Design Driven Photography
Gerhard Illig studied Communication Design in Würzburg. As an Art Director, he has worked for several global players like McCann Erickson, Tessloff Publishing and Publicis as well as for local operating companies.
He got his first camera as a 9-year-old boy. At age 13, he bought his first reflex camera. Since then, a camera was always next to him – essential as a design student. In his years as an Art Director, he was responsible for several large shootings. He toured with international photographers and gained a lot of knowledge.
In 2005, he decided to run his own business as a strategic designer for corporate and advertising tasks. Since then he didn’t consider himself a photographer. However, an increasing number of clients asked for photography besides his design and consultancy skills. So he took the chance and got more and more into it.
Furthermore, he was teaching Design and Typography at the FAU in Erlangen.
His work is well recognized and won awards like Graphis Poster Annual Gold and Silver, Graphis Photography Annual Gold and Silver, amongst others.
Portrait Photo: Thanks to © Ulli Fischer, Villach, Austria
Picturing habitats means to indulge and respectfully admire the language of buildings and the beauty of nature.
Ever since he was young Gerhard Illig has been fascinated by architecture. Growing up in the 60s, construction sites could be found everywhere. After coming home from a weekend trip with his family, he would always re-create the buildings he had seen with legos in his room. The state of the art in both the technology and architecture at the time was infectious.
Simultaneously, even as a boy, he has always been shocked by the destruction of nature through deforestation and reducing green spaces in order to make room for new construction sites. He has always been wondering how far this could go and if there shouldn’t be a limit to creating concrete jungles.
Gerhard Illig has been interested in taking pictures of habitats for several years now. In this he mainly focuses on architecture – habitats that have been created purposefully and creatively to be lived or worked in. Architecture in itself is always a mirror of its time. It can create inspiring places, however, it can also feel destructive and hostile to life.
Personally, he is equally interested in the diversity and energy of nature – habitats that mean life for plants and animals.
Especially interesting are those areas where human and natural interaction collides. Areas where humans leave their traces and areas where nature takes its territory back. Areas where mankind (re)creates nature.
“The smaller the world is growing around us, the more we have to look at our planet as one habitat for everyone. There is nowhere to escape!”
Gerhard Illig has been working with clients from the construction industry for more than 15 years now and ever since he has been observing how multilayered their requirements are and what kind of changes they are subject to. Key terms that arise are urbanization, sustainability and demographic change. “We’re living in exciting and vibrant times.”
His main is to understand and fully dedicate himself to the topics required by his clients and consequently immerge in the locations and habitats. Only then can he start to interpret their essence photographically.
In 2018, the “Umweltamt der Stadt Nürnberg” assigned Gerhard Illig to take pictures of 52 parks in Nuremberg. He worked on this adventurous project for one year and in November 2019 the photographs were shown to the public at the exhibition “Großstadt-Oasen”. A calendar and postcards were released accordingly.
The “Großstadt-Oasen” will be shown again at Handwerkerhof in Nuremberg from June 17th to Juli 12th 2020.