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design and visual culture

issue 23 spring 2011

GB 25 de E28 it E24 issn 1767-4751
Printed in France


n 23

P10 P12 P14 P16 P18 P22 P23 P24 P25



Morgan Prudhomme is a graphic design student at the cole rgionale des beaux-Arts, Valence. Vanina Pinter teaches history of graphic design in Orlans and Le Havre.


Caroline Bouige is a journalist on the editorial staff at tapes: magazine.







Caroline Bouige is a journalist on the editorial staff at tapes: magazine.





Caroline Bouige is a journalist on the editorial staff at tapes: magazine.



P30 MARCIA NOLTE P32 P33 P34 P35





Vanina Pinter teaches history of graphic design in Orlans and Le Havre. Isabelle Moisy is editorial coordinator of tapes: magazine.





Cover by Philippe Halsman. Photography of Harold Lyold, silver print, stamped on verso, 1950. Magnum Photos, Paris. Fonts: Boton by Albert Boton, Oranda by Gerard Unger, Kievit by Michael Abbink. 8







Liz Ramalho and Artur Rebelo are the founders of the graphic design studio R2. Andr Tavares is an architect and author.





Pierre Ponant is a teacher at the cole des beaux-arts, Bordeaux.

Yolanda Zappaterra is a writer and designer.

An interactive design specialist who teaches at the Universit dAuvergne de Clermont-Ferrand.





Graduate of the cole Estienne and currently studying for a masters degree in linguistics and semiology.


AD and critic, Vronique Vienne writes for Print, Metropolis She is co-author of Art Direction Explained, At Last!



Pierre Ponant is a teacher at the cole des beaux-arts, Bordeaux.

Former editor-in-chief of Graphis and Surface magazines, consultant, author and independent curator in New York.









Head of his own studio, Erwin K. Bauer is also a writer and exhibition curator.







Over Time
Without a doubt, there is as much violence as delicacy in Aurlie William Levauxs needlepoint. Whether she is talking about her pregnancy or life as a mother in the two books published by 5e Couche (an independent publishing house in Belgium), the illustrator, embroiderer and author evokes her relationship with the world with troubling sensitivity. The embroidered space gives her room to express herself freely and the needle imposes its own particular rhythm, giving time to study the composition. Stunning beauty stripped of all sentimentality. CB


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IVMs Having a Party

To celebrate 10 years of existence, the Institut de la Ville en Mouvement (Institute of the City on the Move) brought colour to the Forum of Images in Paris for one day. Founded by PSA Peugeot Citron in June 2000, the IVM provides support and encourages the emergence of innovative projects for urban mobility. The organization includes players from the social and cultural scenes, companies and researchers with multidisciplinary skills. The American graphic designer Susanna Shannon was entrusted with the visual communication and scenography for the event and also created an anniversary diary called demain! in French (in English, New Moves!). The diary covers 10 years of the institutions activities in chronological order. Pamphlets and programmes printed on uorescent paper were inserted into each copy using an enormous triangular paper clip in the same colour as the paper. The cherry on top: Shannon asked Vivien Lejeune Durhin to make a series of 23 posters that were screen-printed in her new workshop in Aubervilliers. IM

Susanna Shannon, Serge Bilou, David Benoussad


Nothing Lost
EFUS (the European Forum for Urban Security) is an NGO working for urban security and crime prevention that now has a new identity designed by Pete Jeffs and Marie Aumont. To create an identity for this labyrinthine organization (steered by an executive committee including 27 territorial communities), the two graphic designers opted to use a network of rhizomes, rather than showing it as a hierarchical structure. According to Gilles Deleuzes denition, each element is susceptible to inuence all of the others in such a system. The design has an arrangement of circles, split in half by colour, with a chain of links disappearing off the page and concealing part of the composition. Colour codes allow viewers to identify the organizations spheres of action. In straight-up metallic tones, the whole chart uses Fresco type by Fred Smeijers in harmonious grey. This typeface has a large selection of glyphs, which makes it perfect to use with all of the European languages. In addition, the system has a logotype that can be centred, a partner logo and a publishing style guide that are all derived from the main identity. The rigour, coherence and high graphic quality of this work are hard to come by today and set the standard for French and European institutional logos. CB

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Blood-red and Alive

The Swiss foundation Blackswan is dedicated to supporting research on rare (orphan) diseases that the pharmaceutical research industry neglects. Demian Conrad Design, a studio based in Lausanne, was entrusted with creating its visual identity and visual communication materials. This was one of the most important projects the studio had worked on since its creation in 2007. By playing with the machinery of an offset printer and changing the hydro-chromatic settings, the studio created a technique resembling that of John Cage, which in a way allows us to visualize the concept of rarity and uniqueness: each printed sheet is unique, splotched with red in a different way from the previous sheet. The graphic language in each copy is random, unpredictable: reinforcing the foundations mission and message. IM


One-off Prints for Reproducible Art

These posters are a direct response to the theme of the Triennial of Contemporary Printed Art, held at the Muse de Beaux-Arts du Locle (Locle Museum of Fine Art). Designed by the Geneva-based studio Gavillet & Rust, they remind us of each works unique characteristics (non-reproducible) and the principle of production. Each poster is unique: the result of different inks being mixed together. The duo selected the colours to use and the order in which to use them on the same roller, then the coloured backgrounds began to reveal and manifest errors in the Iris printing process. On the second print run, signs were added. The events heading loses its meaning and is broken up into pieces. Antique type by Franois Rappo is multiplied and piled up raw and repetitive. The graphic designers have added a skull, evoking the work of John Armleder a symbol used to take apart the textual reading and rethink the nature of signs. Once again, the graphic product makes its presence felt: on the fringes of art, sign and function, it makes the printing process its virtue. CB

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Making Things Public


The MTP team openly confesses to a particularly minimalist approach, but behind their sparing and efcient work we can detect a design process that is thoughtful, crafted, sensitive and coherent. Perhaps this is a benet of having two pairs of hands? Nearly ve years ago, Alice Carpentiero and Jeremy Begel started up their graphic design studio, Making Things Public. No, this isnt an article about creative couples, as they modestly suggested when we rst contacted them. MTP has become known for its work in publishing, visual identities and nely crafted typography. The studios two better halves met for the first time in the halls of the Ecole Supcra in Grenoble. Back then the schools computer graphics course had sparked their interest in graphic design. Carpentiero headed off to do a DNAT (Diplme national darts et techniques) at the Valence School of Fine Arts, with Begel joining her the following year. In 2006, degree in hand, he continued working with the Trak studio (where he had competed his vocational training) and she began work with Pierre-Elie Coursac. With the support of a dynamic network, the duo quickly began working on some serious projects, which allowed them to set up a studio and build up their client base.

Identity and approach The objective of Making Things Public is clear (and leads to a few pronunciation problems in France). The name partly comes from Begels degree project, which examined how the law is symbolically represented in the public space. Graphic design is conveying a message, and we work to make sure that the message is received, no matter who is sending it. Ever since they received their rst client (an accountant followed by a training centre), Carpentiero and Begel have emphasized human relationships. They try hard to understand the clients work environment and soak up the persons passions and dedication to his profession. Out of this special and personalized designer/client relationship comes an original design for each project that is thoughtful and perfectly adapted to the context. Working as a pair means we cant just be satised with our first reaction, and we cant just use our first idea, because we have to persuade the other person. Their

Above: Making Things. July 2010. A 105 x 150 mm format postcard in which the studio presents an ABC of things they could possibly make. The typography is called Double Mixte (this is bold/light, but it also comes in bold/regular).

