Monday, 8 November 2010


Below are six posts on six different designers/design duos who link from one end of the spectrum to the other. This was a university research project where our blog is meant to 'show incremental shifts from the funky, unorthodox work of Antoinne et Manuel all the way to the rigorous typographical experimentation of Emigre'. So keep on reading....


Antoine Audiaul & Manuel Warosz are a graphic design duo, studio and both professional & personal partners.
The pair work and live in Paris, where they have created some stunning work over the years. Recurring themes that seem to run through each of their pieces is the use of flowing lines, of organic feel, often though with more structured lineal lines like those used in their version of the Paris subway map.

Above: Antoinne et Manuel's version of the Paris Metro Map

Colour is also used to great effect in all of their pieces, a great example being the invites and catalogue designs created for Christian Lacroix that they are well known for. When observing their work I can also see how they like to toy with geometric shapes and play around with contrasts between soft and sharp edges. Their pieces are always printed in the highest of quality, which seems to add more class and value to what they do, using techniques like foil blocking & die-cutting.

Above: One of their Christian Lacroix invites from 2007

Their design work seems mostly to have been constructed digitally although many pieces have been illustrated by hand, such as their ‘Photographier’ poster designed for the Collection Lambert en Avignon in 2002, which happens to be one of my favourite pieces of theirs.

I Love how the piece, along with others designed for Lambert en Avignon, were drawn completely with felt tip pens, often thought of as a child’s artistic tool, which they have picked up and utilised so perfectly when other designers simply shy away from using such a material.
The pair have also delved into other areas such as furniture design, something that only makes me admire them more for their skills.


M/M Paris are another design duo based in Paris, set up in 1992 by Mathias Augustyniak & Michael Amzalag. The pair work in many realms, most prominently art direction for fashion, but work within music, art, film, publication design and experimental typography.
They have an immensely impressive list of clients that includes the likes of Prada, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Madonna, Vogue Paris, Adidas and many more. Perhaps their most recognisable pieces are those of an illustrative approach. Their series ‘dessin dans l’image’, translated as ‘drawings in the picture’ are exactly that, drawings applied onto images of female models that you’d expect to see in a high-end fashion magazine.
M/M have experimented further with their illustration work but have also created some high-end design based pieces and highly experimental typography to prove how versatile they are. Their typography work where they have constructed letters of the alphabet through the use of photos of models are a great example of this.

Above: One of the pieces from their ‘dessin dans l’image’ series
Below: M/M's experimental typographic piece 'The Alphabet'

The duo themselves have stated in the past that they’re influenced by post punk aesthetics as well as the more strict and structured approach of the Swiss school of graphic design and the more emotional and sensitive Polish school. Despite this they still to me, have a very Parisian design feel about them, much like Antoinne et Manuel, with the exception that they tend to use much darker colours and tones compared to their Parisian counterparts.
M/M Paris over their 18 year existence keep on proving they’re no one trick pony, constantly taking part in new artistic ventures, such as their two year involvement in designing a matruschka-like carved out book about Kubrick’s unfinished film ‘Napoleon’, which was a limited publication that sold for around £500 per piece. Their most recent project, in collaboration with Swedish brand Bryedo is their first eau-de-parfum fragrance labelled ‘M/MINK’, inspired by the smell of solid Asian ink they regularly use across their designs. That alone is territory never before crossed by a designer and only goes to show how far they like to push the boundaries, and how successful they have been in the fashion world.
Their work within fashion has crossed over many areas, and it’s their involvement with high end men’s fashion magazine Arena Homme + between 2007 and 2009 that links them onto my next artist. For those two years they were creative directors for the magazine, working on several issues, before the position was taken over by Graphic design heavyweight Neville Brody......


One of the biggest names in Graphic design today (if not the biggest), Neville Brody has had a career that has spanned over three decades to date. Hailed by many, and hated by some, his skills cannot be apprehended no matter what your view on him may be.
He first shot to prominence in the early eighties when designing record sleeves for various record labels, before working on cult British magazine ‘The Face’ as an art director. He has since worked for other magazine and newspapers such as City Limits, Arena, The Guardian and more recently The Times in 2006, where he was given the task of creating a complete re-design for the paper and created the typeface ‘Times Modern’ used as the body text for the paper, to replace Times New Roman that had been used since 1932.

