Kimou Meyer’s biography begins with a rhetorical question: “How does a Swiss born, Belgian trained, graphic designer end up doing t-shirts for Spike Lee, collaborating with Bushwick graffiti vandals, and earning a Phd in vintage American sports uniforms?”
Known online as Grotesk, Meyer’s creative upbringing is indeed remarkable — a meandering journey that took him from Switzerland to NYC way back in 1999 and has catapulted him into fame. Over the past ten years, Grotesk has worked with almost all the key players in New York’s brand underground, drawing on his classical training and outsider’s perspective to develop an iconic graphic language and style.
But according to Meyer, his roots are actually found in his parents’ woodshop, where his family was making scale models for architects. “I was always drawing and building things with them,” he recalled in an interview with The Hundreds. “Then I got really heavy in the skate punk culture in the mid-1980s and then into DJ-ing and hip hop. I did a lot of flyers and zines in that time. That’s where I realized that I could make a career of design.”
After enrolling in art school to study design and communication, he realized design was – indeed – where his passion lied. But while his previous focus had been the design of minimalist catalogs, logos, and branding systems, over the years Meyer has switched gears, creating anything from t-shirts to skateboards.
His Instagram page might be a good place to start if you’re an aspiring graphic designer, or otherwise…