Right: New contemporary art policy for the RhneAlpes region. September 2008. Building on the hypothesis that it is difficult to create a unique image that synthesizes contemporary art, the studio worked on a flexible,

structural solution that adapts to any support or message. The proposition plays on our perception and idea of a work in progress.

Right: ESAG. January 2010. Creation of a brochure for ESAG (School of Art) Grenoble. The brochure is divided into two leaflets: the first has general information about life at the school and the second explains the enrolment process. It contains three detachable sheets, one for each course.

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working methods are different, but each complements the other. Begel has a fondness for typography and black and white; Carpentiero prefers paper and colour. I place a lot of importance on the object itself, the feel of the paper, its qualities, its format and whether its functional or not. Normally one of us gets given a particular project and the other person is there to provide an objective point of view. Were not in symbiosis, were in conict!

References In Making Things Publics apartment/office in the La Guillotire district, a small printout entitled How To Work Better, by Peter Fischli & David Weiss, hangs over the work area. The library is well-stocked. Theres a selection of some of the best Swiss books (Hot Love, 2009), Designing Book s by Jost Hochuli, although no one name stands out as a mentor. Our research and inuences depend upon the project, the object and the meaning were looking for. Lately, some not very well-known work from the Swiss studio Norm, by Cornel Windlin and Philippe Millot, made an impression on us, as well as some of the paintings by John Baldessari at the Tate Modern. Apart from specialized graphic design books, we now buy books as objects in themselves were becoming kind of geeky book collectors.

The status of graphic designers To avoid getting stuck into the freelance graphic designer routine after seven years living and working together, Making Things Public are looking for new opportunities to experiment and work with other people. This kind of additional input is important to get around the constrictions of always working for a client, and gives them a chance to see and/or produce different things. They say that after you hit 35 you live off what you already know. Who knows if well still be graphic designers when were 70? Carpentiero also has a job as a communications ofcer for the city of Bron. Each day she deals with her growing need to communicate as well as being part of the decision-making process. In addition, she has a creative outlet where she can produce objects, experiment and carry out research into things like her folded books (see photos on page 29) and can get away from the screen. Begel teaches at the Bellecour School of Applied Arts. In his own time, he spends as much time as possible on typographic research. What is a graphic designer? Thats the question we keep coming back to. Even if graphic designers are gaining better recognition these days, most people have no idea of the skills that are required, especially when we compare ourselves to a country like Switzerland, where the domain is really anchored in the culture. But I should add that the grass isnt always greener on the other side The problem with image-making is that is remains highly subjective. So Making Things Public is trying to be more rational, sensible, well-behaved, but not strict. There are a lot of new ideas emerging, even in mainstream advertising. Being invited into museums is proof that the domain is becoming better recognized: like the Translation exhibition by Studio M/M (Paris) at the Palais de Tokyo, which makes connections between ne art, design, fashion and graphic design. Its probably crossing over into the art world that is going to really help graphic design.

Journes art contemporain (Contemporary Art Days) 2010. A6 page when closed, A3 when open + Decaux poster. The design approach for the identity makes the city of Grenoble into a gigantic exhibition space with 16 galleries. The Decaux poster is designed as a museum floorplan with signage. The abstruse signage indicates the multiple paths you can take.

Far left: Upper Shoes. May 2008. Brand identity. Design for a logo using identities from the two outlets of one of Lyons luxury shoe stores. Left: Fader. November 2007. Two double-page spreads for a special issue of the monthly

magazine Fader on Africa (no. 52). The map presents prominent African artists, their countries of origin, languages and musical styles. Cross-hatching is used to show different languages on the map (left) and the artists musical style (right). The specially designed Nemo Censetur type was also used for initials at the beginning of articles.

Above: Composition X, XI... 2009-2010. Personal project.

A series of photographs of symbols made out of paperbacks with folded pages.

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Les Graphiquants

How was Les Graphiquants formed? RR: Maxime and I met at the decorative arts school ENSAD in Paris. The benets of working together as a team during our degree gave us the idea to set up a studio together. Cyrils a friend who has always been particularly attentive to issues raised by my applied arts background. After ve years as production manager in a design products company, he became the third member of Les Graphiquants. MT: After a very serious career path and an applied statistics degree, Franois (our next door neighbour) set up a company specializing in multimedia. We started working with him on web projects and later asked him to join the team. What are the advantages of your structure (two graphic designers, one multimedia manager, one communications manager and a production manager)? RR: Maxime and I dream of the perfect structure to support our creative work. But this has to be a viable structure nancially. The advantages of our current structure are just starting to show. Allowing greater creative freedom is the rst priority in all the decisions we make. Part of our time is devoted to private orders, which represents 70 per cent of our revenue. For these projects our organiszational structure really makes sense. FD: To our clients, the team seems to be organized a lot like an agency: AD, web design, web project management and production overview. We are organized to meet the markets


Can some of your success stories (competitions, calls for proposals) be attributed to the fact that your team isnt just made up of graphic designers? CT: Most of our winning proposals were in the cultural domain. On these, its the quality of our graphic design and creative work and the ability to communicate ideas that is important. When we work in other business sectors, the clients are more convinced by our proposals if we talk about them using more traditional communication techniques. Its a comforting balance for clients. RR: With Cyril and Franois on the team, we [designers] can spend precious time on experimental work. This improves our focus and our state of mind; our time is devoted solely to design matters. This provides us with a strict working environment and also improves our social skills: when Franois arrived at the studio, so did days off, weekends and holidays! How do you work as a team? RR: We adapt the set-up to suit our requirements, working alone or with one, two or three other people, depending on the size of the project. Bringing Cyril in on the creative work has allowed us to put on an exhibition, publish work and create a platform to present our work: La Graphiquerie. But work on cultural projects is an area that remains strictly

The Centre Pompidou Paris, the branch in Metz, CNAP youve been doing more and more collaborative projects with the art world and in the cultural domain. How do you explain this? RR: Our studio has integrated recurring cultural projects into its organizational strategy, as a driving force. Working with people who understand and respect our profession is really satisfying. MT & RR: Today, we can only really point out whats been happening: the Centre Pompidou-Metz is the rst

Your work is full of tactile processes (folding, cut-outs, 3-D, scribbles...): is this a Graphiquants trademark? MT & RR: Our nal degree project was to design publicity and visual communication materials for a collective

Four boys! Isnt that a bit complicated sometimes? All: At lunchtime, its quite practical: four cheeseburgers, cooked rare, please!

Les Graphiquants
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Who are the studios and graphic designers that have inuenced you the most? MT & RR: We grew up with and were huge fans of the Grapus collective, Franois Miehe in particular. We admire their political engagement and way of challenging people through images. We keep a careful eye on what M/M (Paris) are doing because of their artistic innovation, and have always loved Karel Teige. We both like Helmos work too.

How do you manage to make calls for proposals cost efcient? Do you have a code of business ethics? CT: Yes, we do have a code of ethics. We are very careful about where institutions like the CNAP stand on the subject of unpaid work. Today, we allow ourselves to reject a call for proposals if there is no nancial compensation. But to be completely honest, we started out accepting everything that came along and covering any nancial losses... MT & RR: One of the two graphic designers is put in charge of the call for proposals and works on it individually. Most of the nancial compensation never really covers the cost of our investment anyway; the three other Graphiquants members keep other projects going to subsidize the proposal in a certain way. This balance allows us to remain cost effective.

