“Berlin has changed me a lot. I get new ideas everywhere I go, and everybody in my friend circle is interested in design, art or music – we constantly exchange ideas and share our artistic vision”, Christchurch born graphic designer Josie Doser tells C24. Before moving to Berlin, she has studied communication and graphic design in Mannheim and is currently completing her 10th semester. Just as in Berlin, Josie has always been influenced by the friends surrounding her – among them talents like Tim Lindacher, Steffen Hotel, Jean-Pierre Mayer and Tobias Hammer. “Being around them daily, hanging out and talking about graphic design influenced me massively”, Josie reflects, “My relationship with Tim enabled me to get involved with the design festival CAPTCHA Mannheim even before completing Abitur. Additionally, I have always had a passion for arts, architecture and fashion. I draw inspiration from many things in my environment, such as interesting people and hearing their stories. Sometimes I also feel inspired by things I find on the internet, but mostly I get inspired by music.” With her emphasis on creating bold and expressive visuals, Jose continues to push the boundaries of graphic design, constantly developing her own personal style. In the past year, Josie has been working on a bundle of freelance projects and collaborations, including the 2040 shirt design for Verydeeprecords with illustrator and designer Kaan Kanbur.
Before their recent collaboration, Kaan and Josie have shared a flat in Mannheim and quickly became close friends. “I love working with a diverse range of people and highly respect his art, so he is a perfect match for me”, Josie concludes, “Everything worked really well. Even though I moved to Berlin in the middle of January and we had to communicate via phone, the whole process went smoothly.” For their 40th release the electronic music record label invited the duo to create a special packaging, consisting of a limited run of screen printed shirts with Bandcamp’s download codes on the chest, making each tee a single item. As the EP contains four loosely house related pieces from artists like Iron Curtis, Philipp Roth and Function Level Marker, Josie and Kaan came up with an illustration as the key visual, capturing the atmosphere on the dancefloor. “We wanted to create a vintage aesthetic and Kaan is a great illustrator, so we made a couple of mood boards and experimented with different ideas”, Josie tells us, “After that, we worked in separate roles: I was mainly responsible for the art direction and Kaan implemented our ideas through illustration.” Understanding their way of working and their urge to work intuitively with no rules attached, the record label left them with no restrictions at all. “They gave us total freedom, which we really appreciated. It’s a rare but really cool experience to be trusted at that level”, Josie tells us, “The best moment was to see the design printed on a shirt and getting the massive amount of positive feedback.”
Seeing collaboration as a way to step outside of her design bubble and to gain new perspectives, collaborating with other creatives is at the heart of Josie’s design practice. “Respecting the other person and their vision is really important for me. In the end, everyone should be happy with the final result”, she explains. Together with Tim Lindacher (who we also featured in one of our previous articles), she recently released the playful work for Mavi Phoenix’ album campaign and brand new merchandise for Yung Hurn. “We are making the most of being stuck together in quarantine, and have been lucky to be able to draw inspiration from various sources despite the circumstances”, she tells us. Apart from her recent collaborations, Josie also teamed up with five other designers and formed the design collective u2640. “It’s all about bouncing inspiration and empowerment back and forth!”