Commercial representation
Logan & Sons +1 310 822 1500

All other inquiries
Jens Gehlhaar




 


CV



2012 — PRESENT

Commercial Director at Logan & Sons Films for Nissan, Nintento, Google, Toyota, Square, Walgreens, Kellogg’s, Life Savers, PayPal, Old El Paso, Allstate etc


2013, 2015, 2016

Freelance Video Creative at Apple Inc.


1998, 2000, 2011, 2012, 2017

Visiting Faculty / Thesis Advisor at
California Institute of the Arts


2001 — 2010

Commercial & Music Video Director at Brand New School,
Partizan & Passion Pictures
Films for Apple, Muse, Volkswagen, IKEA, Xbox, Budweiser, Toyota, Microsoft, Emirates Airlines, Coca-Cola, Vodafone, HP etc

2000 — 2010

Creative Director at Brand New SchoolDesign, branding and animation for Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, UPS, HP, American Express, Palm, Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, Chevrolet, Toyota, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Reuters etc. On-air identities for VH1 Classic, Fuel TV, MTV Sunday Stew etc


1998 — 2000

Visiting Professor at Art Center College of Design

1997 — 2000

Freelance Art Director at Wieden+Kennedy, 20th Century Fox, Imaginary Forces, ESPN, Dreamworks, ReVerb, Fuel Design, Gruner+Jahr, Mike Mills etc


1997

MFA in Graphic Design, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California


1993

BA in Visual Communication, Hochschule Niederrhein, Krefeld, Germany

 


“Jens Gehlhaar and his partners’ creative work for print and broadcast exhibits intelligent concepts, complex narratives, beautiful imagery and a wry sense of humour.”
Eye Magazine, London, Autumn 2009.

  



Lectures (selection)



Corcoran College of Art + Design Washington DC, April 2014.
TYPO San Francisco 2013: Contrast San Francisco, California, April 2013.
Otis College of Art and Design Los Angeles, California, February 2012.
Type That Moves (You), TypeCon2010: Babel Los Angeles, California, August 2010.
Kookmin University, Dept. of Visual Communication Design Seoul, Korea, May 2007.
Schools of Thoughts 3:
An AIGA Design Education Community Conference
Pasadena, California, March 2007.
College for Creative StudiesDetroit, Michigan, February 2007.
Rprsnt Creative Conference Sydney, Australia, October 2005.
MOVE: Stories in Motion, AIGA New York Chapter New York, New York, May 2005.
North Carolina State University, College of Design Raleigh, North Carolina, January 2005.
Art Center College of Design Pasadena, California, July 2003, September 2007.
California Institute of Arts Valencia, California, February 2000, November 2001, November 2006.

 


(…) The work produced by these young designers and companies is cool, it’s new, and it’s pushing various artistic forms. But is it culturally significant, too? Sure: The branded content of the Nike and Bombay Sapphire films suggests the totally blurred boundary dividing art and commerce, while the quick pace of innovation and influence, of appropriation and recycling, points to a culture of DIYers, those who don’t merely accept what’s foisted on them but reuse it, fashioning something else altogether. Further, the kaleidoscopic imagery and incredible movements of bodies that appear in so much of the work mirror the unnerving sense of disorientation wrought by a world moving way too fast. And the synthesis of real and unreal worlds underscores our nascent anxieties about the increasingly mediated existences in which we spend a good amount of our lives online in a space that’s at once entirely real and yet completely ephemeral. (…)
       And where will it all go? Will its impact last, or will it fade, subsumed and domesticated by mainstream corporations and lesser talents? Or will it be undone by repetition and self-referentiality? For Brand New School’s Gehlhaar, it’s more a matter of specifics.
       “I wonder if in five years it will still be interesting to have whimsical illustrations or character animation,” he muses. “Will things be more dense? Will it become more Asian, with metaphors and abstract spatial relationships, or will things become more European, where it’s all about a cool little joke or weird little incident, so the style carries the theme but isn’t the focus?”
       Looking down, he struggles to answer his own question. “It’s hard to tell where it will go. An animator friend of mine told me recently that he thinks we are at the forefront of something that will change the entire industry.” Gehlhaar looks up. “I think it’s still totally undefined,” — he says with a knowing smile.
       In other words: Whatever.

Holly Willis: “City in Motion: L.A.’s Hyperactive Graphics Scene.”
L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles, February 25, 2005.


  



Periodicals (selection)



Ian Lynam, Toshiaki Koga, Toshinubo Nagata:
Suburban Lawns — A Look at CalArts Past & Present.”
Idea Magazine No. 360, August 2013.
John L. Walters, Deborah Littlejohn, Véronique Vienne:
Art and Art Direction. Four Profiles: Kuchar Swara, Jens Gehlhaar, Thomas Lenthal, Daniel Eatock.”
Eye Magazine, London, Autumn 2009.
Sean Adams:
Brand New School Prefers to Make You Smile.”
An interview with Jonathan Notaro and Jens Gehlhaar.

Step Inside Design, New York, January/February 2008.

Ian Lynam:
Interview with Jens Gehlhaar.
Néojaponisme, Tokyo, September 2007.
Antje Dohmann:
“Brennpunkt L.A.”
Page Magazin, Hamburg, September 2007.
GD USA 40 people to watch: Jens Gehlhaar. Graphic Design USA, Chicago, January 2006.
Hugh Hart:
Design Review: Style That's All Over the California Map.”
Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2005.
“Nu Skool Firms Think Out of the Box.” IdN, Hong Kong, November 2005.
Laurence Zuckerman:
Close Your Eyes and It's Almost Like Radio.”
The New York Times, July 24, 2005.
Holly Willis:
City in Motion: L.A.’s Hyperactive Graphics Scene.”
L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles, February 25, 2005.
Jenny Wohlfarth:
“Inside the #@$%&! Coolest Motion Design Firm.”
How, New York, June 2004.
Jonathan Durbin:
“United They Brand.”
Paper Magazine, New York, May 2003.