How do you make use of printing and manufacturing qualities? MT & RR: Our training at ENSAD allowed us to experiment with all sorts of media: screen printing, photography, and even engraving and textile design. The relationship with touch, manipulation and colour quality is very important in our design. The work for the Familistre de Guise makes more sense once it is screenprinted on steel panels. The bent white corners of the Chefs-duvre? catalogue only come alive when theyre printed on Munken Print paper, with its very apparent grain. CT: We are just as demanding in production as we are in design. For that matter, we dont give the client free rein in production and insist on an allotted budget to produce high quality. We are prepared to reduce our fee so that they invest more on manufacturing.

Do you identify with any art movements? MT & RR: Bauhaus mixed with Dada, with a little of the surrealism of Pop Art concerning grey.

current needs with a multidisciplinary team that can work in several media. As a result, we can manage projects entirely in-house, from design to completion. MT & RR: This strength comes from our individual differences, but our vision and creative sensibility unite us. We strive to bring graphic design to subjects it doesnt usually deal with, placing an emphasis on the quality of our work, no matter who the client is.

for graphic designers. Were not one brain with two sets of hands; we approach things differently. Were really lucky that our two thought processes always come together in the end and its often at this point that the project begins. Our job of keeping in contact with private clients relies on Franois organizational skills. He is the ideal counterbalance in the designer/client relationship and he helps us to encourage companies and brands towards a more original image or communication concept, free from the constraints imposed by marketing. MT: For Internet projects, we work mostly with Franois. We do the AD work, being careful to imbue it with our graphic style. The advantage is that were continually discussing things with him and sometimes push the technical limits of the Web!

large institution to place their trust in us. Claire Bonnevie, the centres curator, asked us to compete for the Chefsduvre? exhibition catalogue. We took part, and our proposal was selected for the exhibition signage. After meeting the scenographer, Jasmin Oezcebi, in Metz, we made a proposal for Mondrian-De Stijl show at the Centre Pompidou-Paris. The CNAP approached us after they saw the work we did on the Familistre de Guise with Sabine Rosant (for three years). MT: Our personal research sates our desire for freshness, vitality and creativity. The raw design that we obtain is channelled and reinterpreted in our client-based work. I imagine that this approach naturally speaks to people from the art world more.

of theatre troupes. We played with the idea of staging within the paper space. We printed a composition and then photographed it, after making a series of cut-outs with layering and lighting effects. We wanted to show viewers the nuts and bolts of our work, as if it were a show at the theatre. The poster is a stage, a window into a place, a moment, a type of light, with all its magic and imperfections. This relationship between the object and the image remains fundamental. We are denitely not illustrators, but stage directors. We need living things, we dont invent anything, we arrange it within a frame. All of our typefaces are actually objects before they become letters, our photos are decors and the graphic design is the stage directions for actors.

If you were a typeface, which one would you be? MT: A typeface with lots of bold. RR: History by Peter Bilak: An ultra-geometric structure and the possibility of innite enhancements.

Contreversions. Photographic composition based on the horizon. Two images are layered to create a line connecting two spaces, but which is the reflection of the other? A Contreversion is a photographic dialogue that plays on random similarities between two images, a conversation

full of contradictions that leads to a new image in an imaginary landscape... figurative irregularity. Contreversions is an editorial project from the Graphiquerie based on a photographic project by Les Graphiquants. Printed as a book of detachable images on sale at la-graphiquerie.fr.

Les Graphiquants

CNAP. Business report for the CNAP (National Visual Arts Centre). Our work concentrates on the boundaries

between immediately understanding numerical data and the complex and nearly ornamental richness of diagrams.


Below: Graphic design for the signage at the Mondrian-De Stijl exhibition at Centre Pompidou-Paris. 2010. Design for a 3-D heading created through a play on

light and shadow. The black outline on the edge of each letter is a reference to Mondrian and De Stijls artistic styles. Above and right: Rejected proposal.

Graphic design for book on the architecture section for the opening exhibition at Centre Pompidou-Metz. 2010.

Echoing architectural constraints related to the shape of land, the running text is printed in two columns punctuated by invisible objects within the text. Placed against

a black background, the object on the cover teeters between a 3-D rendering and a plan view. It evokes the transition from one to the other at the heart of architecture.

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Which are your favourite studios? MT & RR: Frdric Teschner, M/M (Paris), Helmo.

A book that never gets old? MT: ABZ: More Alphabets and Other Signs, by Julian Rothenstein and Mel Gooding, printed by Chronicle Books, San Francisco. RR: The catalogue for the 20th International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont (Pyramyd, 2009).

Double-page spread: Kamchatka. Visual communication for Galerie Kamchatka (3rd arrondissement of Paris) for exhibitions from 2007 to 2010, representing ten or so different artists.

Les Graphiquants

Above: Folding. Poster for the Folding/PapierMachine group exhibition including all of the gallerys artists. 2010. Composition of photocopied paper with cut-outs. Left: Hybrid Territories. Exhibition poster for three artists, Joan Ayrton, Gregory Chatonsky and Bas Zoontjens. 2010.


Les Graphiquants

Disparition des corps. Exhibition poster for two artists: Rachel Labastie and Nicolas Delprat. 2009. Typographic design.

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A quote about images? MT: The image is a truth to handle with delicacy (Les Graphiquants). RR: Can we make the text bigger with more red? (a client).

Right: Brochure of the Graphiquants portfolio. Below: Metrobus Floating. Collaboration initiated by Franois Kenesi: Metrobus/Mdiatransport gave us the opportunity to take over empty advertising spaces. The project is about the pure and simple representation of materials: folded and unfolded paper, no message, no scaling.

Les Graphiquants

Your favourite film? MT: You, the Living (Roy Andersson, 2007). RR: Louise-Michel (Gustave Kervern, Benot Delpine, 2008).

Familistre de Guise. 2010. Exhibition panels and signage in collaboration with Sabine Rosant. Right and lower right-hand page: Views of the exhibition.


Above: Familistre de Guise. 2010. Pure exercise in teaching. We had to search for the teaching elements in each theme and bring them into harmony with the scientific and historical data (like tables and figures or statistical diagrams) to stimulate, question, explain, identify with, rationalize and play with. Each illustration is born out of immense complexity and lays out its information with a concern for clarity and simplicity within the dense and varied graphic universe of Godins utopia.

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Do you have any advice for our readers? MT: Check your corrections. RR: Resist requests for bigger, more red!

From 20 November to 5 December 2010, the seventh International Design Biennial at Saint-tienne made itself at home in a refurbished Cit. Within was the cole suprieure dart et design, which created the event and then filled its new venue with N-1 2010. Research and Experimentation in Graphic, Digital and Acoustic Design, an exhibition dedicated to graphic design in French and international art schools. Here is an analysis of the exhibition and of some students projects made during a visit to the Biennial and a meeting with its three curators, Emmanuel Tibloux, Jean-Marie Courant and Samuel Vermeil.
By Vanina Pinter and Isabelle Moisy

N-1 2 010

Aurore Chass

In the centre of one wing of the Saint-tienne Design Biennial, the N-1 exhibition was symbolically located in a cautious no-mans-land which ultimately proved convincing. This second edition (the first being in 2008) strengthened the biennials presence thanks to its curators, Emmanuel Tibloux, director of the cole des Beaux-Arts of Saint-tienne; Jean-Marie Courant, graphic designer and teacher at the Enba Lyons and ESAD Saint-tienne; and Samuel Vermeil, teacher at the ERBA Valence and ESAD Saint-tienne. The event provided a sort of rendezvous worth turning into a regular occurrence, a place for exchanges between student projects and a professional and amateur public and above all between object design and graphic design. Entitled N-1, it intended drawing some of its negative and substractive value with regard to three-dimensional design (product or object). It also set out to assert complementarity and added value. The exhibition presented 21 projects from 13 French and international schools. The theme, Experimentation in

