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Graphic Design Program alumnus discusses his work for Urban Outfitters

April 2, 2013
Sight Unseen

Joel Evey, Graphic Designer

By Monica Khemsurov

Joel Evey owes his career to Pixar, believe it or not. He made a name for himself as part of the team that was bringing edgy, high-brow graphics to Urban Outfitters back in 2010 — with a style some like to call the “new ugly” — but at age 15, it was Toy Story that changed his life. “I saw it for the first time and was like, wow, that’s crazy! You can do that with a computer?” recalls Evey, who at the time was already about to head off to college early to study computer science. Instead of hard coding, he decided to pursue animation and 3-D graphics instead. “But animations took so long to render that I started to think, ‘Well, what happens when I take this image and just render one of them?’ Then, ‘What if I put type on it? What would that look like?’” The rest, as they say, is history. He started designing crazy neon flyers for the raves he was attending outside school hours, proceeded on to a graduate graphics program at Cal Arts, and helmed his own studio for a bit before he got the call from Urban, where he’s been an art director ever since. We first spoke with Evey over Vietnamese food in South Philly about what it’s been like working for the clothing company, then we asked him to name his essential fonts, graphics techniques, and more.

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