Name: Tobias Saul
Place of birth: Unna
Job: Designer & Lettering Artist
Professional education: Graphic Designer
*** Hier geht es zu deutschen Version des Beitrags / Click here for the German version of the article ***
„He came from the countryside and decided to go and conquer the big city — or something like that. I love writing and everything that has to do with it: letters, words, shapes.“
This is how Tobias Saul describes himself. The 26 year old lettering artist Tobias Saul has turned his passion into his job. More than 65.000 subscribers follow his account on Instagram where the young artist frequently presents his works. Tobias illustrates logos and posters — many of which in the vintage style of the 1920s.
Tobi’s youth was characterised by graffiti drawings and the street art culture that comes with it, thus collecting his first experiences in illustration and lettering. Towards the end of his studies of communication design at the university in Düsseldorf, he discovered his big passion for hand lettering. His drawing abilities come in very handy as well.
Therefore, hand lettering was the obvious choice as the focus of his bache- lor thesis and he graduated successfully in 2015. During university Tobias worked as a graphic designer for the magazine “The Heritage Post”. There, craftsman- ship and attention to detail were always the main focus for Uwe van Afferden, the publisher of the magazine. Tobias was greatly influenced by his time there and it showed him a completely new way of how to approach design.
Slowly but surely he started to show his own works online and not long after received his first assignments. Today his portfolio includes projects for VW, Random House Publishing, Ravens- burger and Caritas. Together with the agency “smartin Advertising” Tobias recently developed a concept for designing the trade fair panels by hand for Edding at the Creativeworld Trade Fair 2017 in Frankfurt.
Nevertheless, the demand as well as the community is still relatively small in Germany. Most of his clients are from the US, Australia and the UK. The US are the great forerunners in this design field. Partly this has to do with their strongly developed culture of the sign painter. World famous letterers like Jessica Hische and Jon Contino are also from the States and keep inspiring Tobias with their excellent work to this day.
“The symbiosis of craft and digital work makes the job really special”,
says Tobias. Whether it’s a classic logo, branding or packaging design, the work always begins with pen and paper. The artist draws his sketches on a light table until the drawing is perfect. Then it gets digitalised with Illustrator and edited in Photoshop. Tobias’ affinity with art and design is mirrored in his flat. Warm wood shades meet clear lines. In his high-ceiling apartment, some of the walls are deco- rated with his works. The focus is on the detail. Not only does the artist feel very comfortable living in Düsseldorf but he also enjoys the range of exhibitions the city has to offer. A walk through various museums and galleries in Düsseldorf often inspire new thoughts and ideas. He is currently in great demand. All the more reason for Tobias to develop his business further and to realise many more exciting and interesting projects.
Where would we meet you for a Sunday brunch and a long breakfast? After a long night, I like to go to the Flurklinik in Flingern. Their scrambled eggs are the best hang-over cure!
Your absolute insider tip that you would like to share with everyone? Maybe it’s not an insider tip anymore but the ArabesQ at the Staufenplatz is amazing! You feel as if you are in the orient. They serve delicious Arabic specialties and the hosts are fantastic. My highlight: While on the toilet you can listen to an Aladdin audio book, what more could you want?
Where did you spend a truly memorable night out in Düsseldorf? A few years ago I shared the first kiss with my girlfriend on the steps outside the Salon (Salon des Amateurs?). Seems corny but it’s true.
Where do you look for furniture for your flat? 69m, Vaseline, Messe Flohmarkt (flea market on the grounds of the trade fair in Düsseldorf)
How do you style yourself? What do you like and what’s a total no-go? I would like to be a ‚Peaky Blinder‘ but in this regard my wardrobe still needs further development. Usually I like the symbiosis of a little bit of vintage and modern design. I am not big on colours apart from a few dark blue pieces or maybe an olive coloured shirt.
What is currently on your playlist / record player? Alice Phoebe Lou, a recent discovery and absolutely amazing!
Text & Interview: Nico Bülles
Photography: Robin Hartschen
© THE DORF 2017