Altered Perception, was announced on the invitation to participate and in the general catalogue produced by Frdric Tacer (:161). In the actual projects, the diversity of means of elaboration in this discipline emerged even more clearly: a discipline that is increasingly fine and complex and questioned from every point of view by its adepts. A layout by Franois Bauchet and Benjamin Graindorge, responsible for the overall biennial, and the signage and posters specific to N-1, entrusted to Romain Dumas, a student at the ESAD of Saint-tienne, made the exhibition stand out in the heart of the biennial. The projects of graduates, postgraduates and designers from research workshops left their scholastic surroundings for a professional (or even artistic) presentation in a public venue. The projects were not revealed in full: only one aspect or a part of the research was highlighted. This coherence assured greater attention for each and, overall, bore witness to the vitality of the art schools involved. With its targeted and typographical experimentation, acoustic and perspective design and through its integration of new technologies and exploration of traditional techniques, this graphic design probed out society and invited it to envisage new ways forward. The inaugural Friday provided the occasion for a meeting and discussion with the curators around the issues at stake in this initiative, and for a series of questions arising from the new directions taken by art schools (:185).

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Could you explain the objectives of N-1 and the method employed to select the students projects? SV: An invitation to take part was sent out by the school of Saint-tienne in February to other French and foreign schools. We received about 100 projects. We then contacted acquaintances in schools from which we had had no reply. JMC: The first edition enjoyed critical acclaim. It is important now to make N-1 a regular event, so that the exhibition can provide as comprehensive an overview as possible of the present situation as regards graphic and digital creation. SV: We would like it to become a tool, a means of giving visibility to the projects produced within the different schools. ET: The Design Biennial has long been a rendezvous associated with product design, and there was little or nothing looking at graphic or digital design. We found

a context suitable for the exhibition offering another, less than three-dimensional design; thats one of the reasons for N-1. Another is to bring together projects by young people: students in art schools or recent graduates. Do you examine the submissions together? How do you judge the quality, or excellence, of a project? ET: This year we accepted 21 projects, but arent bound by numbers. We have one simple rule: no more than three projects per school. To some extent, its a question of networks. For instance, we have established close relations with the Piet Zwart Institute; it brings to bear a highly stimulating concept of research in graphic design, in which the interaction of designs and the links between the aesthetic and political dimensions are considered to a remarkable degree. SV: I dont defend graphic excellence. I far prefer

In a clear continuity with the work undertaken by Aurore Chass (they worked together prior to this, notably on the N+1 publication), Romain Dumas (ESAD Saint-tienne) imposed a force on the visual identity of N-1, for which he was responsible, with a grey monochrome, whereas the identity of the overall event was multicoloured. Pursuing the overall spirit and optical effect associated with the set of impressions from the 2008 edition, he proposed large boards linking each of the projects. The collective exhibition was thus linked together by this formal cohesion. For the curators, the identity and its supports matched the ambitions of the exhibition and its intention to stimulate reflection. Graphic design has to be experimented with even within the work for a commission. Left: Poster for the N-1 exhibition by Romain Dumas. Far left, top: View of the exhibition with the projects of Sarah Martinon (left), Jennifer Savignon (centre) and Lionel Catelan (in the background). Photos: Isabelle Moisy, Romain Dumas, Sandrine Binoux.

to defend the proposal of a student in which not everything is necessarily pertinent. What Im interested in is the manner in which students come to the fore, the subjects they tackle, the tools they make use of. I would like to defend the diversity of forms of expression. The goal is to make this happen. JMC: I agree with this idea that Samuel supports. But it seems to me that excellence is not a luxury one could choose to do without completely. If excellence were omnipresent around us, we could decide that something like N-1 wouldnt have to worry about it. Of course, wed have to agree as to what we meant by that term. I believe that art schools can be places in which certain forms of excellence are developed that have no or little currency outside. But this term evokes rather too much some agricultural competition or distribution of prizes And clearly, its not in this direction that we wish to invest Research can take different avenues; in some cases, it suggests leav-

ing the question of achievement suspended and thus allowing space for strange objects, objects undergoing development, which it would be hard to evaluate favourably in terms of excellence. Elsewhere, research can be associated with the question of a certain form of achievement, a certain idea of precision, a care for detail, an intelligence in form which, although not pure dexterity with no further aim, merits attention... Isnt it rather problematic that one school should judge the choices of other schools? ET: Samuel teaches at Valence and Saint-tienne, Jean-Marie at Lyons and Saint-tienne, I am a former director of the school of Valence and we are now all three at Saint-tienne. But theres nothing to stop someone from another school joining us. The school of art and design of Saint-tienne is responsible for this project thanks to the fact that we get on together and to the means offered by the Biennial in terms

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Nous sommes (We Are). Underlying this animation by Valentin Barry (ERBA Valence) are four primary forms: a triangle, circle, square and rectangle, which all serve to build a modular typography, created and cancelled constantly. The phrase it brings out can be read intermittently. This typographic exercise takes on breadth as a result of its sound-based dimension. Each form is associated with a sound. The synesthesia is all the stronger because in N-1, Nous sommes was projected in large format within a cube plunged in darkness. The black-andwhite abstract compositions are marked by a gradual unveiling of the whole: nous sommes lempreinte dun son / qui se rpand dans lespace / limpulsion rythme nos apparitions / le silence nous efface / la fusion de tous les sons / nous devenons combinaisons (We are the trace of a sound / spreading through space / the impulse marks a rhythm to our apparitions /silence erases us / in the fusion of all sounds / we become combinations).


of logistics and of visibility. The important thing is to be within a community of shared interests and plurality of points of view, which dilutes the authority of the curators to the benefit of that of the projects themselves. JMC: Our aim is not so much to propose a record of achievements as to try to give an overview of the forms of research being done in art schools. Of course, the projects are chosen and then displayed for themselves, but also because within the exhibition, they illustrate certain practices. This is what we strive to do with the projects we receive. For me, its like a sort of publishing or editorial work, which develops from what we are sent. Besides, I believe that its here that our project could gain in breadth: it seems that a lot of things are still missing from this landscape we offer. And as Emmanuel Tibloux pointed out, its a question of network. The network of contributors is still a little too limited.

In the general catalogue of the Biennial, you announce a theme, Experimentation in Altered Perception, but is this not rather imperceptible in the actual exhibition? ET: The theme is something I wanted, because I was conscious of a relationship between the exhibition and the Biennials theme. But the projects submitted did not necessarily fall within the scope of this theme, and the exhibition was mounted from the material we were sent. SV: For my part, the subtitle, Research and Experimentation in Graphic, Digital and Acoustic Design, is sufficient in itself. Of course, we can see some projects presented that are attuned to the direction taken by the 2010 edition. But I felt the theme of the last Biennial teleportation was something of a constraint, because it gave rise to a commission. The prime objective is to highlight the activities of the students: What questions are debated today?

At the centre of the exhibition is the reading room planned by the three curators. A place for exchanging views and of calm within the bustle of a very busy biennial, it also provided the venue for consultation with regard to the publishing part of N-1. On the first desk lie some politically committed books, such as Iran Bank by Sara Dabbagh, those by Aurore Chass on artists books, publications, brochures and collective projects from Architecture et typographie, the research workshop led by Jean-Marie Courant at the ENBA in Lyons. Opposite, books by Stphanie Vilayphiou, a student at the Piet Zwart Institute in the Netherlands. Experimental reappropriations from Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451, the students works gathered together under the name of Blind Carbon Copy explore the legislative and financial conditions and issues concerning access to knowledge in the era of the Internet and new information technologies and communications in a new way. Photos: Valentin Barry, Stphanie Vilayphiou and Isabelle Moisy.

