If you’re a fan of bold, colourful poster art there’s really only one name you need to know, and that’s Feixen. Feixen is the moniker of Swiss designer Felix Pfäffli, a Lucerne-based creative who’s mastered the art of bold, communicative poster design and graphics at the tender age of 26. His images bear the mark of pop art and the familiar traits of artists like Warhol and Lichtenstein, yet their application is strictly communicative, intending to shout harder and louder than any other posters about the events they advertise.
This mastery of poster graphics began when Felix was commissioned to produce work for Südpol, a local music and events space showcasing some seriously great acts. The limitations of their budget meant that all their posters had to be limited in size and production value, forcing Felix to make the boldest work he could: “Despite the size you have to catch people from over 100 meters otherwise a poster is useless.” Since then it’s evolved into a well-honed aesthetic that stands out for the clarity of the visuals and the attention to detail in the crafting of each image.
Unlike most designers, Felix is open to creating work for it’s aesthetic value. While he’s ultimately trying to communicate information, and each project has its own unique requirements and pitfalls, he produces work in a style that is very much his own, creating digital graphics with pinpoint precision.
I ask if he’s happier producing work on computer, but he maintains that his software is just one more tool at his disposal. “I see no big difference whether you make something by hand or on the computer. The computer for me is a tool like any other, but what I like about it is its accuracy. I like it when things are exactly like I want it. This is easier on a computer than by hand.”
This passion for accuracy and aesthetic control clearly runs in the family; Felix’s brother Mathis is also a graphic designer, yet their interests are largely different. While Felix’s work borders on illustration Mathis’ concerns lie predominantly with book design and artistic content. Nevertheless they’ve collaborated on some stunning projects over the years (mostly posters), balancing responsibilities depending on their different interests. “We are brothers. We work perfectly together because we’re both good at different things. If I have a problem, he can help me. And vice versa.”
Like many of his contemporaries, Felix is drawn to design because it doesn’t feel like work; once his natural interests take hold, the work more or less takes care of itself. “For me it is especially important that my work does not feel like work. I want it to feel like another part of my life; like drinking coffee or taking a bath. I’m trying to make sure that I always have fun otherwise it makes no sense to pursue a dream. It is above all a question of balance. Too much pizza is bad for everyone!”