Ken Coupland:
West Coast Latitudes.”
Eye Magazine, London, Spring 1999.

 


(…) Brand New School have been at the forefront of the motion graphics revolution that has swept through broadcast design and commercial spots in the US. They are less a traditional notion of a “director” than an all-out design “college” and commercials agency, but nonetheless they have the singular (if schizophrenic) vision (“We have 15 artists at Brand New School,” maintains creative director, Jens Gehlhaar). (...)

Notaro and Gehlhaar, who act as principal directors of the company’s videos, are acutely aware of steering the right path for themselves in a market that eats up the new, chews it for creativity, then spits it out, ready for the next crop of talent.

“It’s very odd and interesting right now, but it’s clear to me that just mastering the techniques of hybrid animation and live action is not the path to glory,” Gehlhaar elucidates. “You have to develop your own voice, and not bank on the idea that this whole thing will still be cool three years from now. Remember that a whole bunch of directors with film backgrounds can get their CG done at The Mill, too.”

Matt Hanson:
“Reinventing Music Video: Next-Generation Directors”.
Rotovision, London, UK, 2006.

  



Books (selection)



Ian Lynam: “Parallel Strokes”. Wordshape, Tokyo, Japan, 2008.
Matt Hanson: “Reinventing Music Video: Next-Generation Directors”. Rotovision, London, UK, 2006.
Jérôme Saint-Loubert Bié: “Earthquakes and Aftershocks: Posters from the CalArts Graphic Design Program 1986–2004 and California Culture”. Ëcole des beaux-arts de Rennes, France, 2006.
Charlotte Rivers: “Type Specific: Designing Custom Fonts for Function and Identity”. Rotovision, London, UK, 2005.
L.A. Creators DVD Vol.1.: Brand New School, Logan, Shepard Fairey, Motion Theory, Dublab, Girl Skateboards. Nowonmedia, Tokyo, Japan, 2003. 
Michel Bouvet: “East Coast West Coast: Graphistes Aux Etats-Unis”. Textuel, Paris, France, 2002.
Robert Klanten et al: “72dpi-anime”. Book and DVD, Die Gestalten Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 2001.
Roger Walton (gen.ed.): “Page Layout”. Hearst Books International, New York, New York, 2000.
Roger Walton (gen.ed.): “Alphabook: Typeface Design & Application”. Hearst Books International, New York, New York, 1999.


  


Awards (selection)



The One Show, 2007Merit award for Apple iPod Shuffle “Clip”.
Music Video Production Association, 14th Annual MVPA Awards, 2005 Winner, Special Effects for Muse “Hysteria”.
Broadcast Designers Association/BDA Design Awards, 2004 Gold awards for Fuel TV On-Air Identity.
D&AD, 42nd D&AD Awards, 2004 Silver Nomination for Most Outstanding Animation in a Commercial, for Fox NFL “Parcells” and “T.O.”
The Art Directors Club, 81st ADC Annual Awards, 2002 Gold award for three VH1 Classic Station IDs.
365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 22, 2001 Inclusion of "MTV Fashionably Loud" in the Motion Graphics category.
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 2000 Emmy Award for ESPN X Games broadcast graphic design.

Leipzig Book Fair, Germany, 2000 Golden Letter for "The Most Beautiful Book In All The World"; for "Fackel: Wörterbuch der Redensarten" (as type consultant to designer Anne Burdick).
Broadcast Designers Association/BDA Design Awards, 2000 World Class Award for Fuel stationery.

Type Directors Club, TDC2, 1999 Certificate of Typographic Excellence for Laika Typeface Family.

Central Lettering Record, Saint Martin's College, London, 1999 “The Compendium of Alphabets” selected for their permanent collection.
American Center of Design, 21st Annual 100 Show, 1998 Two works selected in the 21st Annual 100 Show: “The Compendium of Alphabets” and “Landscapes for the Homeless”, a poster for a lecture by Anthony Hernandez.
Type Directors Club, 1996 Certificate of Typographic Excellence for “Lunacards”.

 

Jens Gehlhaar is a creative director at the bi-coastal directing collective, Brand New School. I’m sure many of you are familiar with, and in awe of, his gorgeous music video for the British band Muse, in which a CG-induced strobe-explosion melts the divisions between screen and mental-space, music and light, animation and live footage.

Jens has traveled a long way to be where he is today. His culture of origin is German and it’s print-based. His culture of destination is Santa Monican and the intersection between advertising and entertainment, design and filmmaking. Jens has co-directed numerous advertising campaigns — most recently for Virgin Mobile and for Apple’s iPod Shuffle Clip —, created network identities for the likes of VH1 Classic, Fox Fuel and IMF and has also written and directed dozens of live action station identifiers.

There’s a particularly rich typographical thread in Jens’s work. He’s taught typography here at Art Center as well as at California Institute of the Arts and has explored its application to the moving image through exclusive typeface designs for the movie “Minority Report” and in campaigns such as UPS, AT&T and American Express.

Jens may well be performing the role of chief correspondent in this conference — his report comes direct from the worksphere and from the exact spot in the worksphere that most graduating students this year want to head for. And yet it’s not just for laughs that his firm is called Brand New School. Jens and his teams are constantly assimilating and inventing new ways of producing moving imagery and type, new ways of stimulating emotional response, and new ways to think about what they are engaged in. In this sense, Jens provides us with a model for an exuberant coalescence of education and industry.”

Alice Twemlow, School of Thoughts Conference,
Art Center College of Design, March 2007.