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 They wanted something that is able to stand there for a while without being outdated in a season.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.