Ant Graphics is a design studio with the strength and diligence of its six-legged namesake
Founded by Eunji Kim, the Seoul-based designer applies clean methodologies and fun illustration across projects in the art and cultural sectors.
- Ayla Angelos
- 6 June 2022
Coming up with the perfect studio name is no mean feat. Not only do you want it to stand the test of time, you also want it to represent your work, ethos, style and output. Think of it as a big umbrella that houses and keeps all the different elements of a designer’s practice dry from the rain. Designer Eunji Kim used this important title to liken their studio to the hard-working attitude of an ant.
Ant Graphics is Eunji’s Seoul-based studio, the home of a host of different art and cultural projects, each expertly crafted from the colour palettes right down to the illustrations and microscopic details. Just like the way an ant gathers its food and works in colonies and formations, Eunji’s graphic design is diligent, fun and refreshing. From posters to exhibition design, every project that comes out of Ant Graphics is at once eye-catching and informative – from the glyphs to the squiggly shapes and typographic placement. It’s all there for a reason, not least to draw the audience in with just a split second to catch their attention.
“Mostly I develop ideas from the title of the project,” Eunji explains, citing this as the most prevalent amongst exhibition titles or names of books. Never steering too far from the subject matter at hand, Eunji will commence the design process, making sure to condense the information and brief into a considered identity, poster or branding. “After the key idea has been raised, I tend to focus on which type and key colour would work best.” A large emphasis is placed on typography throughout Eunji’s practice, particularly as it’s deemed a tool that “enables connection” between the design and the subject. And when paired with the right colours, magic truly happens – assisted by the nifty software of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
Another key aspect of Eunji’s work is the formulaic structure, gracefully (and creatively) paired with the more illustrative elements and unexpected twists – cute dogs, bobbly flowers and candles being just a few examples. Previously, Eunji majored in metal design and graphic design, before receiving a double major at Hanyang University and acquiring a degree in graphic design at K-arts, Korea. Later, Eunji also worked at a design studio and contemporary art museum as a graphic designer in the exhibition team. So to say that Eunji has a wealth of experience in the field would be an understatement, and the founding of Ant Graphics – with its exceptional quality of work – only highlights this level of skill.
The Poetic Collection, featuring a poster, leaflet, banner and “space graphic design” is a joyfully bright example of Eunji’s practice. Conceived for Seoul Museum of Art as part of an exhibition themed around the concept of a poem, the branding resultantly looked at the composition and principal of the literary form – oh, and some of the more illustrated parts looks like a colony of ants, which is quite fitting. “I tried to focus on the key element of a poem that could be told as hidden (meanings) and unseen-ness,” says Eunji. As such, when devising the graphics, Eunji decided to choose an image from the works shown in the exhibition and layer it behind the graphical elements. “Obviously we were inspired by the artwork itself,” Eunji continues. All of which were plastered in the gallery space through a bundle of printed media.
Eunji’s work is clever and unique, but what really seals it is the special attention paid to making it all more accessible and understandable for the viewer. Who doesn’t like a simple yet artful graphical outcome? We sure do.
Ant Graphics: The Poetic Collection, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA), Ant Graphics)
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.