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.

Date
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.

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Ant Graphics: MMCA Residency Goyang Open Studio 17: Out of the Blue, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Ant Graphics)

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.

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Ant Graphics: The Poetic Collection, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: The Poetic Collection, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: A Museum for All, a Museum for Dogs (Copyright © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: Fortune Telling, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Ilmin Museum of Art, Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: Fortune Telling, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Ilmin Museum of Art, Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: Fortune Telling, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Ilmin Museum of Art, Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: Project Hashtag 2021, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: A Museum for All, a Museum for Dogs (Copyright © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: A Museum for All, a Museum for Dogs (Copyright © National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Ant Graphics)

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Ant Graphics: The Poetic Collection, exhibition graphic design (Copyright © Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA), Ant Graphics)

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About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.

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