Manuel Birnbacher’s practice is a curious amalgam of smart, contemporary graphic design and strangely compulsive art-like-work (see the throbbing rock on his homepage). A portfolio like this is an open and well-spoken answer to some nasally voiced questions about the parameters of applied design and when it turns into “art” or Art or art.
What Manuel has – no doubt honed during his simultaneous education at the Pratt Institute New York and at the Bauhaus University Weimar – is an ability to apply fundamental/classic graphic design with deft communicability and then in the same breath use them, for example, to manipulate unfortunate deformities into the faces of America’s Civil War heroes.
It is one of the most commendable features to his work that even this strangeness is of a high quality, it makes his body of work so much more memorable and, as a parting gift, the designer will never again let us see a picture of Abraham Lincoln without us conjuring a mental image of the old president’s face falling off. A thank you to Manuel.
- Ivana Bobic on exploring tactility in film, and how to make slow-mo jelly boobs
- The history of the hotel Venets: a 22-storey metaphor for Soviet utopia
- The Papier Machine collection of DIY electronic paper toys reinvents the activity book
- Brie Moreno's back with more felt tip-filled, curvy illustrations
- Meet Monkey Type, an international collective bananas about fonts
- Arielle Bobb-Willis’ colour-packed portfolio is the photographic equivalent of a SAD lamp
- Pee on this Ikea print ad, and if you’re pregnant, you get a crib half price
- Coca-Cola reveals custom typeface, TCCC Unity, inspired by its modernist heritage
- Muji to open “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap” hotels in China and Japan
- The rebrand for Russia’s tourist board uses Suprematist geometry laid out as a map
- The Guardian unveils redesign across print and online
- A first look at Uber and NASA's new flying vehicle