What are they working on? With what objectives? JMC: I also think that the subtitle is more than sufficient to describe our project. How did you tackle the exhibition design? Did you meet the students? ET: Concerning the technical side of things, we divided up the various proposals amongst ourselves. We met the exhibition designers Franois Bauchet and Benjamin Graindorge, responsible for the overall look of the Biennial and of this show and then, as far as possible, the installation of each project was discussed with the students. We may not show exactly what they would have liked, but made choices on the basis of their propositions. Each project is particularly dense and could fill the space available three times over. The selection made was both precise as regards each project and general as regards the whole show.

JMC: Yes, I think its important here to stress the way the layout and look developed. Franois and Benjamin arrived with a very attractive visual proposal that was well suited to the place and to our project. But they were intelligent enough also to build the space in common agreement with us. They brought their vocabulary, and together we built up the syntax. And this, of course, was built around the projects themselves: the space attributed to each project was planned on the basis of each of these. Which is quite a luxury in this field Given the lack of time and means, however, it was not possible for us to meet each of these students. But we tried hard, where necessary, to establish with them the way their work was to be exhibited. SV: We tried to build a general picture presenting the diversity of their styles. I like the idea that graphic design, even in a broad sense, is envisaged as a language, capable of coming up with very different state-

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Under the direction of Franois Chastanet at the cole suprieure des beaux-arts in Toulouse, Laure Afchain and Graud Soulhiol, in collaboration with Alejandro Lo Celso, drew up a typographic system called Garonne for the identity of the city of Toulouse. With its five fonts, the project was carried forward to the point that it could be used by the town. At the heart of the exhibition, the recto and verso of a poster-booklet (including one with a large G, also available to visitors), are displayed next to each other: a reproduction of the Mtropoles et mentalit article by Georg Simmel, philosopher and sociologist, which was first published in Germany in 1903. This copy was one of 1.500 copies printed in October 2010. The French text uses the italic version of the Garonne font. Laure Afchain, Graud Soulhiol, Alejandro Lo Celso.

ments. For once, it was interesting to have students at different stages of their studies as our interlocutors; some are in their third year, others have finished in the past two or three years. With hindsight, from your different points of view as graphic designers, professors and curators, what did you perceive in the projects submitted? SV: Students and the field of design are becoming more and more autonomous, and a certain liberty is taken with regard to commissions and the economy. The time spent at a school is a profitable one for experimentation. We are a long way from the immediacy and professionalism witnessed in the 1980s and 1990s. I dont know if thats enough to say that its a current trend. ET: Its a sign, a characteristic of design as seen and taught in art schools. In other words, with a need and


within a framework implying a remoteness and independence with regard to the commission: in short, a critical stance. And art school corresponds precisely to this moment and position in which graphic design is critical, to regain a category that tapes has explored in the form of correspondence between Gilles Rouffineau and Thierry Chancogne. In this sense, there is not a single project that we presented that is not critical graphic design. And thats what interests all three of us: this capacity on the part of the designer to take a step back, to think through his or her work, to be a part of history and to assert him- or herself as a creator in a more or less timid or assertive fashion. JMC: I would add just one other reservation on this recourse to the notion of creator. If some forms of research in graphic design lead some students to adopt an authors approach, I think that the time is over to consider that the only honourable goal for a student in graphic arts is to be an author. A premise

Le Journal des finances (The Financial Journal). Eight overlaid glass plates, etched using hydrofluoric acid and mirror ink and a financial journal. A contradictory item, this single journal demands some account of the unstoppable flow of speculations, these graphic and perpetually saturated systems from its weekly pendant. While the glass plates question time the time of truth and the interest of information the etched impression provides a venue for the opacity and abstraction of silver as colour. With their extraordinary publications of which the journal is one Charles Beaut and Juliette Goiffon (ESAD Strasbourg) aim to question the use of paper as medium and reading in the digital age. http://leseditionsextraordinaires.fr Photos: Charles Beaut and Juliette Goiffon.

pervades some schools (which should be subjected to criticism), namely, that an intelligent graphic designer must necessarily become an author. This premise continues to produce some rather disastrous effects within the field of schools and of the professions. Other figures must surely be as desirable and can constitute equally glorious objectives: the figure of publisher, for instance. SV: With hindsight, now that the exhibition is over, we realize that many of the projects are immediate and highly artistic, in keeping with the format of the exhibition. Grasping other, more complex projects (Blind Carbon Copy, Architecture & Typography) requires more time. The former can provide the means to attain the latter. With regard to the final layout of the exhibition, how do you view or feel about graphic designs central

yet distinct position within a design biennial? ET: Graphic and digital design are taking up more and more space in the Biennial. This was already true in 2008. I can see a phenomenon of expansion, of spread. But we stand out because of a shared reference to the artistic field. In N-1 nothing is set down; everything is hung. Moreover, we are located on the side of the essential, the uncluttered, in an attitude consisting of cutting away, of removing. We want the exhibition to be a zone of calm within the noise of the Biennial. Hence the reading room, a space of silence and reflection. SV: This openness to graphic design is also, I believe, a desire shared with other players in the Biennial and school. Given the shared work of three operators from three different schools, can the exhibition appear exemplary with regard to the current

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evolution of schools towards becoming EPCCs [tablissements publics de coopration culturelle Public Institutions for Cultural Cooperation] and, more simply, groupings of schools? ET: In Rhne-Alpes, there is no single EPCC, but on the other hand, we do have a tradition of networks of schools in the form of the ADERA [Association des directeurs des coles dart de Rhne-Alpes Association of Directors of Art Schools in the RhneAlpes Region], which works very well. SV: It is worth noting that it has a publishing policy. Every year, it publishes a catalogue on the work of an artist who has graduated from one of the art schools, and the conception of this is given to a graphic designer from one of the same schools. JMC: An event was organized in Lyons last spring about this question of publishing: Points of View,1 organized jointly by the schools of Grenoble, Lyons,

Saint-tienne and Valence. This project too was supported by the ADERA. It was a good example of working together. And further back in time, we can remember the DDD.AAA 2 event, which already grouped these same schools together around a single event dedicated to graphic design and publishing. ET: Our schools show a marked interest for design, and graphic design in particular, at different levels of specificity. There is a certain objective orientation to which a play of affinities is grafted. The visual identity of the Cit du design and of the cole suprieure dart et design de Saint-tienne was, for example, conceived by Valence, and thats no coincidence. And nor was it a coincidence that the publications of the Cit du design should include one by Annick Lantenois, who teaches at Valence. Its a blend of affinities, of tacit agreement and of community. The events are created within a setting of friendship, of work and of pleasure. We are in a privileged region in

Posters by Cruche Crew (Elsa Audouin, Elena Germain, Maurice Lopes and Agathe Nicolas), a collective of students from the cole des beauxarts, Lyons. The project was initially presented at the Festival des Nuits sonores, in Lyons (12-16 May 2009). Each poster is based on a process called playlistory: starting with the title of a song, the idea is to compose a story, poem or slogan. The playlist then becomes the material for a textual collage. Members of the collective and their guests pool their energies and efforts to write the texts and design the graphic layout. Playlistory St Etienne Design Biennial 2010

