Christophe Szpajdel

Christophe Szpajdel
Born (1970-09-29) 29 September 1970 (age 51)
Gembloux, Namur, Belgium
NationalityBelgian
EducationUniversité catholique de Louvain
Known forLogotype, calligraphy, illustrations
Websitewww.lordofthelogos.com

Christophe Szpajdel (Polish: [ʃpajdɛl]; born 29 September 1970) is a Belgian-born international calligraphist and illustrator, principally known for designing band logos.[1][2]

Life[]

Szpajdel was born on 29 September 1970 in Gembloux, Namur, Belgium, and grew up in Louvain-la-Neuve, Walloon Brabant, Belgium.[3][4][5] His parents are of Polish origin but immigrated to Belgium before he was born.[6][7][8] He grew up speaking Polish and French, and eventually learned English, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.[9][10][11] Szpajdel began drawing at the age of 3 when he drew a praying mantis while vacationing with his parents in the south of France.[12] His parents were originally against his ambitions of becoming a calligraphist and insisted on his continual education and enrollment in a university.[1][13]

From 1981 to 1989, he attended the Institut Saint-Jean Baptiste, a Catholic primary school in Wavre, Walloon Brabant, Belgium.[14] In 1989, Szpajdel enrolled at the Université catholique de Louvain where he studied biology, agronomy and forestry, graduating in 1996 with a degree in Forestry Engineering.[1][15][6]

It was during his first year of university that Szpajdel joined Thierry Prince's fanzine Septicore, as a writer and illustrator.[1][13][16] Some of his early illustrations were featured on the Morbid Noise various artists compilation cassette tapes that came with the fanzines.[13] Septicore released six issues between 1989 and 1991, though two had already been published at the time that Szpajdel joined the team.[1][6] During his time working at Septicore, Szpajdel was often cred under the pseudonyms Necromaniac, and later Volvox.[3] A seventh issue of Septicore was in development for release in 1992 but was abandoned before completion.[9]

Szpajdel moved from Belgium to England in 2002.[13] Since 2006, he has been residing in Stoke Hill, Exeter, Devon, England, United Kingdom.[17][18] Although he spends over 30 hours a week drawing, he continues to work a day job as a retail assistant for the Co-op Food convenience store chain around Exeter.[1][17][6]

Career[]

Szpajdel's most prolific logos include ones designed for death metal band Disgrace in 1990, black metal band Emperor in 1992, alternative rock band Foo Fighters in 2015, hip hop artist Rihanna (designed especially for her MTV Video Music Awards appearance and following Anti World Tour) and thrash metal band Metallica, both in 2016.[19][20][17][21][6][22][23][24] He has also illustrated logos for posters of such films as Mandy and Lords of Chaos (both 2018) and The Tell Tale Heart (2020).[25][26][27][28][29][30] Since designing his first professional band logo for Belgian death metal band Morbid Death (featuring members that would later play in Enthroned) in 1988, Szpajdel estimates to have drawn over 10,000 logos, mainly within the black metal, death metal and dark ambient music scenes.[19][6][31]

The significant amount of work that Szpajdel has done in the industry has led him to be nicknamed, originally by a fan in 2006, the Lord of the Logos.[2][17][18][32][33][6] This sobriquet was reinforced when he authored a book of the same name, Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground, published in January 2010 through Die Gestalten Verlag [de].[34][35][36] The book showcases a selection of 2500 of his illustrations from over the years, accompanied by photographs taken by Szpajdel.[19][22][37] Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground was successful enough for a sequel, titled Archaic Modernism: The Art of Christophe Szpajdel, publication through Heavy Music Artwork on 16 December 2020.[16][9][38][39][40] When first announced in the 2010s, the second book's title was tentatively titled Ancient Modernism; once it was picked up for publishing by Heavy Music Artwork, it was given a release date for September 2020 but was pushed back by several months.[19][37][22][16][9] Szpajdel's illustrations and interviews have also appeared in the books Logos from Hell: A Compendium of Death and Black Metal Logos (2008, re-printed 2015; Doomentia Press), Black Metal: Beyond the Darkness (2012; Black Dog Publishing), Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult (2013, Feral House), Darkadya: The Book of Art From Below Vol. 2 (2016, Darkadya Books) and Arte Arcana (2018; Heavy Music Artwork), and have been featured in such magazine as Metal Maniacs, Metal Hammer, Terrorizer and Vice.[41][18][32][1][15][34][42][43]

