#006 /made to measure
/ray hrynkow gcd, fgdc
may 1, 1953 – march 23, 2012
A few months ago a good friend of ours, the very talented graphic designer, Ray Hrynkow passed away after a long battle with cancer. I met the design duo, Ray and Casey Hrynkow (Herrainco Design) when I moved back from Tokyo in 1986 and over the years it was always a pleasure to work and socialize with them, talking about life and design. Ray couldn’t turn it off, he LIVED design in every waking moment and, I am sure, while he was sleeping also
The years have flown by, ( their little boy Peter is now programming this site, and is married!!) we all have many projects under our belts but I thought that it might be fitting, in some small way, to showcase this project for Granville Eyeland that we collaborated on. Ray and Casey LOVE their glasses, and over the years became close to eye wear designer/founder of Granville Eyeland, Klaus Sebok and protege and current designer/owner Sara Moshurchak. It is easy to photograph beautiful objects like these Klaus Sebok designs but it is very difficult to combine imagery, copy and type and have it behave as well as Ray and Casey have done here. Thank you Ray, it was my honour to know you.
Victor John Penner, Creative Director for T/m
Years ago, when Sara Moshurchak, designer and owner of Granville Eyeland Framemakers was in opticianry school, Klaus Sebok paid a visit to her class to give an inspirational talk. It must have been a good lecture because Sara turned to her classmate and said “one day I am going to own that guys business!”, and seven years later she did!
T/m paid a visit to Granville Island where Granville Eyeland is located (we knew you would catch on!) and interviewed Sara about design and the collaborative process when working with other creatives such as Herrainco Design.
Sara, we started working together through Herrainco Design, how did you start working with them?
They were customers of Klaus’ back at his old shop Optique 2000…
They have always liked their glasses!!
(laughing) Yes, they do! Anyway, they came into the shop one day and said “you need us!” .
Wow, Jared did the same thing with us at TEST/model! (Jared laughs and laughs) How did you react?
We were like, “oh, really…”. We wanted to freshen up a bit and do some branding, but then they did a focus group for us, and how we perceived ourselves and how others did weren’t exactly the same, so we decided that we would give them a shot and see what they could do and actually that year our sales went up. (makes rocket like sound)
Well, tell us how the collaboration with so many creative people worked? I know that Klaus has a very strong point of view and Ray and Casey are an excellent “tag team”, did you have to play referee?
When I bought the business from Klaus I bought a 100% of it so it was my decision ultimately, but in the end it was a “refresh” and Klaus really liked it. It kept the original “vibe” just updated. Ray and Casey stripped it back down to it’s essential base though and applied this clean modern take on what was already our core strength which is our frame design. We applied the images you shot with their design to everything, stationary, post cards, bags, website (programmed by Peter Hrynkow) posters and more. It worked out great!
How was it to make the decision to work with them? I understand as a creative person how hard it can be to let go of the control.
It was nerve wracking!
Yes, Klaus cast a large shadow and I didn’t want to disappoint him, I put a lot of pressure on myself . Poor Ray, he must have thought I was crazy!
In the end what Ray initially presented was a little riskier than what we ended running with and in hindsight I wish I had gone that way. We were going to run all your images with the illustrations that Sarah (Lucow) had done and a lot more colour, In the end we compromised and toned it down a bit. (note: The images in this article are the posters that did have Ray and Casey’s original direction)
Did it go through a lot of revisions?
No, not a lot. Ray would bring by reference materials that he found, he brought books from the library, a Gucci book in particular, an old one that he liked.
READERS: Support your local library, get a library card. Librarians are HOT!!
Did it surprise you that Ray was so referential, that he would use great design to show you that it would work for you?
Yes, totally! He would come by just to show me stuff that he had found, he was excited!
I think that it is an old school approach to be referential and respectful of what came before us and use the inspiration to create something modern. It is much different than many who copy all the existing current trends and think that they are being original.
He wanted to inspire me and he did.
Yes! Looking at the past, but moving forward. Are you okay to talk about Ray a little bit, what he meant to you as a person?
He was the nicest person. I keep the program from his memorial and I look at it to remind me to be nicer, to not freak out about things, that everything has a way to work out.
He was so consistently positive and excited. I met Ray and Casey in 1986 and I had lunch with them shortly before he passed and he was always “HEY Guy!!” whenever we saw each other, fired up about something new he had seen or sharing a thought about some quirky thing. And, he never talked trash about people, which is normal in the creative fields and which I am, personally, going to hell for.
Ray and Casey love design and love to talk about it, but not elitist about it, respect the craft and give credit where it is due. I will miss Ray.
Thanks for taking the time to share with our readers Sara, do you have any more thoughts before we close? On the power of design? Of working with other creative people?
Yes, being creative is like a muscle and it needs to be exercised. I never thought that I could be creative like Klaus was but if you are open to it and surround yourself with giving, creative people, like Ray and Casey you can be inspired, their passion made me feel like my business was their business and THAT is inspiring!
eye wear / klaus sebok for granville eyeland
design / ray & casey hrynkow for herrainco bs+d inc
copy writing / casey hrynkow for herrainco bs+d inc
illustration / sarah lucow for herrainco bs+d inc
photography / victor john penner
producer / marlisse penner
assistant / rob seebacher
retouching / manolo lugo for the lab
portrait / david gray / courtesy of the hrynkow family
special thanks to the following for their support and/or loan of products and service…