Introducing Ellen Porteus, the last of our six mega artists who are responsible for creating our incredible 100th birthday mural on display at Melbourne Central. Ellen is a Newcastle-born, Melbourne based graphic designer, who specialises in surreal patterns and clever illustrations with bold lines and colourful palettes.
Celebrating all things Bonds, Ellen contributed to the unique art installation that features hand drawn typography and illustration from some of Melbourne’s coolest young designers. Find out more about Ellen in our Q&A with her below…
What does Bonds mean to you?
I’ve grown up with Bonds and wore it all my life (as I’m sure many other Australians have!) so I have a real fondness and sense of nostalgia with Bonds. My mum still buys me Bonds socks, underwear and pyjamas and sends them down to me in Melbourne! She’s such a sweetheart.
What Bonds item can’t you live without?
I work from home, so I live in clothes which are both a) super comfy, and b) acceptable to be worn in public. The Bonds printed pants, pullovers and leggings are perfect for long work days filled with coffee runs and Skype meetings.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Super bold, unashamedly feminine, colourful, and a little bit tongue-in-cheek.
What first got you into typography?
When I studied design, the very traditional fundamentals of typography were drummed into us, and this made me very scared of ‘breaking the rules’ and having fun with type. But when I became confident in illustration, I found myself playing more and more with letterforms, and now I see it as part of my illustration practice. I love creating pieces that integrate words or phrases with illustration in unexpected ways.
What was the inspiration for your Bonds design?
I was inspired by that overwhelming sense of nostalgia! I wanted to convey the vibrant, bold, carefree feeling of being young by using super bubbly, shiny letterforms and a burst of retro-tinged objects.
When you think of Bonds, what springs to mind?
I have created a lot of tessellating pattern illustrations for my work, and textiles are a huge inspiration for this. What immediately comes to mind when I think of Bonds are all the beautiful, colourful patterns.
If you could be any font, which one would you be, and why?
Well, I’m not cool enough to be Helvetica and I’m not classy enough to be Baskerville. In fact, I’m a bit of a dag and growing up I was teachers’ favourite, so I’m sorry but it’s got to be Comic Sans!
View the full wall on Instagram at @bonds100art here.
Keen to check it out? Head down to Melbourne Central and be wowed by this one-of-a-kind Bonds 100th birthday mural. You can also check out Ellen’s super talents via her Instagram account @ellenporteus.