• Mmhero

    Emily King: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson, £42.00) (detail)

Graphic Design

Stunning new book documents Paris studio M/M's 20 years at the top

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Few books in the art and design world have been as eagerly anticipated this year as this monograph charting 20 years of M/M’s ground-breaking, genre-busting practice. And the good news is that it seems to have been well worth the wait as this comprehensive tome, designed by Graphic Thought Facility, is a beautiful insight into Michaël Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak’s Paris studio.

Although starting out as graphic designers, with a particular flair for typography, the duo’s work has evolved to include photography, films, objects and interiors. “Our work is about expressing the idea of a dialogue,” they say. “We transfer elements from fashion to music to art and back again, and keep using different mediums.”

Not only does Emily King’s book include M/M collaborations with the likes of Stella McCartney, Kanye West and Tate Modern, it also offers some fascinating interviews with some of those big name collaborators – with Björk, Pierre Huyghe and Sarah Morris among those sharing their thoughts alongside the men of the moment, Michaël and Mathias.

And with a preface by Hans Ulrich Obrist this is likely to become a seminal reference point for anyone interested in one of the most significant studios working today.

M to M of M/M (Paris) edited by Emily King, is published by Thames & Hudson, £42.00.

  • M-to-m_cover_english_hires

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris), published by Thames & Hudson
    Mathias Augustyniak (left) and Michaël Amzalag (right) photographed by Inez & Vinoodh
    © M/M (Paris)-Thames & Hudson

  • M-to-m_balenciaga

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_biolay

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_bourriaud

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_huo

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_huyghe

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_interview

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_morris

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_parreno-ngjas

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_vision

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_parreno

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_thoumieux

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_mmk

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_vigner

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_vlm

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

  • M-to-m_yy

    Emily King/Graphic Thought Facility: M to M of M/M (Paris) (published by Thames & Hudson)

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List-motherdesign_sundancefilmfestival_2

    “It’s been funny seeing ‘Robert Redford to sign off’ on our work plans in recent months," Mark Aver, Mother Design New York design director tells us, revealing the new identity for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. The independent film festival, which started in 1978 in Utah, is chaired by Redford, who from the sounds of it, takes quite a hands-on approach.

  2. _llisr-meteor

    French design duo My Name is Wendy caught our eye earlier this year with the innovative D/I/M/E/N/S/I/O/N typographic poster series. The studio recently launched a new site showcasing some great new projects that suggest the pair’s Bauhaus-esque graphic approach is going from strength to strength. Two projects particularly intrigued us – the first being a poster series which acts as a part of a wider project in which the studio creates the fictional land of Meteor.

  3. List-tumblr_ncojdd7pid1tap5jeo1_1280

    Taiwan-born graphic designer Wang Zhi-Hong claims the place that most stimulates his imagination most is one with “no one but me”. In a somewhat reluctant-sounding chat with French magazine Post IM, he paints a careful picture of himself as a man of solitude and precision. Whether or not this makes for a happy life, it certainly makes for some superb graphic design work. From his impressive portfolio we were most drawn to his book design, which takes this idea of a simple, uncluttered existence and turns it into beautiful pared back, precise creations. We were particularly seduced by the monochrome Yohji Yamamoto book designs, with the glorious curved forms of Japanese kanji characters given space to breathe against this restrained aesthetic.

  4. List-dhub_brochures_inside

    Pitching for a design museum identity that will act as the platform for some of the most celebrated designers the world over can’t be an easy task. How to merge tradition and modernity? To create something beautiful, that doesn’t detract from the work itself? So when Mallorcan agency Atlas put forward their proposals for the new Barcelona Design Museum’s identity, it’s perhaps little surprise they worried their ideas were “too modern and risky.”

  5. List00_mitml_posters

    Pentagram partner Michael Bierut and designer Aron Fay have designed a new identity for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, creating this striking, labyrinth-like look that brilliantly communicates the faculty’s “anti-disciplinary” approach.

  6. List-2

    When it comes to psychedelic album artwork, it sometimes feels like the very best might already be behind us – Wes Wilson, Mouse & Kelly and Rick Griffin already having worked through the golden era. There’s something reassuring about the knowledge that graphic designers are still looking for ways to incorporate psychedelic elements into their designs though, and French graphic artist Lucas Donaud is foremost amongst them.

  7. Stationary

    Hotel branding can so often be a dowdy affair, as if the design nods to the temporary nature of the building’s inhabitants – something to move on from, rather than to dwell on. So it’s wonderful to see a brave, opulent new identity for the Connaught in London’s Mayfair, designed by The Partners around a stunning new artwork by Kristjana S Williams which now hangs in the hotel.

  8. List

    I was surprised to learn that Amsterdam’s HOAX studio don’t seem to have been on the site before, and faced with their wide-ranging portfolio it was a challenge to focus in on a narrative that made sense. Founders Bram Buijs, Sven Gerhardt and Steven van der Kaaij joined forces based on their “shared love for typography, material and experimentation” and this passion for fresh creative thinking runs throughout their work.

  9. List

    Creating a cohesive identity for a design conference might not seem like such a tall order, but the reality of producing flyers, bags, programmes and that all-important logo mark for an international event isn’t as simple as you might think. For starters there’s an abundance of conferences out there, each with it’s own unique look and feel, so creating visuals that present a point of difference will always pose a challenge; secondly how on earth do you make a talks timetable look exciting?

  10. List

    Boasting PVC-clad bottoms, surreal jazz photography and beautifully-rendered risograph prints of basketball hoops, Shabazz Projects’ homepage certainly offers a well-curated and striking experience. The LA-based publishing platform was founded by Hassan Rahim and Brian Okarski, releasing art, photography and design-focused books and objects, all with a run of 200 or fewer editions. Stand-out pieces include the Various Basketball Hoops risographs, which put a whimsical spin on these often weary-looking monoliths; and Eric Wrenn and Antje Peters’ Jazz photographs, which place instruments against a dramatic plume of smoke. Hassan and Brian say their aim is to “provoke and surprise,” and from the images on their site alone, they’re certainly not letting themselves down.

  11. Hellotalja_kit-list-image

    Many a blue-sky-thinker and envelope-pusher has been extolling the virtues of meditation and mindfulness to pseudo-spiritually swell their business jargon lately. So it’s refreshing when a beautifully branded, creatively-minded product emerges that promises to offer that lucrative “pause from modern life.”

  12. List

    If all the magazines and small publications that used the internet as their subject matter were dumped on your head it’d be curtains for you – there’s bloody loads of them. Some, like Offscreen, deal with the people that make digital culture happen and try to bring these unsung heroes out from behind their screens into the RGB limelight, others, like French publication Nichons – Nous Dans l’Internet (Tits – We In The Internet) are more conceptually-minded, analysing and assessing the social and cultural phenomena brought about by the ubiquity of technology.

  13. Main

    Setting up a design studio and changing your name to a cool pseudonym is a good two-fingers-up to life on the quiet side. Parisian designer Julien Ducourthial decided to make this leap, and now overseas The Jazzist, offering bold, fluoro design work “serving in fields of graphic design, illustration and art direction in digital & printed media.” When Julien emailed us he told us he was inspired by 8-bit imagery and cartoons, which gave us an immediate inkling that we were going to like his work. Anyone looking to commission a great French designer any time soon? Julien is your man.