Serve and Volley playfully turns traditional design principles on their head
The Cologne-based design studio takes a “transmedial” approach to its work and places the idea of play front and centre.
- Roz Jones
- 25 October 2022
Serve and Volley is a design studio headed up by Klaus Neuburg and Simon Roth, who take seriously the famous words of German industrial designer Dieter Rams, “less but better” – though probably with an emphasis on the “better”. While they understand graphic design traditions, the idea of play is also right at the heart of their approach. “The graphical output is often a result of an interaction between these strong concepts and a playful experimentation and transgression of these rigid self-imposed structures,” the Cologne-based pair tell us.
The result is a clean yet often surprising interaction of well-balanced visual elements, covering editorial, book and poster designs. Everything feels like it has its place. This might well be down to what the studio describes as its “interdisciplinary and transmedial” approach, which draws from the fact that Klaus originally studied architecture, while Simon comes from a graphic design background; not to mention the fact that they have “lively exchanges” with workshop peers, from which some of their best ideas emerge.
Serve and Volley: Archive of Transition – Tbilisi (Copyright © Serve and Volley, 2018)
About the Author
Roz (he/him) joined It’s Nice That for three months as an editorial assistant in October 2022 after graduating from Magazine Journalism and Publishing at London College of Communication. He’s particularly interested in publications, archives and multi-media design.