Gorillaz-Unofficial (gorillaz_news) wrote,

Jamie Hewlett named UK Designer Of The Year for Gorillaz work (UPDATE: with reactions)

Razkal sends the news that last night Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett won Britain's prestigious Designer Of The Year award. Jamie was given the award and prize money of £25,000 (around $45,000) after beating off competition from furniture and lighting designer Tom Dixon, Cameron Sinclair, for his work with humanitarian design group Architecture for Humanity, and the UK newspaper The Guardian's redesign team. The chair of the jury, Sir Christopher Frayling, chairman of Arts Council England and rector and professor of cultural history at the Royal College of Art, said: "Jamie Hewlett has not only created a personal mythology with the virtual band Gorillaz, he has also created designs for the direction in which technology and culture are going, the shape of things to come." The other judges were last year's winners, Hilary Cottam, Emily Campbell, head of design and architecture at the British Council, the fashion designer Christopher Bailey and the designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud. The general public's votes also counted for one vote in the final verdict.

Congratulations Jamie!

Update: reactions from Gorillaz themselves and Jamie, click 'Read More' below.

In accepting his award Hewlett said "it's great to win this award it really is... but I can't take responsibility for Gorillaz on my own, there's a huge team of people who put this together."

The band themselves felt the need to come out in support of Jamie in London

Noodle said: "On behalf of all Gorillaz I'd like to congratulate our friend and collaborator Jamie Hewlett for his win as the Designer of the Year. He's brought a fantastic amount of colour, style and imagination to our band Gorillaz, and I think it would be fair to say Gorillaz wouldn't be half the band they are without him. Magnificent work "

2D added: "Yeah, he's definitely a top drawer. I've seen some of his pictures and he's coloured them in really well. He hasn't even gone over the edges."

Murdoc concluded: "Despite the fact that it's obviously our performances that make the videos the 'award winners' they are, you've done a brilliant job of making us look like the best band in the world. Much appreciated. And, I'll have you know, this certainly won't be overlooked at Christmas. You've worked wonders with your ...uh...pencils and crayon things."

But Monday night's celebrations may have taken their toll on Murdoc as he ran out chasing ......

"... a quick lie down. I went to the aftershow celebration last night and I think one of those 'voul-a-vents I scoffed is coming right back up"

From the Telegraph website:-

Viewfinder: 'Murdoc' by Jamie Hewlett
(Filed: 27/05/2006)

Alastair Sooke praises the innovative designs used to create the virtual band Gorillaz

Since releasing their first album five years ago, Damon Albarn's virtual band Gorillaz have enjoyed extraordinary success. Their slouchy, self-titled debut sold six million copies; Demon Days, last year's follow-up, four million.

'Murdoc' by Jamie Hewlett
Integral to their popularity are the graffiti-art graphics that depict the band's four members: blue-haired frontman "2D", "Russel", "Noodle" - and "Murdoc", the menacing figure you see here.

The cartoons are the brainchildren of Albarn's former flatmate, Jamie Hewlett - who walked away with £25,000 earlier this week after winning the high-profile Designer of the Year award. Also known for Tank Girl, his comic-strip anti-heroine who has a talking kangaroo for a boyfriend, Hewlett beat off competition from furniture-maker Tom Dixon, architect Cameron Sinclair, and the team behind The Guardian's recent redesign.

Yet giving such a prestigious design prize to an artist - and an artist whose work has been familiar for more than a decade (Tank Girl was turned into a $40 million Hollywood movie in 1995) - seems strange.

Not so, says Christopher Frayling, who chaired this year's jury. "Graphics is always the poor relation of design," he says. "When people mention design with a big 'D', they tend to think of lighting and furniture and occasionally architecture. But graphics is a hugely important part of the design culture, and we're treating Jamie as a graphic designer who is taking things in new directions.

"The idea of a digitally created virtual band is so innovative, and Jamie is dealing with a space in design that's only just beginning to open up. He's definitely a man of the future."

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