Szpajdel was also the subject of a documentary, appropriately titled Lord of the Logos, which explores his life and work as cult artist and his decades-long career designing logos for the metal underground.[17][44][45][46] The 12-minute documentary was directed by Luke J. Hagan and had its United Kingdom premiere on 2 December 2016 at the Two Short Nights Film Festival.[47][45] The documentary had its United States premiere in August 2017 at the San Diego Underground Film Festival, and has most recently been shown again in the United Kingdom at the Homegrown Shorts festival, held at the Curzon Cinema & Arts on 27 March 2019.[47][45] Szpajdel has also appeared and collaborated with such prominent heavy metal documentaries as Until the Light Takes Us, which was released in 2008 and documents the black metal music scene, and SWR Barroselas Metalfest's The 15th Rebellion of the Steel Warriors, released in 2014.[48][49]

Style[]

Szpajdel has cited Art Deco, Art Nouveau and modernism as major influences in his drawing style.[34][13][22] He coined the term depressiv'moderne to categorize his own style.[15][50] Artists often mentioned as influential include Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Peter Behrens, Gustav Klimt, Timothy Pflueger, Wiliam Van Alen, Bruce Goff, Frank Lloyd Wright, Beryl Cook, Tamara de Lempicka.[13][34]

Works[]

This is an incomplete list of logos designed by Szpajdel.

Exhibitions[]

Szpajdel's work has been exhibited around the world. The following list provides an (incomplete) overview.

2007[]

2009[]

2010[]

2011[]

2012[]

2013[]

2014[]

2015[]

2016[]

2017[]

