Interview with Morey Talmor

Morey Talmor is a graphic designer and creative director originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, currently living and working in New York. He is the founder of Talmor & Talmor & Talmor a creative consultancy and design agency based in New York, creating work that spans multiple disciplines including branding, creative direction, design for digital platforms, editorial, packaging, and content creation.

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in NY and grew up in Tel Aviv, I am a graphic designer and founder of a small design studio called Talmor & Talmor & Talmor, which is my last name three times.

Why and when did you move to New York?

In 2011, my then girlfriend had gotten a job+visa offer here, we have always talked about moving either here or London, so it seemed like the right time to try it.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in Graphic Design?

To study at most universities in Israel you need to do a test called the psychometry, its the Israeli equivalent to the SAT's, something people usually have to do before applying for schools. For some reason, design schools do not require this test to apply or get in, so when I realized I wanted to go study something, the fear of studying for he Psychometry nudged me towards a degree in design. I always liked graphics and illustration–I'm another cliche cartoon/skateboard/punk rock aficionado turned graphic designer–so graphic design seemed like the way to go.

How would you describe your creative process?

It depends and what the work is. Most of the client work we do hinges on branding so we have a pretty structured routine for extracting the project strategy etc, this involves workshopping with the client, asking a lot of questions, and doing the fair amount of research in whatever industry were tackling, once we have the strategy in place, we use that as a compass for our design explorations.  With nonclient work its less structured, and is more about finding something that I feel like making or something in the world that we might be able to react to with a project.

Does your city and surroundings influence you as a creative and individual?

I think so, yes. New York is a very visually saturated and intense environment, hard to not have the visual output and energy of this city leak into your brain.

What do you struggle with the most in terms of working and living in a city like New York?

New York seems to be inhabited almost exclusively by people who have a clear goal or dream they are chasing after, it's not quite a place to chill and relax. It's a very different state of mind from Tel Aviv or a lot of other Mediterranian or European city's. Leisure isn't really a thing in New York, and that doesn't seem to be so good for one's soul and body, or at least it isn't always so good for mine.

The responsibility of the council in every city is to provide a solid foundation of design, art and cultural facilities, is that evident in New York?

I'd say so, New York is one of the most impressive and rich, cultural meccas I have ever been to.

Do you think it is also the responsibility of the artist/creative to improve the quality of people's lives in their city? 

I have never really thought of that. I am not sure it is. 

One of your most recent projects is The Social Media Memorabilia Auction House (SMMAH) website, which got nominated for a Webby Award. Can you tell us more about the project?

SMMAH is a fake auction site selling fake memorabilia pulled from the accounts of prominent social media influencers. A sort of Planet Hollywood-meets-Sotheby's-meets-Instagram-sponcon, type of project.  The site and Instagram account were made as both as a form of satire and a kind of silly homage to the wonderful world and industry of social media influencers.

Since moving to New York, how has living, working, and travelling in the city changed?

Things are more expensive and there are more ceramic shops.

If you could add or change something about New York, what would that be?

Perhaps slow down the pace, or make the Subway less crappy.

Describe the perfect day for you in New York.

Coffee and a pastry with my wife at Marlow and Sons, walk the bridge from Brooklyn to the Lower east side (Ideally this is on a day with the exactly-perfect-weather that you might find in May or September), walk around, grab more coffee, go to a Museum (New Museum?) or a few galleries, grab a drink after, perhaps buy a book while drunk or go to a movie, and then dinner. Perfect day. 

Can you tell us about any current or future projects that you are particularly excited about?

I am working on a type of publication, can't say much more, but will be launching this summer and I am excited. 

If you could choose any artist/creative to collaborate with, who would that be and why?

I think I'd go with Ed Ruscha, his art is such a perfect combination of simplicity, wit, and beauty.  He also seems like a very cool dude.

What do you do to switch off?

Read, drink, smoke and hang out with loved ones.

Sometimes people relate a specific smell to the city they live in or the place they grew up, does New York evoke a personal smell to you? 

There is a certain musty musk in the hallways of some old factory buildings here (now converted into expensive condos!). My aunt and uncle have lived in an apartment in one of these type old buildings since the 70s and the smell in their hallway and elevator has always stuck with me whenever I'd visit. Still, get some childhood nostalgia when I encounter something similar.

If you weren’t living in New York and could choose any city to live in where would that be, and why?

That's a hard one. Maybe back to Tel Aviv.

new york by Morey Talmor

A selection of places in New York - recommended by graphic designer and creative director Morey Talmor. See all of Morey's favourite places here


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