We’ve got nothing against the sleek look of digitally designed logos, but it’s always refreshing to run across something distinctly different — and Glenn Wolk’s hand-painted logos definitely fit the bill.
The New York-based graphic designer, who’s done work for everyone from Ralph Lauren to the Rolling Stones, has become known for his hand-painted work. “About 90 percent of my work is hand-painted now,” Wolk says. “When I was a kid I wanted to be a painter, and I wanted to study painting in college. My dad insisted that I first take graphic design for a couple of years, for practicality. I did reluctantly. I ended up really liking it, but I also continued school to ultimately get an MFA in painting. My graphic art work now is informed and very much speaks to my painting background.”
Wolk’s Behance page shows off a huge range of projects, including vintage-style labels for Arrow Shirt Company, licensed merchandise for Nicki Minaj, and illustrations for Sperry Top-Sider.
Currently, he’s working on packaging for a new cigar brand called Ivy. “It’s going to be totally over-the-top, hand-painted graphics inspired by classic cigar boxes and labels,” he says. “Lots of guilloche and swirly beautiful type.” He also recently did some work on The Beach Boys’ summer tour, and he’s working on a John Lennon mural for Hard Rock International’s Goa Hotel in India.
“I love a project that I have some time to work on,” he says. “The longer I think about a project while I’m in the shower, while I’m driving, while I’m walking my dog, the better it will be.”
Although he sometimes uses the computer to edit his hand-drawn work, Wolk generally begins the design process with pen and paper. “There is a human, timeless element to hand-done work,” he says. “It suggests craft over machine. I think people are drawn to handmade things because we are bombarded by media that is generally hard-edged and computer created.”