Whats wind drawing ? This project comes from a digital research workshop conducted by Franois Brument, Damien Bais and Grard Vrot in 2009 at the cole suprieure dart et design of Sainttienne. In blowing on five hybrid windmills, the process imagined by the students (Johann Aussage, Nelly Corsano, Loris Craspag, Irina Furby, Lo Marius and Clment Rib) allows a graphic interpretation of the movements of the wind, which appears on LCD screens. Each student was to imagine a device to capture these movements and a software programme using the data received. Starting from a changing immaterial phenomenon, the project explores the production of a form a drawing which is not the result of a voluntary action but of an interaction regulated between the wind and a device that captures, transcribes and generates.

which the professional field is especially widespread. The question of the visual environment is vital, and we have a lot of museums and a real artistic scene. A sizeable number of our graduates stay in the region. What is the educational interest of an exhibition like this for the teachers and the students? SV: The students are also the public targeted. The exhibition is an opening, an opportunity to project oneself into some examples, a way of seeing how ideas are set forth and questions formulated. This year in the reading room, we showed some dissertations, either for their plastic quality, or for the writing or for the definition of a research area. These are the elements that other students can appropriate for themselves. As with the ADERA publications, the students can project themselves and say that it will be their turn in two years time. It is both an educational tool and a driving force.

What is your position with regard to the writing of a dissertation for a DNSEP [Diplme national suprieur dexpression plastique National higher diploma in the plastic arts]? SV: We took part in these dissertations too. Itll take time to put together and will have to be rethought very soon; the students have to start writing from their first years. We have agreed to handle this work in the field of design. Thats perhaps harder in the art option. The history of graphic design is in its infancy and requires writing. We need to start training people who will write about graphic design tomorrow. Is this way of thinking shared by the three schools? SV: There are [individual] school cultures; each seeks and implements solutions that suit it. Later, ways of thinking will doubtless circulate more easily between

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Within the framework of her DNSEP, Aurore Chass (ESAD Saint-tienne) effected some research into artists books. Her study, retranscribed in her dissertation, titled Une histoire graphique du livre, aims to stress the specific nature of artists books (in comparison, especially, with illustrated books). Artists books are works in themselves, designed to be reproducible and generally accessible. With this intention of making these works circulate and to strip away their secrets with her graphic designer eyes, Chass began to collect (self-published) books, posters and postcards. Thus, in Courtesy of artists who do books (Cheap books collection), she traces out a chronological development in the dotted lines of some artists books (Ed Ruscha), preserved in the library of the Muse dArt et de Design of Saint-tienne. Far from reproducing the pages of the book, she selects, unframes and moves them. This metapublication questions the artists book as object, its distribution and its graphic content. In effect, the graphic designer, as a nod to his reference works, favours offset printing, cheap production and a rudimentary graphic appearance. Her publications are distributed free of charge in exchange for a postage stamp. http://aurorechasse.free.fr/ Css/acpublications.html Photos: Aurore Chass.

different schools, even though most teachers are already talking a lot to each other about this subject. What news of the N+1 publication, the graphic conception of which has been entrusted to a former student, Aurore Chass? ET: It was produced a year after the biennial and is a sort of extension of the exhibition. Our intention is to show that the exhibition is something more than ephemera for the eyes only; rather it is an event to explore further and a stimulant to greater reflection on the subject. JMC: Its also an opportunity to work with students on a demanding publishing project: indeed, Aurore Chass was still a student at the school when she worked on it, in collaboration with Romain Dumas (who was responsible for the design of the exhibitions visual identity in 2010). I find it interesting to consider the publication and the exhibition as two phases, two

different but complementary sides of a single project. This reflected correlation of the forms of the publication and of the exhibition is a field that is still little explored. N-1 and N+1 are also as yet modest attempts to investigate this area.

1. Organized by Alex Balgiu, Ludovic Burel, Jean-Marie Courant and Samuel Vermeil in May 2010, the twoday Points of View symposium explored the forms of contemporary publishing at the ENBA in Lyons. 2. DDD.AAA was the name of a symposium and exhibition organized in 2008 at the ERBA in Valence by Ludovic Burel, Jean-Marie Courant and Annick Lantenois.


In 2008, Aurore Chass produced the graphic identity for the Design Biennial of Saint-tienne (posters and boards). In line with the posters she produced for the school (including those for the conference by Paul Cox), she sees posters as a serial article, which can be multiplied on a wall with a typographical simplicity and force of repetition. Through a play of layers of impressions, the boards appear on these posters without end. The visual identity makes use of only these two printed items to invade the space and impose itself. Left: Issue n 1 is a pre-cut newspaper that can be unfolded to offer a poster and reveal four double pages of artists books from the library of the Muse dArt moderne in Saint-tienne. Below: Courtesy of artists who do books.

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7-inch (re)squared
There may not be any more perfect iteration of graphic communication than the cover of a seven-inch single. Affordable, coveted, collectable this vinyl format has always been an indispensable missive of pop culture, at home with every subculture since the 1960s. Digital technology may have threatened its very existence, but graphic designers and indie labels were never going to give it up. And now it is making new waves...
By Yolanda Zappaterra

On 31 March 2009, the seven-inch single celebrated its 60th birthday. During the first three months of this year, the London-based independent music retailer Rough Trade revealed a sales surge of 17.5 per cent, having prepared its racks for the third international Record Store Day. On show was an impressive array of singles, their sleeves displaying a wealth of imaginative design. It was like the heyday of independent label design back in the 1970s and 80s all over again. Thats when the sleeves of seven-inch singles were acclaimed as masterpieces of alternative design, dominated by a DIY (do-it-yourself) punk aesthetic that grew out of, and visually reflected, the anti-establishment ideology behind the music. Independent labels, run by cash-strapped bands and fans, called in art student friends to devise sleeves that evoked a new age of creativity and rebellion; those art student friends included Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville, Jamie Reid and, progressing into the post-punk era, Neville Brody.

Savilles work for Factory Records, Garretts Buzzcocks sleeves, Brodys oeuvre for Fetish Records, and of course Reids collaboration with the Sex Pistols, all remain industry pinnacles. But, hundreds of other, equally arresting sleeves came out of that era. Often no more than black and white photocopies stapled, glued, scrawled over and folded, for bands such as Crass, Marine Girls, Fashion, Magazine, Alternative TV and Television Personalities, they looked as if theyd been made in someones bedroom because they often had been. The best of those sleeves connected perfectly with the punk fanzine Sideburns and its famous cover showing three chords with the scrawled admonishment now form a band. The cover is often incorrectly credited to Mark Perrys seminal but short-lived Punk fanzine Sniffin Glue (1976-77). The sentiment behind that image summed up the fast and furious spirit of punk and its transient nature. By the end of the 1970s, much of punk was absorbed and assimilated

into the mainstream music industry as a new style of pop. Meanwhile, those independent post-punk labels skewed off into all sorts of musical genres. Thanks in part to the arrival in the 1980s of desktop publishing, they developed design styles that were equally eclectic and wide-ranging and often the sleeves were handmade by the bands. Paco Mus of London-based independent label La Vida Es Un Mus recalls some highlights of the era: The DIY labels of the late 1970s and early 1980s made a lot of their sleeves by hand; folding, using stencils, rubber stamps and staples; Letraset and rudimentary colour separations were the norm. Dro Records worked with different paper stocks; ADK handcoloured their releases; the early United Dairies sleeves used stark black and white collages; and Attack Punk used and abused silkscreen printing to great effect. I loved all the graphics that came from Crass, from their heavyweight, stencilled corporate identity to Gee Vauchers black and white

drawings. I was especially influenced by ESPs motto printed on their releases: The artists alone decide what you will hear on their ESP-Disk. Today, the fashion for handmade sleeves is back with a vengeance, and for a number of reasons. According to some of the designers, label owners and bands involved in their creation, this return to the analogue acts as an antidote to the current immaterial, digitized reality. Sophie Kern, illustrator and designer of the sleeve for the Ten Bears single Braces, says, Lo-fi graphics and handmade artwork have become trendy because people feel theyre buying something that has been created thoughtfully, personally and with purpose. Meanwhile, Sam Lewis, a member of the band Planet Earth, believes this trend is A reflection on a world in which the actual product itself, the music, is essentially worthless. When you can copy and download music for free, the value disappears. People have to make the packaging special so

The Hornblower Brothers, Give And Receivers/ The Ghost of Kerouac, sleeve designed by Joe Torr.