Above: The Face magazine who Neville worked for as an art director during its heyday in the eighties
Below: An exclusive wallpaper subscribers magazine cover which translates as 'I hate design' designed in 2009

His studio, Research studios was created in 1994, which now has a presence in New York, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and of course London. The company has worked with a wide array of international clients, too many to mention.
Brody’s style was originally influenced heavily by the punk movement of the 70’s, which was in full flow when he was studying as a student in London. This punk aesthetic has followed through his work ever since, evolving and changing through the years due to the birth of the digital era.
Brody is known for his many skills but his experimental typography is perhaps at the forefront of everything he has accomplished in his hugely successful career. He was one of the founding members of FontWorks in London where he created many notable typefaces, as well as with Fuse, an experimental typography publication, which has produced three major conferences, with more planned for the future. Fuse is published by ‘FontShop’, an online digital type retailer set up in 1989 along with German typographer Eric Spiekermann……


Born in 1947 in Germany, Spiekermann is a self confessed ‘typomaniac’, whose whole career and life has revolved around the art of typography. Over the years he has created many typefaces such as FF Meta, ITC Officina, FF info and many corporate typefaces. His style in contrast to Neville Brody could not be more different, taking a more structured and constrained approach to his typography work, focusing on creating typefaces that are traditional and as legible as possible, most often sans serif ones. He is an author of books and articles based around typography, his most prominent being ‘Stop Stealing Sheep & Find out How Type Works’.
In 1979 he started up the design firm MetaDesign, a ‘global branding and design firm’, that has worked with clients such as Adobe, Apple, Sony & Coca-Cola. It is the largest design firm in Germany, which has offices across the globe much like Brody’s Research Studio, buts it’s approach combines clean, teutonic-looking information design and complex design systems. Spiekermann left Meta in 2001 and started up Edenspiekermann although it has gone through various name changes since it’s birth.

Above: Type specimens of Erik Spiekermann Below: FF Meta, a humanist sans-serif typeface designed for the West German Post Office and 'dubiously' hailed by some as the 'Helvetica of the 1990's'

Spiekermann has won various awards for his contribution to typography and was the first person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame by the European Design Awards for Communication Design, which only goes to shows how highly regarded he is in the world of design.
In the Helvetica documentary film released in 2007, Spiekermann is interviewed amongst many other illustrious designers, and discusses not only the subject of Helvetica but his love of typography in general, and how he feels his typography should improve legibility without being noticed. His subtleness is his style, a style he feels should communicate to the public subconsciously. Also in the interview he vents his disapproval of Microsoft and it’s approach to typography, going as far as calling the company ‘despicable’ and ‘mean bastards’ for creating bad typefaces because ‘they can’t be bothered to pay the licence fees’ for good typefaces, although concluding that “Matthew did some cool stuff for them”, referring to highly respected typographer Matthew Carter, who has worked for Microsoft and is also interviewed in the documentary.


Regarded as one of the greatest typographers of our time, Matthew Carter, born in England and now residing in America, is one of very few typographers who has witnessed the transition from physical metal type to digital. This fact doesn’t help to disguise his age, but at the ripe old age of 73, he shows no signs of slowing down. Over the years he has created many widely used typefaces, ones in which millions of people use and see everyday. He is mostly responsible for aiding the transportation of typography to the screen, creating Verdana for Microsoft, a typeface the world reads from the web, quoted by the design museum as being ‘the elegant gatekeeper of a huge proportion of information.’, along with Georgia, a serif typeface also adopted by Microsoft, for the use of it’s ‘core fonts for the web’ collection.

