LAY-OUT no. 10: Robert Beatty / 32 Pages, 5 x 8 inches, 2 color risograph printing, 2 color silkscreened cover, hand-stamped inner back cover / First edition 2023
LAY-OUT is a project of Rob Carmichael of SEEN Studio
Robert Beatty is a Lexington, Kentucky based designer, illustrator and musician whose work and techniques have become something of a gold standard in album artwork and editorial design. His work veers from psychedelic-adjacent 1970s airbrush to inscrutable vector linework to graphically downgraded imagery that feels filtered through broken technologies. Oftentimes in the same piece. His use of type and color only add to his formidable visual skills. His work is consistently inspiring and visually addictive.
For his LAY—OUT volume Robert has produced a suite of esoteric graphic design that feels like coded signals from a lost (or not yet found) civilization. In lush purple and black tones the compositions seem to exude meaning -- quasi letterforms mingle with hazy images of storms or sound waves or maybe planetary collapse. Undulating forms ooze over one another, obscuring cartographies of unknowable sites.