Since 2006 Octopus wants to propagate its unique motif everywhere, from Milan to outer space, leveraging the value of persistence and multiplying the energy of who is a part of it—by making products that are, in fact, icons.

Octopus Roots drop by Szpajdel

Discover the new design from the Fall Winter 2023 collection

Per celebrare l'uscita del nuovo design "Roots" di Octopus, siamo andati a intervistare la mente che l'ha concepito. Christophe Szpajdel.

Octopus Roots drop by Szpajdel Discover the new design from the Fall Winter 2023 collection | Image 73799

Octopus: In a completely digital world, paper and markers still remain your ideal dimension. How does your creative process come to life?

Christophe: First off, creating a quick pencil sketch by hand is coming to me much quicker than trying to do it with a tablet or a PC. I had tried and failed so many times that I simply have chosen not to work with the PC but just with my hands. I feel like this is my chosen path.
The first part when working on a project is reading the brief the client sent, submit a few quick pencil sketches on one sheet that I scan and send. Once the draft is chosen, I can line draw by superimposing another white paper on the A4 print of the original thumbnail-size draft and retain all the dimensions and proportions of the chosen sketch, just correcting the symmetry and the flow. Once I have the final work, I usually team up with a graphic designer. For instance, for Octopus I have teamed up with Andrea Giacinti ( who gave me priceless help in understanding very quickly the needed adjustments as I had to meet the brand’s specifications. Also because English is neither my native language neither the client’s native language, there were language barriers that made this project slightly more complicated. These hardships have made me stronger and for that, I can’t thank Octopus enough. 

Octopus Roots drop by Szpajdel Discover the new design from the Fall Winter 2023 collection | Image 73796

Octopus: Your illustrations are a balanced mix of typography and figurative elements. How much time do you dedicate to drawing? And what do you enjoy drawing the most?

Christophe: The time I spend on the drawing is actually the most unpredictable thing. The amount of quick pencil sketches varies from one client to another… sometimes it’s just 5 minutes, 2 sketches and bang! You nail it. But most often, a full page with 20 quick sketches to choose from is not enough… and sometimes 1000 quick sketches is still not enough. The time of completion of a piece of work can vary from 1 hour – if the client is super simple and easy, guiding me with a quick Photoshop mock up to channel his vision –  to several hours spread in 1-2 weeks, and currently I have been working on another project for 6 months because on every update I was sending, the client has remarks and comments that there was something off in the design. The most challenging works are the ones where figurative elements are integrated with the lettering, because often clients criticise my figurative elements saying they look too cartoonish, especially skulls and goat heads – the clients usually find they are throwing off. This is something that happens most of the times because lettering is my forte. Figurative elements, not so much. The part I enjoy most is to draw the final ornaments, like branching, webbing, drippings, splatter, etc… 


Octopus Roots drop by Szpajdel Discover the new design from the Fall Winter 2023 collection | Image 73789

Octopus: Of course your work is related to Doom / Heavy / Black Metal music. Which bands have influenced your work? And what do you listen to when you’re drawing?

Christophe: Bands that have really inspired me were the pioneering bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, Celtic Frost, Possessed, King Diamond, The Exploited, Slayer, Kreator, Mortuary Drape, Necrodeath, Sarcofago… to mention just some of the most influential bands for my creative process, both in terms of music as well as visual aesthetics.
When drawing a logo for a new band, I am listening to the musical content they are sending me, as today is pretty easy because they can send me a link to their music instantly (Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube…) and so I start working on a logo as soon as I get a grasp of what the client wants. For a non-musical project (clothing company, blogger, independent business…), it is slightly more challenging, as I need to pick up a certain mindset.
Lately I quite enjoy listening to such different stuff, such as TIK ( ) if I want something that takes me off the ground and get me in a positive vibe, or Probass ∆ Hardi if I need to get shipshape and sharp as a blade. Or Waystation ( if I just want to unwind and feel relaxed. 


Octopus: To conclude, did you enjoy working on the iconic Octopus motif to create something totally yours?

Christophe: I certainly did, even if there were many hardships (language barriers, time limit for the completion and approval of the project, fast communication flow required…) on the way during the creative process. As I have said on several occasions, I am eternally grateful to my co-worker Andrea Giacinti for helping me in capturing what the client was expecting. Here’s what’s most important: what you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
To conclude, I would like to bring to everyone’s attention that I will be hosting a full extent exhibition of my work with 6 other artists during the Devon Open Studios event where over 300 artists from Devon, South west UK, open their studios to the public. Our exhibition “Tales from the Sea” will harbour a nice medley of typography and figurative/expressive art at the Flavel Arts Centre in Dartmouth, dal 4 al 30 settembre.

Octopus Roots drop by Szpajdel Discover the new design from the Fall Winter 2023 collection | Image 73790

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