Black metal logo designer Christophe Szpajdel visits NZ

  • Breaking
  • 30/09/2013

One of the most important things about being a black metal band is having a fantastic black metal logo.

For the uninitiated these logos can be a lot to take in.

They're also works of art, and one of the masters is here in New Zealand to show off his work.

Christophe Szpajdel is visiting from Belgium, where he designs black metal logos.

"[I’ve done] over 8000 since the beginning of my career," Mr Szpajdel says.

You know black metal, the sub-genre of heavy metal that's fast, distorted and usually comes with a kick ass logo.

Mr Szpajdel is one of the best in the business, exhibiting his art all over the planet, including here, at Auckland's Nature: Art + Design gallery.

Now how did he become so popular? Part of it was timing.

See, during the early 90s some Norwegian black metal bands were quite full on.

One of the bands he did a logo for, Emperor, got caught up with some of those full on types in 1994.

"That was the time when Burzum got arrested for church burnings and murder. That's also kind of a timing - that scene made my work, my name got kind of involved in the metal scene, just by this episode of the church burnings and the murders,” he says.

A church burning, a murder, and Mr Szpajdel was suddenly in demand, and still is.

Once he's done, he sends it off to the band in question, using the latest technology.

“The easiest way to email a sketch for a sample is to use a digital camera, I just take a photo, plug in, however, when I send the final logo, I use a scanner,” he says.

But it's not all metal - during the day in Belgium he works in retail.

And he's likes lots of music that isn’t metal.

"That also including folk music, ambient, drone, jazz, even a song like Phil Collins' ‘In The Air Tonight’," he says.

Talk drifted away from metal, and Mr Szpajdel was thrilled to play us some of his favourite new tunes on his Acer laptop.

I had a glorious afternoon with Mr Szpajdel, one of the loveliest men I've met.

He even decided to redesign the tired, lifeless 3 News logo.

Then he moved on to Nightline, designing an ambigram, which reads the same way both ways.

“I started doing that when I was 20, I am 43 yesterday, and I am still doing it and have this excitement and this passion,” Mr Szpajdel says.

And that's what metal is all about.

3 News

source: newshub archive