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that fans have an incentive to actually buy it. And economics play a part, says Joe Torr, sleeve designer for the Hornblower Brothers.Bands and labels are having to find cheaper alternatives to large design companies. This has led to people producing handcrafted work with a more human feel to it. The world is saturated with manipulated, pristine imagery, so the only way to stand out is by going back to basics; a glue-stick-and-scissors revolt against Photoshop! For independent labels its all about survival and discovering how to get people to pay for their music. And what better way than by creating desirability through handmade, limited-edition artwork? At the vinyl-only independent label Fruit de Mer, which releases singles on coloured vinyl, limited to 300 copies, co-proprietors Keith Jones and Andy Bracken describe their aim. We make everything we release a little special, a little different, something we, as vinyl junkies, want to own. Were part of a growing movement to

extend recordings beyond vinyl and CD into the design and packaging that surrounds it, the complete package, using paper, inks, textures and colours creatively. We produce the antithesis of an MP3, which is machine music with no heart, no soul, no personality. To begin with, the label was as lo-fi as they come. The Fruit de Mer logo was designed by Joness son, while Bracken designed the sleeves and ran them off as single-colour print jobs on interesting A4 paper; the sleeves didnt even stretch all the way around a seven-inch single, Jones recalls. Not much has changed; they still handle the printing and production of the sleeves. Its still low-budget, wrap-around productions, very DIY, says Jones; and increasingly the design is done by the bands. Across the scene of independent labels, bands are playing a hands-on role in the design of their artwork, which goes some way to explaining the overwhelmingly DIY look and feel of this output. These amateur designers arent work-

Left: The Shitty Limits, Last Orders single, sleeve designed by the band on Paco Muss label La Vida Es Un Mus. Clockwise from right: MUS20 Delirium Tremens, Presagio de Muerte single, designed by Paco Mus. MUS30 Surrender, There Is No War, 3-track, 400 copies only, European tour single, sleeve designed by the band.

MUS40 Glam, debut six-track EP, sleeve designed by the band. MUS 38 Hygiene, Things That Dreams Are Made Of /Fixed Odds Betting Terminal single, one of four different sleeves designed for this recording designed by the band.

MUS27 Grupo Sub-1, Rebelde Wave single, first press 350 black and 150 green vinyl copies, sleeve designed by the band. All on Paco Muss label La Vida Es Un Mus.

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Below from left to right: Vibravoid, What Colour is Pink? EP, designed by the Vibravoids. Vibravoid, What Colour is Pink? insert postcard, designed by the Vibravoids.

Right: Schizo Fun Addict, single on Fruits de Mer. Far right: Ten Bears, Braces, sleeve designed and illustrated by Sophie Kern.

ing with a full range of fonts, or a complete understanding of Photoshop and In Design. Neither do they strive to use the latest, most sophisticated substrates and printing techniques. But what they lack in design knowledge and experience is what makes the end product so fresh and compelling. Design work by bands ensures a natural fit between the music and the artist, says Jones, and it brings into play character and other, more personal, elements. Us & Thems icy cover reflects their acid-folk sound and the fact that they come from Scandinavia. Vibravoids psychedelic sleeves reflect the band leader Christians whole lifestyle choice; its a psychedelic trip, and he designs them beautifully, says Jones. At La Vida Es Un Mus, the bands develop ideas, then the labels boss, Paco Mus, steps in with suggestions for the type of printing, stock and finish that will best suit. The labels output is, both musically and artistically, as wide-ranging as youd expect from such an

approach, making use of techniques and materials such as rubber stamps, screen printing over old stock and wraparound strips, and this eclecticism is echoed throughout the industry. Planet Earths two singles on the Young and Lost Club label, Bergman Movies/Big Babies and Falling Into Love/ What More, use Franois Marrys paintings on the sleeves. Band member Sam Lewis loves his work and wanted to give it exposure, exactly because it evokes the musics lo-fi sensibility. Paintings figure too in the Hornblower Brothers sleeves by Joe Torr, whose influences range from punk imagery to David Hockney. Torr works closely with the band and was keen to bring his rudimentary, handcrafted style to the mix. Meanwhile, a very different aesthetic, with paint manipulated onto a smooth, acetate-like surface, creating a dense, dark atmosphere, features on the work of Neats In Youth is Pleasure by band member Nick Boden. Output from the label Tough Love couldnt be more different, however,

encompassing scratchy graphics, Raymond Pettibon-style drawings and a grunge aesthetic. Its seen at its best in the labels Split series in which two bands appear on either side of a seven-inch single. The William/Calories split single, designed by Gordon Armstrong, clearly illustrates the diversity of the labels artwork, which is often created by the bands. Robin Silas, drummer with Male Bonding, designed sleeves for both his band and the Fair Ohs/Spectrals split, while Gavin Housley, lead singer with William, created an elegant, Saville-esque sleeve for the bands first single, Five Minute Wonder . Stephen Pietrzykowski of Tough Love is proud of the way sleeves reflect the bands and their songs. Theres a rugged, tangible charm that extends from sonics into the visual element, he says. We always begin from the perspective that if you are creating a physical product that is expensive to manufacture, it is important that you make it as beautiful as possible. In that respect we value form over

function, which is symptomatic of making vinyl in a digital age. Its a commodity fetishism of sorts, alongside the belief that music is an abstract thing that requires a physical, tangible form to make it meaningful. Lo-fi grunge can be seen to great effect on other recent releases too, in particular those of American band the Vivian Girls, designed by band member Cassie Ramone; and the Dirty Cuts single 2 Page Spread, designed by band member Matt Gallus. Harriet Seeds work for the Left With Pictures single Every Stitch Every Line, takes the lo-fi aesthetic in a different direction, with an illustration created by cutting stencils and hand-printing colours onto found papers, in this case previously used envelopes and paper bags. And, on another tack, for the cover of Deadly Syndromes Eucalyptus, German artist David Roeder used cut-outs, paint and wood to evoke what he describes as the bands old-timey aesthetic. It feels natural to me to work with real materials on my

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Clockwise from below: Fair Ohs, Spectrals sleeve, designed by Male Bonding drummer Robin Silas. Calories/William split single, sleeve designed by Gordon Armstrong.

Left With Pictures, Every Stitch Every Line, sleeve designed by Harriet Seed.

desk. It means fewer opportunities to waste time, since I cant change the size and colours that easily, so I concentrate on the possibilities of the objects, says Roeder. Such eclecticism of style suggests that lo-fi and DIY may be here for a while. And in a nicely circular way, its taking the purchase of independent music back to its basic beginnings, when indie record shops were hard to find, much of the music was bought via mail order, and when it arrived, a fans first and foremost emotional engagement was with the packaging. As Keith Jones at Fruit de Mer says, We hope that anyone who buys a new release from us looks forward to it arriving through the post, because the music and design makes a complete package.


