Robbie Porter

October 26, 2015


robbie-porter-profile logoToday’s Designer Interview is with Robbie Porter a multi-award winning Scottish illustrator based in London.

When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about?

I think like most creative people I always loved to draw and was encouraged to do so. When I was a kid I completely fell in love with Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, I think that comic really shaped how I think. Stylistically it’s very different from my work but I loved how imaginative it was and desperately craved my own imaginary friend like Hobbes.

What steps did you take to get to where you are now as a designer?

I studied Visual Communication at University and tried my hand at everything from photography to sculpture, It wasn’t until the very end of the course that I realised I wanted to be an illustrator. Once I’d graduated I decided to move back home and take the time to develop my portfolio properly. I basically spent the next 6 months locked in my room drawing all day every day – it was bliss! Eventually I got a job in a printmaking studio and over time developed a style that felt my own. I set up my website and various social media accounts and luckily got featured on a few blogs, from there I got my first few jobs and I’ve plodded along ever since.


this is not magritte

How would you describe your style?

I recently learned the term ‘Ligne Claire’ which was a term coined by Joost Swarte to describe the drawing style of Hergé who created TinTin. It’s a style of working that uses strong clear lines of uniform importance – I think that describes my work well, although I would add a sense of humor & conceptual thinking to the mix.


keep on movin' before and after


What kind of designer do you want to be known as?

That’s a hard question! I guess I’d like to be known for producing clever work that communicates clearly but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

out of office robbie porter


What are you currently working on?

I’m working on some artwork for a new artisanal chocolate shop opening in New Zealand – pretty great subject matter! I’m also designing a new range of greeting cards for various trade shows early next year and I’ve got an order of prints to deliver to the Southbank Centre.


solidarity with refugees

feminist issues in art


What advice would you give emerging designers wanting to build their portfolios?

Make a lot of work – it’s the only way to get good.


What would be your dream design gig?

I’d love to work for Pixar, I’m not sure in what capacity but I’d be happy just making the tea.



Looking ahead what are your major goals for the next couple of years?

I really want to make a book, it’s hard though because it’s so time consuming – I have a few ideas percolating away at the back of my head, so fingers crossed they’ll make it onto the page soon. I also want to develop the greeting card and print side of my business and would love to branch out into other products.

If you were a pattern what kind of a pattern would you be and why?

Probably something to do with space, or maybe dinosaurs, no robots! Actually make that robotic dinosaurs in outer space…


Robbie Porter is a multi-award winning Scottish illustrator currently getting lost in London. His work is fun, simple & conceptually driven. He has worked with The New York Times, Virgin, Random House Publishing, New Scientist and Wired to name a few. When he isn’t drawing he can be found making lists and reading Calvin & Hobbes.



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