Daniel Benneworth-Gray

graphic design

I have been an admirer of York-based graphic designer and writer Daniel Benneworth-Gray's for a while now — be it his beautifully simple, mathematical book covers or the captivating articles in his long-standing blog.

His latest design work is particularly spare, balanced — there doesn't seem to be a pixel out of place. His book covers show tremendous subtlety, power, and a welcome and refreshing pop of color. We caught up with Daniel recently and chatted with him a bit about his creative process. Being particularly fascinated by the way one achieves the delicate balance of minimalist compositions, I was very interested in how he achieved his particular brand of simple.

My objective is always to find that perfect point just before minimalism becomes emptiness, where the aesthetic, mathematical purity of an idea resists clinical starkness. If I become too conscious of how I’m achieving that, or if I try to pursue it in a very precise way each time, I leave myself no room for chaos.

Daniel says that as simple the end result may be, it belies a creative process of scribbles, mess and mistakes. I’ll work with pen on paper (or increasingly, the rather smashing Paper app) for a long time before going anywhere near the computer. The trick is learning how to identify the good things worth keeping that are tangled up in those inky briars. It can take an awful lot of awful to reach a concept I'm happy with.

Browse through Daniel's gallery of book jackets, unused concepts and personal projects (like the memorable Blade Runner poster, available in his shop) for a glimpse into the lovely minimalist results of his design methodology.

In the shop