• Favela_1
  • Favela_2
  • Strom
  • Strom_tshirt
  • Strom_programme
  • Neon_1
  • Neon_2
Graphic Design

HORT Updates

Posted by Alex Bec,

There is a distinct and confident voice coming from the walls of German design studio HORT. Their recognisable website went through a bit of a big update recently, so we thought we should take the time out to hear what light founder Eike Konig could shed on the new work. Also, during our chat we learnt that HORT had just won the pitch to redesign the identity of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. These guys are humbling-ly busy, and never seem to put foot wrong.

Hi Eike, looks like there’s loads of nice new work up on your site. Let’s start with Calle – a redesign of a street soccer shoe – is street soccer close to your heart? Can you tell us a bit about the project?

For sure. i grew up in a small village outside Frankfurt and i used to play soccer on the street with kids from the neigbourhood. That’s where you practice it, that’s where you learn it, so it’s connected with childhood and this makes it strong. It’s not just a redesign of a shoe, it’s a redesign of the brand. The shoe was the first thing we were working on.

The existing brand got bigger and started to need a strong branding (this is the logo they used). They wanted something that is able to stand there for a while without being outdated in a season. But this is a bigger project and we aren’t allowed to show the results yet as the brand will communicate the new identity in the next full line fashion apparel in 2011. While working on the branding we started to work on the Favela Shoe, designed a promo-newspaper for fairs and right now we are helping them to develop patterns and designs for their 2011 T-Shirt line.

The festival identity for Strom looks great, if a little unusual. Can you tell us where the look and feel came from?

The concept began with looking at electronic music’s roots in Jazz and became something new and updated. The design focuses on what drives the music, the musicians, and the audience/fans. We created a pool of graphic elements that could be selected somewhat randomly for different applications. The grid, color combination, hierarchy and different element combinations serve to support the content and information for the music festival. We thought of visuals that someone would need to explore and think about on their own, instead of taking their hand and explaining everything. We wanted to create something unexpected.

The sculptures you made for Neon to show off their projects, feel very ‘of the moment’. How did you reach this final outcome?

A hell of a work. When we accepted this job we thought we could make it in two days. Soon we found out that this was a joke. We needed at least two people just to hang the objects (with fishing line) onto a special construction we built. The floating sculpture is a process of thinking, discovering, trying, observing, swearing, destroying and redoing – and this all needs time and motivation (because the constructions love to fall down). In the end, including shooting and retouching and pimping the photo you need around seven days, if you want to reach the quality we like to reach.

What can we expect in the next Hort update?

There’s a lot going on in Hortland. Next updates will include the art direction/design for the band ZPYZ, the work we did for German rapper Sido when he was playing MTV unplugged, a big campaign for Nike USA we have been working on for two months and some small identities. Also, we got a mail today saying, that we are going to redesign the identity of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. That’s awesome for us.

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Main

    Just as you were thinking you hadn’t seen some truly joyous graphic design infused with sunshine for such a long time BAM! Here’s a bunch of magazines that are designed with one thing in mind: happiness. Javas Lehn Studio are based in New York and spend their days commissioning fantastic illustrators and not worrying about overusing exclamation marks for big brands that want a slice of the nice. Although a lot of this studio’s work is digital or signage-based, for me where they really come into their own is in the world of print. Saturdays Magazine looks delicious, and you could argue that Ace of Faith – the book they created for artist Brian Paumier – is even more lust-worthy than the art itself. I urge you to go and spend some time on their site, if it doesn’t make you want to star up your own design practice then at least you’re just going to want to go and leave small offerings on the doorstep of Javas Lehn HQ.

  2. List

    It’s not immediately easy to get a handle on Casper Heijkenskjöld’s portfolio, but right from the off you realise you’re in the presence of an impressive creative mind. The Copenhagen-based designer and art director worked for a time for Sagmeister in New York, and seems to have brought the Austrian’s taste for pushing boundaries to his own studio which he set up in 2011.

