How we bought right here: Willo Perron & Brian Roettinger
Since working on the artwork for Jay-Z's Magna Carta album in 2011, designer Brian Roettinger and creative director Willo Perron have collaborated on a variety of projects – from book designs to visual identities to creative brands and musicians. The duo leads creative projects at Willo Perron & Associates – the studio in Los Angeles, whose clients include Rihanna, Pornhub and Helmut Lang.
The work of the studio is diverse and includes live events, music videos, print design, branding, campaigns and interior design. Recent projects include tour visuals for Drake, Anderson.Paak and Tame Impala, album art for Mark Ronson, St. Vincent and Lady Gaga, and catwalk shows for Fenty and Alexander Wang. The studio also designed Retail spaces for Stussy and Adidas, visual identities for startups and cultural brands, and some beautifully designed books and monographs for artists such as David Black, Alex Israel, and Henry Taylor.
Cover art for St. Vincent's album Masseduction. Creative direction: Willo Perron. Art direction: Nonot
Roettinger and Perron found their way into design and creative direction through music. Roettinger grew up in LA and aAfter playing in punk rock bands and experimenting with album art and music visuals, he enrolled at the California Institute of Arts. A few years later he started working with the band No Age and created album covers, posters and visuals for them from 2007 to 2018. (Their collaboration came about after Roettinger met Dean Spunt – his former classmate who founded No Age with Randy Randall – at LA music venue The Smell.)
Perron, who grew up in Montreal before moving to New York and LA, started organizing club nights and creating flyers. His love of music and club culture also led him to design clothing. Over the next few years he started various projects, founded a record store in Montreal and was a co-founder of the Audio Research Records label before working for outerwear and skate brands in Montreal, Los Angeles and the hip-hop label Rawkus in New York. In the early 2000s, he switched to retail design, designed stores for American Apparel, and worked briefly at Apple. In 2006 he met Kanye West, who finally invited him to work on his Glow in the Dark tour in 2008. Willo Perron & Associates was founded the following year. In 2017, Roettinger joined as a partner and headed the studio's printing and graphics department.
Since Roettinger and Perron are currently working from home during the ban, we met with the couple via a Google Hangout to talk about their work and creative process.