“A playground for all kinds of creativity” – Collide24 launches Archive One
Berlin-based graphic designers Lena Manger and Kevin Moll discuss the foundation of their digital platform, Collide24, and the launch of their first book, C24 Archive One.
- Elfie Thomas
- 26 November 2021
Lena Manger and Kevin Moll began working together in Berlin just a few months after they met for the first time at the Captcha Design Festival in 2018. Having discovered a common fascination with collaborative design practices, they began laying the groundwork for the foundation of their digital platform, Collide24. Led by values of openness, tolerance and playfulness, C24 is a platform that aims to shed light on collaborative processes within the creative industry which often go unseen. Kevin summarises their main goal: “to inspire, educate and connect through a multidisciplinary approach which is a testament to our broad and indefinite understanding of creativity.” A wonderfully positive outlook pervades their practice, always eager to make new friends and learn from increasingly wide-ranging disciplines.
In 2021, just three years on from their initial meeting, Lena and Kevin have founded a studio and produced their first book – C24 Archive One. Championing collaborative work by over 100 international designers, artists, studios, labels, and collectives, C24’s guiding principles permeate the pages of the book from start to finish. Lena explains how key collaborative concepts informed the visual format of the archive: “as collaboration often includes the collusion, overlapping, or blending of different styles, disciplines, and backgrounds, we let some of the images collide horizontally.” The idea behind the format was considered down to the very last detail – a thin paper was chosen for the pages, allowing subtle visual overlaps to form between text and images on different pages.
Kevin points out, “as the whole book revolves around the subject of collaboration and community, it was important for us to get other designers and artists involved in the process.” Alongside eight new designs for C24’s logo, the book features six exclusive collaborative artworks by Delphine Lejeune and Jonathan Castro, Sam Balfus and Kita Savi, Liel Bomberg and Karin Kimel, Kushagra Gupta and Reo, Julia Kobel and Luca Büttner, and the design studio Horah Inc. These works take centre stage in its middle pages and are framed by a striking cover design by Quentin Gomzé and Friederike Hantel. A neon pink to white ombre bleeds from the front to back cover, fusing the archive’s title in bold with the names of its many contributors.
The remaining pages feature a myriad of interviews, stories, and essays. When drawing together this diverse collection, Lena and Kevin looked for projects that incorporated creative expertise from a broad range of disciplines. They were also impressed by teams of creatives that had established friendly and effective working relationships. The Paris-based collective and design studio, C’estainsi, fitted the bill perfectly. Lena explains how the collective stood out for its “distinctive, playful, and futuristic style” but also the team’s ability to “maintain a healthy balance between work and friendship.” The innovative combination of sound and design accomplished by the team of seven involved in the project, Second Life 2, was another favourite, Kevin adds. Ada Sokół, featured twice in the book, has taken collaborative practice to another level. She combines two collaborations – the first with Paris-based design studio Panama Papers, the second with Polish jewellery brand Melancholia.co. – within another, wider project, Malleable.
A sense of cohesion throughout the archive is carefully crafted through the overarching graphic style characterised by scientific symbols and diagrams, a style that, as Kevin explains, provides a visual reference to the book’s function as an archive. The typographic system, which is based on the versatile Diatype by Dinamo, is key in binding together this seamless aesthetic. A big fan of this typeface, Lena tells us that “it allowed the design to be bold and expressive, as well as delicate and detailed at the same time.”
Kevin appropriately summarises the project as a “playground for all kinds of creativity,” productively forging relationships between creatives, “no matter their education or status.” Going forward, Lena and Kevin want to focus this positive drive towards developing more collaborative formats on the platform. All in all, Collide24 represents an inspiring force for innovation in collaborative creation and design. We can’t wait to see how their work progresses.
Collide24: C24 Archive One; (Copyright © Yannic Pöpperling, 2021)
About the Author
Elfie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in November 2021 after finishing an art history degree at Sussex University. She is particularly interested in creative projects which shed light on histories that have been traditionally overlooked or misrepresented.