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Work / Graphic Design

Aurelia Peter’s considered design approach leads her through uncharted territory

No matter the content of a project graphic designer Aurelia Peter is working on, she starts the process by asking questions. “Which message should be conveyed?” she says, or “What kind of association should be triggered in the viewer?” To answer these creative queries Aurelia begins with a manual approach, sketches which enable “new design approaches” and explain a lot about her approach to typography.

“In my creative work, it is essential for me to constantly develop myself further,” Aurelia tells It’s Nice That on how she feels her style has evolved since we last spoke to her. “Typography is certainly always a central graphic form in my work. I feel an immense drive to take new paths in design to linger in a design process while it’s reaching valuable boundaries. These boundaries are precious to me: to overcome the stagnation, to go through uncharted territory and to create.”

Aurelia’s venture into uncharted design territory recently includes Random — An Atlas of Chance a semester project which came to life as “a special kind of atlas,” she explains. “From birthrates, architecture, music to recipes for the national dish, everything can be found in the Random Atlas. Designed in two parts, “the first consists of textual information and the second part of visual information,” the publication is built upon not just coordinates, but coincidences too. The layout of An Atlas of Chance is heavily considered starting with a grid which contains “ten columns and ten rows and is therefore based on the number of digits of the coordinates,” she points out. “The width of the column is defined by the second number of the latitude. This shows the number of columns the text of the location claims.” Where columns would remain empty, Aurelia’s initial research phase comes into play filled “with commentary that was found through internet research,” she says. “Due to the variable columns, a diverse and random design is generated. The layout follows rules on a complex grid, so due to the variety of places, each page looks unique.”

Still studying at Zurich University of the Arts, Aurelia also acts as the art director of ZETT, a publication with Michel Egger, Dominik Junker and Silvan Possa, recently designing the poster for its penultimate issue on the theme of #TBT. The design influence came from the theme itself, using the hashtag symbol’s “geometric lines and organic surfaces” in order to “refer to pixels and echo the original meaning of the words ‘hash’ (to chop into small pieces) and ‘tag’ (to mark),” the designer explains. For the poster’s design, Aurelia also added Unicode characters at the top to stand for ZETT, while the bottom relates to #TBT. “The combination of geometric and organic forms creates a link to the digital (present) and the analogue (past) world.”

Always busy, Aurelia has also recently completed an internship at Bruno Margreth’s design studio, working on a publication for artist Mirko Baselgia’s exhibition series Kunst in der Krypta. The book carefully dissects the details of Mirko’s show, for instance, its materiality, a “light greyish paper and Chromolux paper referring to the porcelain-clad church windows and stone blocks in the exhibition,” the designer points out. Japanese bound, the book features the artist’s woodcuts and texts from the exhibition on a background of slightly transparent drawings to “show the martyrdoms of Zurich’s city saints,” with initials in the text pages acting as an analogy to old bibles. “However, it was important for us to place the artist’s book in a contemporary context, applied by using the typeface Gerstner Programme, placed “at the top and bottom edge with the reference images in the middle of the page, the white space is displaced and the format divided into two parts, alluding to the decapitation of the saints.”

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Aurelia Peter: Random — An Atlas of Chance

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Aurelia Peter: Random — An Atlas of Chance

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Aurelia Peter: Random — An Atlas of Chance

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Aurelia Peter: Random — An Atlas of Chance

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Aurelia Peter: Mirko Baselgia, Transmutaziun

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Aurelia Peter: Mirko Baselgia, Transmutaziun

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Aurelia Peter: Mirko Baselgia, Transmutaziun

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Aurelia Peter: Mirko Baselgia, Transmutaziun

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Aurelia Peter: Mirko Baselgia, Transmutaziun

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Aurelia Peter: ZETT