2018[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd Milazzo, Alex (October 2, 2012). "Christophe Szpajdel". Heavy Music Artwork. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vit, Armin (June 15, 2015). "Lord of the Logos, A Conversation with Christophe Szpajdel (Reviewed)". Under Consideration. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Christophe Szpajdel". discogs. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "Christophe Szpajdel – MusicBrainz". musicbrainz.org. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Christophe Szpajdel – The Lord of the Logos". Metal Devastation Radio. February 16, 2020. Archived from the original on February 18, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ross, Mike (December 30, 2016). "Lord of the Logos: Black Metal AF". Gigcity. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Christophe "Volvox" Szpajdel". Encyclopaedia Metallum.
  8. ^ "Christophe Szpajdel Mini Bio". IMDb. February 17, 2020. Archived from the original on February 18, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Christophe Szpajdel Interview". Oldschool Metal Maniac. July 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Schoenbach, Max (April 27, 2018). "Concert Review: Metalmania 2018". Death Metal Underground. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Martinelli, Roberto. "Interview with Christophe Szpajdel". Maelstorm. Archived from the original on March 5, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2006.
  12. ^ "Christophe Szpajdel (chszpajdel) on Pinterest". Pinterest. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gantert, Patrick (2012). "Thy Fearful Symmetry: An Interview with the Inimitable Christophe Szpajdel". Wow Huh. Archived from the original on July 12, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Christophe Szpajdel". LinkedIn. February 17, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Pichler, Klaus (2008). "The Dark Lord of Logos". Vice Magazine. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h "Interview: Christophe Szpajdel – "Lord Of The Logos"". The Metal Wanderlust. November 21, 2018. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Richards, Alex (September 1, 2017). "Meet Christophe Szpajdel – The Exeter Co-op worker who designed a death metal logo for Rihanna". Devon Live. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Pichler, Klaus (October 31, 2008). "The Dark Lord Of Logos". VICE. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap Barthels, Élodie (April 13, 2014). "Rencontre avec le seigneur des logos". Shoot Me Again (in French). Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Farrier, David (September 7, 2016). "The story behind that amazing Rihanna death metal logo". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on September 9, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Pasbani, Robert (January 11, 2017). "RIHANNA Death Metal Logo Designer Finally Revealed, Here's How It Happened". Metal Injection. Archived from the original on January 12, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Pinfold, William (January 18, 2016). "An Illuminated Eccentric; the art of Christophe Szpajdel". William Pinfold. Archived from the original on July 18, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Vit, Armin (November 29, 2016). "Holy Metal Grail". Brand New. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Metallica: ManUNkind (Official Music Video)". November 17, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2020 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "Mandy". IMDb. February 24, 2020.
  26. ^ "Lords of Chaos". IMDb. February 24, 2020.
  27. ^ "The Tell Tale Heart". IMDb. February 24, 2020.
  28. ^ "Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell Tale Heart (TEST SHOTS) Movie promo #1". May 20, 2019 – via YouTube.
  29. ^ Richards, Alex (November 13, 2018). "Mandy director Panos Cosmatos brands well known Exeter shop worker a GENIUS after stunning collab". DevonLive. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  30. ^ "Here's the Poster for the Lords of Chaos Movie". Metal Sucks. January 19, 2018. Archived from the original on January 22, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  31. ^ "Lord of the Logos". Retrieved February 17, 2020 – via Vimeo.
  32. ^ a b c Koczan, JJ (January 3, 2014). "Visual Evidence: New Header Art and Logo by Adam Burke and Christophe Szpajdel". The Obelisk. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  33. ^ a b Koczan, JJ (March 18, 2017). "Art by Nightjar art of Adam Burke. Logo by Christophe Szpajdel – Lord of the Logos". Facebook. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.[non-primary source needed]
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Thomson, Blair (February 14, 2010). "Lord of the Logos, Christophe Szpajdel". Logo Design Love. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  35. ^ Szpajdel, Christophe (2010). Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground. Germany: Die Gestalten Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89955-282-9.
  36. ^ Szpajdel, Christophe (2010). Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground. ISBN 9783899552829. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  37. ^ a b c d Neilstein, Vince (January 15, 2010). "Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground". Metal Sucks. Archived from the original on January 20, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  38. ^ "Archaic Modernism, The Art of Christophe Szpajdel". Heavy Music Artwork. March 11, 2020. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  39. ^ Giorgianni, Stefano (February 18, 2019). "Christophe Szpajdel – With Strength I… Draw". Metal Hammer. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  40. ^ Julien, Alexandre (December 16, 2020). "Vision Eternel And Melogaze Logos Included In Book Archaic Modernism: The Art Of Christophe Szpajdel". Vision Eternel. Archived from the original on December 16, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  41. ^ "Arte Arcana". Heavy Music Artwork. May 19, 2018. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  42. ^ Patterson, Dayal (2013). Black Metal: Evolution Of The Cult. United States: Feral House. ISBN 978-1-93623-976-4.
  43. ^ "Darkadya Book 2". Darkadya Books. 2016. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
  44. ^ "Lord of the Logos". IMDb. February 17, 2020. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  45. ^ a b c "The Lord of the Logos Documentary". facebook.com. Retrieved February 17, 2020.[non-primary source needed]
  46. ^ "Lord of the Logos". Film Freeway. 2016. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  47. ^ a b "Lord of the Logos – Releases". IMDb. February 17, 2020. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  48. ^ "Christophe Szpajdel". IMDb. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  49. ^ trup666 (October 5, 2010). "Christophe Szpajdel i 'Until The Light Takes Us'". TRUP – METAL (in Polish). Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  50. ^ Christophe Szpajdel (August 7, 2008). "Depressiv' Moderne – The trademark". Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  51. ^ [1]
  52. ^ Dick, Chris (November 11, 2013). "5 Corporate Logos Gone Underground Metal By Christophe Szpajdel". Decibel. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  53. ^ Uricheck, Mark (January 19, 2017). "Interview: Trivium's Matt Heafy calls last three drummers "session players," talks black metal influence in band". Metal Insider. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  54. ^ "New Vision Éternel Logo Designed By Christophe Szpajdel". Vision Eternel. April 15, 2017. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  55. ^ Szpajdel, Christophe (January 5, 2020). "Christophe Szpajdel Instagram". Instagram. Archived from the original on February 17, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  56. ^ "Ancient Modernism: An Exhibition of Letter Art and Illustration in Heavy Metal and Beyond". deathmetal.org. Retrieved February 17, 2020.

Further reading[]

External links[]