become a body of its own'. Aniruddh - part designer, part musician, who is well-known for creating the title sequence of the crime thriller, Sacred Games on Netflix - trusts in the ‘ordered chaos’ that emerges from bold, minimal forms and wordless compositions. In the hour-long conversation, the two walk each other through their respective worlds, overlaps and anomalies. They examine creative paradoxes such as the said and unsaid, chaos and cohesion, legibility and illegibility, and comfort and curiosity.

We are living in the sweet spot between guarantees and stimulation. – Julius Wiedemann
  • Paying tribute to album art, ‘Rock Covers’ brings a compilation of more than 750 remarkable album covers, from legendary to rare record releases | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Paying tribute to album art, Rock Covers brings a compilation of more than 750 remarkable album covers, from legendary to rare record releases Image Credit: Julius Wiedemann
  • ‘The History of Graphic Design Vol. 2’, rounds off an in-depth exploration of graphic design, spanning from the 1960s until today | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    The History of Graphic Design Vol. 2 is an in-depth exploration of graphic design from the 1960s till date Image Credit: Julius Wiedemann
  • ‘Understanding the World: The Atlas of Infographics’ presents the most exciting, creative and inspiring ways of explaining the world in information graphics | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Understanding the World: The Atlas of Infographics presents the most exciting, creative and inspiring ways of explaining the world in information graphics Image Credit: Julius Wiedemann
  • ‘Food & Drink Infographics: A Visual Guide to Culinary Pleasures’ gathers together the best infographics of all things eating, drinking, and cuisine | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Food & Drink Infographics: A Visual Guide to Culinary Pleasures presents the best infographics around all things relating to eating, drinking, and cuisine Image Credit: Julius Wiedemann
  • 'Jamie Hewlett': artist Jamie Hewlett’s first major monograph, illustrating his thrilling creative journey with more than 400 artworks from the Tank Girl era through Gorillaz and up to the present day | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Jamie Hewlett: artist Jamie Hewlett’s first major monograph, illustrating his creative journey with more than 400 artworks from the Tank Girl era through Gorillaz, up to the present day Image Credit: Julius Wiedemann

Both Julius and Aniruddh agree that the process has no definition. To them, no matter how infinite the world of creativity and its possibilities, it lacks meaning if the journey doesn’t involve a set of universal, yet personal, rules. Most importantly, rule-bending is a critical part of the process, they emphasise, and one must learn to go steady with the randomness.

Organising information and packaging content powerfully is what connects the practices of Julius and Aniruddh. Julius, whose work focuses equally on the written word and the visual language of books, says that the ability of synthesis – of reducing content to bare minimum – is an art in itself, and not science. He elaborates on his 'First Law of Julius' – which states the 30/30/40 equation that outlines comfort, curiosity and learning as the three key ingredients to creating content that truly engages people.

Illegibility is like a puzzle, like a collaboration. You give half the information and engage the person in finding the other half. – Aniruddh Mehta
  • A simple text-based logo unit that can be morphed, bent, glitched, melted and experimented with for strategy and design agency, Anomaly | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    A simple text-based logo unit for strategy and design agency Anomaly, which can be morphed, bent, glitched, melted and experimented with Image Credit: Aniruddh Mehta
  • Design of the main mandala for Netflix crime thriller Sacred Games | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Design of the main mandala for Netflix crime thriller Sacred Games Image Credit: Aniruddh Mehta
  • Redesigning the interior fabric of the local Mumbai Rickshaw with ‘Auto Chaos’ | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Redesigning the interior fabric of the local Mumbai rickshaw with ‘Auto Chaos’ Image Credit: Aniruddh Mehta
  • Fusing the contemporary and the vintage in SUBKO – a local specialty coffee brand | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Fusing the contemporary and the vintage in SUBKO – a local specialty coffee brand Image Credit: Aniruddh Mehta
  • Art & Vinyl Sleeve for Zoax - a rock/post-hardcore band from London | Cross Border Conversations | Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann | STIR X LOCO Design
    Art & Vinyl Sleeve for Zoax - a rock/post-hardcore band from London Image Credit: Aniruddh Mehta

Aniruddh goes by the famous John Berger saying: "Seeing comes before words". Whether a commercial project or a record label, he feels that it is completely okay to precede the chaos of information with a visual, as long as the latter is powerful enough to pique the viewer’s curiosity.

Having worked on everything from branding, illustration and motion graphics to space design and murals, Aniruddh shares a nugget from his creative process. He says that unlike his peers, who start a project with a doodle or a quick hand-drawn sketch, he likes to think with screens. “I simply cannot draw," he confides in Julius, who goes on to explain how one’s inabilities are as important to creation as their abilities.

All this and a lot more in the video above!

Cross Border Conversations
Curated by Pramiti Madhavji and Amit Gupta, STIR X LOCO Design present candid video conversations among creative professionals across geographical borders and creative disciplines of architecture, design, art and beyond.

LOCO Design: Shape of things to come
Steered by values of leadership and integrity, LOCO Design strives to create aesthetic innovation with a creative essence enriched by design values, master artisans and technical expertise, contributing to a responsible future.
Know more at www.locodesign.in

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