  3. Main

    With the many branches of Stoptober currently encompassing the social media feeds of our nearest and dearest, the notion of resistance is in full swing. For Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a lunar-based 30-day fast in which food and drink are consumed pre-daybreak and after sunset and other behaviour such as smoking, swearing, sex and many other sinful activities are forbidden.

  4. List

    We’re suckers for a bit of nostalgia here at It’s Nice That and this blog by renowned designer Emilio Gil provides it in gratifyingly regular doses. But to suggest that Emilio’s archive is just a way of getting a fix of retro imagery is to do it a disservice as Graphic Pioneers; Spanish Graphic Design 1939 – 1975 does much more than that.

  5. Main1

    Many of you will have seen Emma Watson’s spine-tinglingly good speech at the United Nations this week, calling on men to stand up and be counted in the fight for gender equality (and for the feminist movement to work with men rather than against them).

  6. List

    When I first joined It’s Nice That more than three years ago I had never heard of Elephant magazine, but it was one of those titles talked about in hushed and revered tones. As such it’s always a publication I’ve approached with high expectations, so it was interesting to hear that for the next issue, number 20, Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin of Atlas Studio have overseen a fairly comprehensive redesign.

  7. List

    If you’re ever looking for a great reason why good graphic design is important, Pentagram partner Michael Bierut sums it up in this Kickstarter video. “New York City is a chaotic place and in the 1960s nowhere was more chaotic than the subway system,” he says. There was a “profusion of inconsistent signs” but “a lot of people were convinced that was the way it had to be; New York’s a complicated place, figure it out…”

  8. List

    It’s been eight years since the London Design Museum last redesigned its website, but last week one of the design-world’s most enduring riddles – why does one of the world’s leading design bodies have such an anachronistic web presence? – was resolved. Dutch consultancy Fabrique worked with q42 developers to create a new site with pared-back navigation, new type treatments and a much-needed elevation of big, beautiful imagery to the level it deserves.

  9. Stop_depart_13list

    To celebrate the launch of their new Paris-based art direction studio Avant Post, Quentin Berthelot, Johan Mossé and Adrien Weibel created Stop Départ. They worked with photographer Samuel Guigues to make a whole series around the neat motif of the start of an athletics race and so open their studio with a bang. Simple, stylish and well-executed, the theme hints at the studio’s ambition, gunning for gold, and suggests that it’s more than capable of achieving greatness with repeated gilt tones throughout the posters and cards. If they keep producing work of this calibre, we expect to see them on plenty more podiums in the future.

  10. List

    The mass Scandinavian cultural crush which saw us all become obsessed with the food, TV shows and chunky knitwear of our northern cousins seems to have abated somewhat but that won’t stop Lundgren + Lindqvist.

  11. List

    Ghent-based graphic designer Jelle Martens makes work which might be described as design with a heavy dollop of fine art added in. Working predominantly on record sleeve design since graduating two years ago, he has created projects for record labels Other People, Software and Unday Records among others, employing his unique mixture of colour, texture and manipulated imagery to create designs which are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

  12. Main_09.10.43

    NACHTDIGITAL was once described as Germany’s “best kept festival secret” but now with a cult following that snaps up its entire ticket allocation in minutes, maybe organisers can be a little more creative with the visuals they commission.

  13. List

    Illustrator Eleonora Marton’s raw, bold aesthetic lends itself perfectly to large scale design, so we were happy to discover that rather than confining herself to witty, irony-soaked zines and sweet watercolour portraits, she’s unleashed her talents on a huge series of A3 posters and smaller flyers too. Using recurring imagery in varying forms – legs, animals, furniture and toys all feature – she creates posters for upcoming events which tick all the boxes event posters should. They’re eye-catching, interesting and incredibly informative, and what’s more, she makes it look incredibly easy. Just trying spotting that record player wheat-pasted up on a street corner and not taking a step closer to find out what it was advertising.