“Often the final product isn’t the main goal, but finding many little treasures on the way to it,” says Berlin-based graphic designer Olivier Bucher. Hailing from a small Swiss town, Olivier designs with strong concepts, morphing his visual language depending on a brief or client, but one thing always remains the same: the combination of still and moving images.
“The combination of static and moving images, sounds and music seem extremely powerful to me,” he says. “All parts can tell their stories themselves. Combined they build up many more layers, which can be seen, read or heard in various ways.” This combination of different media often produces work which not only utilises the way each can enhance the other, but investigates why that is.
While studying in Lucerne, Olivier created a thesis that dealt with “the process of forgetting, remembering and retelling memories.” He created a song titled Muted Memories and a lyric video to accompany it in close collaboration with musician Franziska Bruecker. “In the video, the lyrics are visualised by means of kinetic typography and expand the music with another narrative role,” Olivier adds.
To accompany the visual aspect of this investigation, Olivier produced a publication dealing into the history of lyric videos and kinetic typography and how these two topics developed alongside one another. The main focus was on the analysis of current chart hits, and their lyric videos, the trends of which were shown in the publication. “Even though it was a printed book, I managed to include motion within it,” Olivier continues. “The page numbers, for example, are rotating around their own axis’ – flicking fast through the book, they come to life.”
In Berlin, Olivier is currently working at Fons Hickmann M23 but also works on self-initiated and freelance projects. At Fons Hickmann M23, he got to work on the redesign of the Homebase Artist Agency, which represents more than 50 directors, screenwriters and actors. “Referring to the aesthetics of film credits, we created the corporate design with compressed moving typography,” he tells us. The result is a playful yet slick identity in which motion feels altogether part of the design, not an afterthought.
In terms of freelance work, a recent example takes the form of Olivier’s collaboration with Party Chat, adapting still graphics into short animated spots. “The challenge to start from a static initial situation and tell a story within a few seconds is super interesting,” he muses. “Having a simple idea, often reduced to typography only is often the base of these short animations.” Although small animations, these projects prove how Olivier approaches graphic design. Whereas others may have thought these graphics complete, Olivier sees an opportunity to further their communication. Ultimately, however, he concludes, “Most important among all that is a profound concept and the search for new independent and visual languages.”
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