Noah Baker on poster design and how he avoids getting “stuck in aesthetic holes”

One recent favorite of Noah’s was the poster for musicians Avalon Emerson and Anunaku’s collaborative project A+A. Using Sudanese photographer Suleika Mueller’s images, he “superimposed one over another and the poster sort of designed itself from there (after many versions of course)”. He was equally excited by the series of posters produced for Jamie xx, a project that pushed him outside of his comfort zone. As he explains, “I wanted to make something free of textures and effects, as I had been leaning on them a bit too heavily.” It’s this unexpected blend of natural forms and tighter geometric patterns that makes his work so powerful. This trend can be traced in Noah’s work for Jamie xx, where shapes and layouts were loosely inspired by hand-painted trucks he spotted on a recent trip to Beirut.

Noah embeds this free-flowing quality in everything he does but especially when it comes to his use of type. “Type is something I’ve always gone deep on. I try to keep an open mind and not get stuck in certain aesthetic holes,” he notes. “Recently, I’ve found myself returning to older and more classic typefaces.” Of Machine Lifea poster made for New York-based Public Records, we see experimentation contrast with classic and unobtrusive type.

Now, Noah plans to be a little more selective with the projects he takes on. Through striking out on his own, he’s come to reality that he wants to prioritise the really worthwhile stuff. “It’s necessary in order to preserve time and energy for the things in work and life that matter most,” he says. Alongside his practice, Noah’s outlook as a designer has shifted too, meaning he’s now more confident with setting boundaries. “I also don’t feel as hesitant saying ‘no’ as I did a year or two ago.” With more energy going into the things that he really cares about, we can’t wait to see what Noah does next.

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