Syndicat’s latest project brings together “remarkable” printed objects
A collection of obscure printed designs from around the world is another project to add to the French duo’s varied practice.
- Charlie Filmer-Court
- 23 January 2020
- Reading Time
- 4 minute read
Since launching Revue Faire, a bi-weekly graphic design magazine, Syndicat have seemingly not stopped working. Building on the success from the magazine, Francois Havegeer and Sacha Leopold have now thrown themselves into a variety of projects that include signage, books and their impressive new collation project, Small Printed Objects.
“It’s a collection of small printed objects that are remarkable in their process, printing, shaping, ways of diffusion etc,” says Francois. “We are presenting very low-cost objects as well as very luxurious ones. Because of the size, these projects are not very well known - even by the designers themselves, sometimes!”
The result is an ever-growing library of more than 280 carefully selected designs, which they say are from more than 100 different designers around the world. The project begun with Quentin Schmerber, who whilst at the Amiens Art School Library was asking designers to send their last project they worked on - resulting in the accumulation of a rather large collection. “Considering the previous exhibitions we had curated and designed were about graphic design, he proposed to us to develop that project together into an exhibition,” recalls Francois. “That project was financed by Fondation des Artistes, and was on first view at Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz.”
Whilst you can spend hours scrolling through the website, reading the back stories and examining a range that includes everything from envelopes to coasters to books, the aim is for people to embrace this physically. “We are trying to build a graphic design exhibition where people are invited to touch and manipulate objects,” explains Francois. “We hate design kept under glass. The show is also designed so that it can travel to different art spaces and schools – it has already travelled to seven locations around Europe.”
The breadth of the project means they have a number of favourite designs, but all for entirely different reasons. There are economical ones such as the Team TCHM designed brochure for Galerie Binnen’s exhibition Showroom. This was printed over a page from the Ikea catalogue: “It was a way of comparing and contrasting, through their distinct objectives, two places devoted to presenting industrial design,” says Francois.
Other projects they admire include the luxurious ACNE F/W 2017 invitation designed by M/M, which was hot-foil stamped as well as laser cut to “create a glimmering mesh effect,” and the F.R David Collection book designed by Will Holder.
According to Sacha, the overall goal is for “a collection of small printed objects, with an analytical purpose,” which it looks like they are well on their way to achieving already.
Not to rest on their laurels, outside of Small Printed Objects and Revue Faire, Syndicat are maintaining an interesting and varied practice of their own. “The exciting thing is that each project is very specific and different. We are currently working on signage with Xavier Antin for a project at Paris fine art school,” says Francois. “We are also designing graphic identities for an art gallery and a ceramic centre with a curator we’ve collaborated with for many years. And we are in the middle of a huge project conceived with the artist Yonatan Vinitsky for his show in Tel Aviv.”
The work for the exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is shaping up to be particularly interesting, with Syndicat designing the entire visual vocabulary for the project. “The Cosmos exhibition is a typically ambitious Vinitsky project, where art meets design, film, time - life,” admits Sacha. “Even though it’s very challenging, that project is really exciting, as it’s kind of a global design project for which we have discussed the complete branding and supporting material. It’s also the kind of project we really appreciate being involved in.”
The poster-based aspects of the visual communication has been a highlight of the project for them, too. “We would prefer to design more posters sometime, even if the great age of poster design is over. But mainly we think that the poster, or business card or book, is just a part of a global project,” says Sacha.
Praise for how they work has also come from Yonatan Vinitsky himself too: “The work of Syndicat is always a work that invites you in. They are social, and they work with this quality as part of everything they do, whether it is a poster, an invite, an exhibition or a magazine,” he says. “They are able to mix traditional and classical approaches to graphic design and typography with the new world of social media, mobile phones and the constant flow of information.”
He also enjoys the fact that Syndicat work as a pair, feeling it adds something to their practice that is not possible on your own or in larger teams. “It is very apparent (for me at least) that it is the work of two people working together, and this model allows them to be better, to remove any ego, and to improve one another and learn from one another,” says Yonatan.
“One plus one equals two.”
GalleryMeaningless Numbers in The Cosmos, Yonatan Vinitsky, two-sided poster for distribution; model: Damsel Is Depressed; Photo: Asaf Einy; Design: Syndicat
About the Author
Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.