Looking At Music
Brian Roettinger has been an invited speaker on graphic design and its impact on culture at many conferences throughout the world. He has worked for a wide variety of clients in the music business, from Jay-Z, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Duran Duran, and Marilyn Manson to name a few.
The work of graphic designer/artist Brian Roettinger is an uncanny union of punk ideology with a conceptually driven mode of modernist design. He frequently employs architectural strategies such as repetition and structure (think die-cuts and folds), while subverting this sense of order by manipulating the production process in unexpected or “wrong” ways (think pulling the sheet out of the printer before it is done).
Hailing from Los Angeles, Roettinger launched his own record label in 1998 called Hand Held Heart and began to release albums by bands such as the Beach House, No Age, and the Chromatics, featuring artwork that he designed and produced himself. The moniker Hand Held Heart came to encompass all of his creative output—curating, publishing, editing, artwork—including stints as the in-house designer for the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), art director for LA-based fashion magazine JUNK, a variety of projects for clients such as Saint Laurent to MIT Press, and most obviously, his ongoing work in the music industry.
He has worked for a wide variety of clients in the music business, from Jay-Z, Kesha, Lady Gaga, Duran Duran, and Marilyn Manson to name a few. He has received three Grammy nominations for album packaging, Florence + The Machine's, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2016), Jay- Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail (2014) and No Age’s Nouns (2009). Roettinger has also created album artwork and campaigns for Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet, and "Awaken My Love", and most recently Kesha’s Rainbow, and Jay-Z’s 4:44.
Roettinger was also responsible for celebrating both the now-legendary Colby Printing Press in LA, and SLASH 1977-80, LA’s first punk magazine, for which he created an official archive, curated an exhibition, and designed and edited the catalogues. In 2015, a monograph of his work was published as an edition of The Thing Quarterly, a subscription-based service that delivers a new art object to your door every three months. Roettinger’s work has been shown at galleries and museums in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brno, and Los Angeles.