Just four of Carter's most widely used and recognised typefaces

He also created the typeface Bell Centennial, a sans serif typeface commissioned in 1974 by American telecommunications company AT&T, to be used in telephone directory books, which is still used to this day. Carter has designed typefaces for many publications such as newspaper The New York Times, Wired, Time and more, however it is his continuous work with Microsoft and Apple that has gained him most recognition, and because of this he has received countless awards for his contribution to typography and design. It is Carters involvement with Apple that leads me onto my final link. In 1989, Matthew was interviewed by a magazine, about his views on the initial response by the world of graphic design to the introduction of the Macintosh computers, this interview was held for issue eleven of Emigre Magazine……


Born out of the digital uprising of Macintosh computers in 1984, Emigre are the typography design duo of husband and wife Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko. An independent type foundry based in Berkeley, California, Emigre originally developed fonts on and for the computer. They have designed a large array of typefaces, and hold license to over 300, many belonging to various contemporary designers.
The duo published an independent magazine for 21 years entitled ‘Emigre magazine’ that voiced their criticism and thoughts on type through essays, as well as displaying their vast array of experimental, cutting edge typefaces that took into account the bitmap, dot matrix and vector based design ideals of the era.

various issues of Emigre magazine

The final issue of Émigré magazine was published in 2005, although the type foundry itself carries on to this day and has published a number of books related to graphic design. An issue of Emigre magazine is today seen as somewhat of a collector’s item, and are held in high regard by many designers and anyone who has even a vague interest in typography. Vanderlans used the magazine as a platform for his essay writing abilities, discussing significant works and ideas in the design field he felt were of some importance or had to be shown, even when some of his observations were on those of people not yet out of design school.
The dawn of the blogging era is what appears to of caused the end of Emigre magazines existence, with its ability to showcase work in a much faster format and to a much wider audience. It seems both a cruel and bitter blow for a type foundry that’s own ethos was based around the evolution of the digital era. However the magazine’s influence it seems still lives on, as does Emigre itself and the typography both Vanderlands & Licko continue to create under its name.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


INFLUENCERS FULL VERSION from R+I creative on Vimeo.

INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment.

The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.

Written and Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today's pop culture.

"Influencers" belongs to the new generation of short films, webdocs, which combine the documentary style and the online experience.​influencersfilm


I've been spending a little too much money of late, and these two new additions to my book collection haven't helped matters.
First up is Marian Bantjes beautiful hardback 'I Wonder'. It's simply the nicest piece of print i've ever held! I blogged about it here a few months back now and having been released last month i've finally managed to pick up a copy for myself.

'Just My Type' by Simon Garfield is a book of stories. About how Helvetica and Comic Sans took over the world. About why Barack Obama opted for Gotham, while Amy Winehouse found her soul in 30s Art Deco. About the great originators of type, from Baskerville to Zapf, or people like Neville Brody who threw out the rulebook, or Margaret Calvert, who invented the motorway signs that are used from Watford Gap to Abu Dhabi. About the pivotal moment when fonts left the world of Letraset and were loaded onto computers … and typefaces became something we realized we all have an opinion about.

This was also released last month, and although not as drool worthy as 'I Wonder' the cover is still really nicely designed and it's been a great read so far. Both are available on the cheap at amazon......


I've been singing this out loud and in my head all day long! It's such a beautiful cover. I discovered James a few months back and haven't stopped playing his two e.p's. I never knew he could sing as well as produce though so I was blown away when I first heard this. Enjoy...

James Blake - Limit To Your Love from James Blake on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Kathryn Macnaughton is an Illustrator/Graphic Artist currently living in Toronto, Canada.
She graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design and has been making pretty pictures ever since.

“Combining drawing with collage in a hue of light pastel shades, softening any ‘filthy rautten’
pornographic material, Macnaughton creates random associations that some of us might think is
fictional mess, but some will see subliminal messages, suggestive imagery of an interpretation of
the real. Asides from the women, shapes are prominent, patterns may be used to fill space, add
game or are intentionally drawing you towards something, an idea or relationship.”
-Raji, The Freak Show


EL GUINCHO | Bombay from MGdM | Marc Gómez del Moral on Vimeo.