Projects by Copenhagen-based research and graphic design studio Alexis Mark are centred around concept with context. Each of piece of work, from publications to exhibition design, identities, typefaces and even more, merge the boundaries between art, design and culture, “driven by a particular interest in the concepts of language and mediation as an artistic practice and in an interdisciplinary context,” the studio tell It’s Nice That.
Alexis Mark also don’t make things easy for themselves, methodically seeking “a contextual engagement with the materials and conditions of the collaborations we are involved in and find it integral to our practice to extend these conditions into the work we produce,” they explain. Consequently, the studio “embrace complexity as a value,” rather than dumbing it down or “forcing simplicity” on the design brief at hand.
The studio also does not list other studios or artistic movements as influences, instead naming “what we might call linguistic systems” as the core of its practice. “Be it an alphabet, the systems of map projections, or body gestures — these semiotics are all influenced by society and in turn influence society. Our interest in them has developed into a foundation for a practice in which we try to make collections, vocabularies, or idiosyncratic encyclopaedias of the inherent languages of the projects and contexts we engage in, in order to display the various aspects they embody.”
While this may sound a little complicated, Alexis Mark make their process easier to understand for their audience and clients with Annual Reportt, an “occasional exhibition platform and ad hoc laboratory” which acts as a conceptual and physical extension of the studio. By extending the invitation to see how and why their work is made, Annual Reportt spans various artistic disciplines but in a negotiable way, naturally becoming “a vessel for questioning what graphic design can be and how we can use it to ask relevant questions,” the studio explains.
An example of this is the studio’s current exhibition, Sportification & Yes Yes Yes which “combines and unfolds” the original materials behind two research projects by Italian gallery Colli Independent. Alexis Mark pushes this by featuring a range of international contributors to redefine perspective, including London-based Studio Hato to renowned designers Experimental Jetset, some of who have created new work especially.
Outside of more conceptual, research-based projects, since launching at just the beginning of 2017 Alexis Mark has some weighty projects under its belt too. The first is the design of the 50th edition of Yale University’s School of Architecture prestigious annual journal, Perspecta, built around the theme of “Urban Divides”. They have also continued their taste and distinct ability for exhibition design creating the identity for Lean Issues, an exhibition at Kyoto Art Centre in Japan, on top of numerous publications, and “posters-slash-catalogues for a Danish art hall”.
Looking towards the new year, after celebrating just its first birthday Alexis Mark will be part of starting up a new design school in southern Denmark and look forward to seeing how the analytical approach is applied in an academic circumstance.
- Palestine Underground shines a light on the West Bank’s underground music scene
- “How does an identity express itself in 3D?”: Common Name on design for environments
- Courtney Barnett discusses her love for illustrators, animators and her own creativity too
- Studio Dumbar on how it encourages its team to find their voices as designers
- Sophie Green's latest project ventures into Kent's unlikely cowboy country
- Chow and Lin documents the world’s inequality of wealth using Google Earth
- This is an article about Wieden+Kennedy’s clever ad campaign - No B.S
- The Saul Bass Archive looks back on the trailblazer’s rare poster design
- XXL Studio is an iconic Chinese graphic design studio producing exceptional book design
- Superimpose creates "hyper-local" campaign for Adidas Original and TFL collaboration
- Iceland’s Christmas advert banned from broadcast for being too political
- Studio Weave redesigns the colour scheme and signage of housing associations in Hackney