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Work / Graphic Design

Design studio Afrika talks custom typefaces and exhibition identities

Afrika is a design studio based in Switzerland, founded by Florian Jakober and Michael Zehnder. The studio works on a variety of projects, most recently finding itself designing custom typefaces for other studios and agencies. “It’s nice to have clients that understand as much about typography as we do. This way of working also allows us to work in bigger teams and learn a lot from everybody,” says Afrika.

The studio has created corporate typefaces for multiple brands, as well as identities for exhibitions and gallery including Musée Visionnaire and Voces Suaves in the last year. “We see ourselves as engineers as opposed to artists because we work very technically, with our process driven by the software we use in order to create and define a visual style,” explains Afrika on its approach. “Also, we have a big thing for reduction. We try to get rid of everything that is not necessary.”

As a result, Afrika’s portfolio feels minimal and considered, but this doesn’t mean they’re afraid of graphic flourishes or splashes of colour if it fits with the client’s needs. “We try to find out who exactly the client and the collaborators are, what our position in the project can be, and how much we can bring in our own skills and vision. Mostly it works best, if we can focus on quite small part of the project, and bring in specialists that care about the other parts,” explains the studio. The driving force behind Afrika is working on projects with its clients to find suitable solutions that not only communicate the message, but are executed in new and unusual ways, “defining a suitable style for every new project we’re working on”.

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