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Tatau by Inhouse

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Book design by New Zealand-based studio Inhouse for Tatau, a publication on the history of Sāmoan tattooing

Tatau chronicles the rich cultural history of Sāmoan tattooing, from its beginnings 3,000 years ago to the practices of today. Tatau takes the form of a 320 page hardback book (255 x 200mm) illustrated with historical photographs from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first-century, diagrams, film stills and images of posters and related artefacts. These were brought together by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot, and set alongside texts that explore how Sāmoan tattooing has been shaped and reshaped over an extended period by regional and international forces, with graphic and editorial design by New Zealand-based studio Inhouse. The book features a distinctive debossed cover, custom typeface and a reversible half jack with examples of contemporary male and female tatau by photographer Greg Semu.

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Innsbruck International, Biennial of the Arts by Studio Mut

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logo, visual identity, posters, programmes and website designed by Studio Mut for Innsbruck International, Biennial of the Arts

Innsbruck International, Biennial of the Arts is a 16-day event set over 10 locations presenting the work of over 20 international artists who are invited to make use of Innsbruck’s historical and contemporary venues. Together, these works reach across the wide spectrum of the visual arts; from painting and sculpture, film and sound to performances and installations. Although events of this kind are, by their very nature, politically charged; the worldviews of a few artists presented to an international audience, the 2018 event brought this right to the forefront under the theme of “Agents Of Social Change”. Capturing the spirit of this Italians Studio Mut developed a graphic identity for the 2018 Biennial that included posters, advertising, programmes, brochures and website. This is marked by a visual language of both the personable and mechanical, motion and pause, yet, united by an immediacy and urgency.

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Hands On: Critical Mass by Foreign Policy

Opinion by Richard Baird

Design and publishing by Singapore-based Foreign Policy for brand, art and cultural magazine Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a biannual magazine that explores a brand’s ripple effect across the globe, from patterns in consumer spending to environmental implications. It intends to showcase, in its curation, commissioning and design, how a brand’s living legacies extend beyond mere aesthetics and profit margins in the face of fast-moving and ever-changing global consumerism. Issue 1 explores the lines blurred between artistic expression and commercial endeavour in a series of texts around Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama approached from a variety of angles by different authors.

The magazine is designed and published by Singapore-based design studio and think tank Foreign Policy and takes the form of a slim staple bound booklet of 32 pages. Although light, it is an insightful document that is materially and graphically distinct. Texts move comfortably between the micro and the meta, complete easy reads and those that are more challenging, propositions for continued thought. There is pleasing breadth drawn from a singular focus.

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