Katt Phatt – “typography is one of the most expressive tools in a designer’s arsenal”
We talk to Katt Phatt about his marvellous typographic work.
This week The Creative Chair is in Johannesburg, South Africa where we’re talking to Katlego Phatlane (better known as Katt Phatt) about typography. Katt has done some incredibly detailed and stylish work with 3D modelled type, much of which is inspired by the steampunk movement.
We strongly suggest that you check out more work from Katt Phatt on Behance, as he not only has some amazingly projects but he also shows a lot of process, which is severely lacking in many online portfolios.
Could you tell us a little more about who you are and what you do?
I am Katlego Phatlane, but everybody calls me Katt Phatt. I am a 25-year-old Digital Artist & Designer with a strong love for Typography, Illustration and Computer Graphics. I am from South Africa and because of that I have always been curious about people. South Africa has a vast range of people who come from cultures the world over, so from the way they think, to the way they act there is always something inspiring about those people.
This is one of my biggest drivers in the creative space, as I draw from those around me. I am inspired by experiences, which is great because experiences are ever changing, just like creativity in the digital age.
What is it that draws you to typography?
With my experience in design, I feel that typography is one of the most expressive tools in a designer’s arsenal. From Sans Serifs, Scripts, Modern and Transitional to Decorative and display these typefaces allow a designer to be fully in control of the emotive output of their work, typographic principles aside. I’ve seen that only once I fully understood typography as a design tool could I then start bringing my own personality through. It’s fascinating to see how many people like my point of view on projects with a heavy typographic focus, as I mostly do what feels right to me. So a designer really has to be confident in the work they do, only then will other designers appreciate the work. So this is one of the biggest reason’s I love typography, the way a well-designed font looks the same to everybody but communicates an entirely different message to those paying closer attention.
It’s fascinating to see how many people like my point of view on projects with a heavy typographic focus, as I mostly do what feels right to me. So a designer really has to be confident in the work they do, only then will other designers appreciate the work. So this is one of the biggest reason’s I love typography, the way a well-designed font looks the same to everybody but communicates an entirely different message to those paying closer attention.
Many of your projects draw inspiration from the Steampunk style of design. What is it that speaks to you about this particular style?
I guess steampunk is the one cathartic relationship I can relate my work to my upbringing. I’ve always been a maker of things, whether those things were good or bad the process has always been my favourite part of a project. The creation of something, unconscious of its result has always been a fascination to me. So I love to mimic this approach in my work. The idea that a Victorian’s Idea of the 23rd century can be
something so beautiful takes some objective comprehension. At first, the “would that even work?” question springs up at this point, which is where I would reference a Rube Goldberg machine. “Of course it works, I just like the process to be more theatrical!” the idea of creating a device that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task goes against advertising as we know it, but it does look beautiful, and that is why I feel I will always be drawn to this fictional genre.
What has been your favourite commercial project?
The CNA flashcards – This project really pushed my 3D capabilities, and as a result, I learned a lot about my technical know-how. It won some awards too and got featured on a lot of blogs and sites, so I am quite happy about the reaction to the work.
And finally, if you died and were reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Robin Thicke – Dreamworld