Above: The Brute Chorus, Could This Be Love?, sleeve designed by Mo Coppoletta. Right: The Deadly Syndrome, Eucalyptus, designed by David Roeder.

Far right: Vivian Girls, My Love Will Follow Me single sleeve designed by band member Cassie Ramone.

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The Fernand-Baudin Prize 2009-2010. The Most Beautiful Books in Brussels and in Wallonia
Speculoos Book 22.5 x 30 cm 72 pages French, English and Dutch 12 The second edition of the Fernand-Baudin Prize leaves its mark in a superb book, whose artistic direction was in the hands of Alexia De Visscher, co-organizer of the competition and member of Speculoos. The cover presents some scattered texts, the impressions of Arianne Bosshard on the annual selection. The alternation of types of paper distinguishes the contents: data, photographs, scans or reports giving the object a high tactile value. Despite the small size of the region involved, the selection bears witness to a production quality marked by rigour, graphic intelligence, creativity and technical mastery, as shown by P. Huyghebaert, Salut public and M. Dechamps Otamendi, who all make use of experimentation, an implacable logic and uncompromising concepts. Belgian publishing is punching above its weight: with humility, it reminds us that a book is something to be held in the hands and its pages turned, not an exhibition piece. CB

Textura Dos. Buenos Aires Street Art

Matt Fox-Tucker and Guilherme Zauith Mark Batty Publisher 192 pages 21.5 x 26 cm English 25 This book is the result of six months of investigation conducted by Matt Fox-Tucker and Guilherme Zauith in 48 districts of Buenos Aires. An unmissable magnet for all of South America, and enjoying a tolerant policy with regard to urban art, the city offers a flourishing pictorial scene, with a wealth of contributions from numerous international artists. Illustrated with a collection of photographs taken in 2009 and 2010, Textura Dos sets out the history and evolution of graffiti in the Argentinian capital through the reports of its writers and its citizens. The book includes HD copyright-free images that can be downloaded from the Web. CP

Typo Lyrics. The Sound of Fonts

Slanted Birkhuser 22.5 x 28.5 cm 208 pages English 43 Typo Lyrics is a collection of tales published by Slanted, a webzine that invites graphic designers to propose an image for words lifted from some cult songs. Since the exercise proved highly popular with readers, Slanted has dedicated a publication to it including interviews and the works of 175 international graphic designers. From dith Piaf and Aphex Twin to Ella Fitzgerald, Duran Duran and Lady Gaga, the musical selection of F. Wiedemann (from the Innervisions label of Berlin) organizes the work by analogy with traditional typographic classification: krautrock with a monospace, classical with a serif, punk with a stencil font. Printed in monochrome, each booklet contains a different combination of inks and colours of paper, offering an attractive multicoloured whole, sometimes to the detriment of some of the images. MP

Gerrit Rietveld
Ida Van Zijl Phaidon Press 240 pages 29 x 25 cm English 75 This is the rst monograph about Gerrit Rietveld to be published in English. Ida Van Zijls work is an attractive book of 240 pages, published on the occasion of the retrospective dedicated to the Dutch designer and architect at Utrechts Centraal Museum (Netherlands) in 2010. A former pupil of the Rietveld Academie and assistant director of the museum, the author is also the editor of a catalogue published in 1992 of a selection of works which in part remained at the prototype stage. Only the Italian brand Cassina has for the past few years been reproducing the designers furniture, including

the famous Zig Zag chair. A leading exponent of the avant-garde De Stijl movement with Piet Mondrian and a member of the CIAM since 1928, Gerrit Rietveld was thanks to his experiments and unconventional vision of industrial design a major force in the development, teaching and thinking of architecture and design in the 20th century. Numerous illustrations, photographs and drawings from the archives of friends and family add to what is already a rich selection drawn from the museums own holdings. IM

The Future Issue. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books

Laurenz Bruner Swiss Federal Office of Culture 246 pages 23 x 30 cm English and German 35 For the contest to find the most beautiful Swiss books of 2010, the 2009 prizewinners are presented in a prestigious volume entitled The Future Issue, promoted by the Swiss Confederation. The layout design was given to Laurenz Brunner. The Swiss designer has created a work in two major sections: an introductory part with preface by Anisha Imhasly, interviews and investigation, and a second part with the presentation of the works selected for the 2009 edition, accompanied by images and the jurys comments. The changes of paper and typographical variations are sufficient to distinguish the different sections. At at time when, under the influence of the major publishers, book production is becoming increasingly standardized, The Most Beautiful Swiss Books helps to highlight the quality of Swiss graphic design. RRT

Wim Crouwel in his own words

Toon Lauwen Lauwen books 120 pages 17 12.5 cm English 7.95 The second title in the Ways of Thinking series, In his own words presents a selection of speeches and articles given by Wim Crouwel between 1974 and 2006. The preface to an exhibition catalogue, a conference at the ATypI congress or at a meeting of architects, the texts reveal a variety of approaches to design and constitute some high-quality historic source material. For Crouwel situates each piece within the references of its period without this knowledge encroaching upon adopted stances. With clarity and precision, he looks at the developments in the typographical sector with the associated artistic disciplines. Just one disappointment: the lack of iconography sometimes leaves the reader in mid-air. CB

Left, Right, Up, Down

Julian Sorge & TwoPoints.Net Gestalten 272 pages 24 30 cm English 56 An interview with designer Paula Scher opens the celebration. Based on a project by Julian Sorge, the book in six chapters published by Twopoints.Net, explores a collection of visual proposals imagined by designers for spatial treatment, systems of orientation and signage. At a meeting point between functional graphic design and information-based design, Left, Up, Right, Down questions the approach to the creation and conception of works taking the form of experiments in space and architecture, underlining the relationship between the latter and the designs. Without resorting to excess, the abundant selection of examples provides a good overview of the possibilities emerging from this meeting between original forms, typographic references and the shifting use of light. IM

Turning Pages. Editorial Design for Print Media

Edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann Gestalten 272 pages 24 30 cm English 49.90 An exploration of publishing design in all its forms, Turning Pages tackles the process of the creation and production of magazines, reviews, newspapers and brochures sometimes at the frontier of artists books. Introduced by the American publisher Andrew Losowski, this book whose contributors include Francesco Franchi, Javier Errea and Kircherburkhardt presents some carefully selected examples (Project Projects, Backcover, Butt and Graphic) to enable the reader to discover the nine steps in publishing production: concept, object, structure, navigation, typography, grid and page layout, cover, visual language and division. With its pink cover, the highly informative reference book comes complete with numerous interviews. IM

Tony Brook and Adrian Shaughnessy Unit Editions 320 pages 21.7 x 28 cm English 25 The result of a collaborative effort between the Spin studios and Shaughnessy-works, Unit Editions has, for what will soon be two years, been producing books and reviews on graphic design and visual culture for all sorts of designers, whether amateur or professional. The latest offering from the publisher is Supergraphics, which takes its name from an architectural movement that ourished in the 1960s and 1970s, and sought to transform large areas of interior and exterior wall through the implementation of an elaborate graphic approach, making use of variable geometry, tinted areas with motifs and abstract forms. The striving for effect at this time became the catchword for collectives of artists and architects determined to uproot or suppress solidity and weight, and even the history of a building simply through painting it. With its post-cover in three colours, the book by Tony Brooks and Adrian Shaughnessy takes a closer look at the contemporary world and presents a series of works by those working on the environment and emerging from graphic work and design. On an international scale, the striving for an architectural aestheticism and visual play in the urban setting acquires new impetus. IM

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