(L–R) Brighton and Derek Ballard.

Neuer Geist: CLC Artisan


Structured and playful all at once, Neuer Geist’s mission is to innovate and create without losing the “glory of the past.” Brighton and Derek Ballard both bring their artistic abilities to the table and join creative forces to create pieces like prints and patches, as well as menus and other graphic design gems, tailored for local businesses. All are showcased on their website.

“We’re lucky to have found each other,” Brighton says. “Derek would painstakingly reproduce the logos of favorite bands and save bits of packaging or product tags that he thought were interesting, and I drew and painted constantly.” Their creative roots led to the inception of their brand. “Derek’s aesthetic is very clean, precise and calculated, while mine is more loose and suggestive,” says Brighton. “We help each other through the process of creating. We’re constantly talking about the business, giving each other feedback, helping each other with a sketch or an idea.”

Their inspiration not only comes from time and industry but also by reinterpretations of things that are already established. “Our name, Neuer Geist, comes from a German saying, ‘Neuer Geist im Alten Mauer,’ which means ‘new spirit in old walls’,” Brighton says, “It basically means breathing life into something existing without losing the glory of the past. I think that’s what inspires us most, the history of what came before and how we interpret it.”

Some of Neuer Geist’s pieces are also inspired by pop culture. Specifically, they’ve gotten the chance to participate in a few group gallery shows focused on the work of Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch, which are showcased in their online shop. Their portfolio, also available online, is full of different projects, including work done with a handful of local businesses like Painted Temple Tattoo, Black Thumb Tattoo and Blue Poblano.

The duo will be attending the Craft Lake City DIY Festival with the intentions of meeting new people and supporting their community. “Art can be such a personal and insular expression, and banding together is revolutionary,” Brighton says. “We hope to see lots of new faces at our table this year.” –Zaina Abujebarah

Read more of SLUG’s coverage of the 9th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival®.