From hotel menus to event posters, Ian Miller knows how to create “flyable” graphics

When you come across Ian Miller’s portfolio on Instagram, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve discovered a rather well-curated archive of vintage poster designs. In reality, the majority of these posters are orders. Alongside a few personal projects, Ian regularly creates flyers, posters, menus and merchandise for a range of boutique hotels and their affiliated bars and restaurants.

For the elegance and sophistication demanded by boutique hotel guests, Ian doesn’t go to the usual places for inspiration. Instead, he prefers to delve into “old book and magazine covers, art exhibition posters and concert flyers”, and often turns to the disciplines of painting, sculpture and cinema to create his compositions. Its menu for Cafe Integral is inspired by posters and book covers from the 60s and 70s. The “clean and readable layout” is made up of geometric shapes and bright colors to distinguish the range of “cold stuff”. , “hot stuff” and “tea stuff” from the cafe. For this project, he was commissioned to merge the aesthetics of two businesses, the Cafe and the Freehand Hotel Chicago in which it is located – “ultimately a mix of contemporary, minimal, eclectic and retro influences”.

Intrigued by the abundance of graphic references that come together in Ian’s portfolio, we wanted to know where Ian got his visuals. But rather than archival material, Ian typically creates his own images from scratch or by skillfully manipulating photographs he has taken himself. It’s an important aspect of his creative process because “it brings an extra layer of personality and specificity to a design.” Depending on the needs of a brief, Ian sometimes has to turn to public domain images. But in these cases, he never uses the images without giving them a thorough “remix”, manipulating them heavily and making them his own.

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