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Rare Harvest by Marx Design

Opinion by Richard Baird.

New packaging by Marx Design for Rare Havest, a limited edition Mānuka honey from The True Honey Company

The True Honey Company (TTHC) dedicates itself to the production of mānuka honey, a monofloral variety produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree. It has a unique colour and texture and a high level of dietary Methyglyoxal, an organic compound with antibacterial and antiviral properties.

With a price range starting at 60.00AUD and rising to 230.00AUD per jar, and working in a market flooded with sub-standard honey and dishonest marketing, communicating the value of the product and the commitment of TTHC to quality and ethical production through an impactful and engaging brand identity and packaging design was paramount. This task was given to Auckland-based graphic design studio and packaging specialists Marx Design who played with a material and structural language to express the rarity and value of such a product.

Marx Design returned to the project in 2019 to develop packaging for Rare Harvest, a limited edition mānuka honey from TTHC certified at an unprecedented 1,700+ MGO (31+UMF), the highest ever recorded. Marx Design, working in collaboration with Think Packaging, further the material language of value and rarity that characterised the first range, and fold in the theme of Mānuka blossoms.

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Speculations On Anonymous Materials by Zak Group

Opinion by Richard Baird

Catalogue by Zak Group for a trilogy of exhibitions that explore the theoretical lines separating the natural from and the artificial at Fridericianum

Speculations on Anonymous Materials (2013), nature after nature (2014) and Inhuman (2015) is a trilogy of exhibitions, curated by Susanne Pfeffer, that took place at Fridericianum, Europe’s oldest public museum, located in the German city of Kessel. The exhibitions, which mark the institution’s turn towards post-humanist thinking, intended to demonstrate how current artistic practices shift the theoretical boundaries separating the natural from the artificial. London-based design studio Zak Group was recently commissioned to catalogue the trilogy of exhibitions, which was then published by Koenig Books. The catalogue is set in German and English, has 220 pages and features three metallic spot colours.

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Mies In London by OK-RM

Opinion by Richard Baird

Mies In London published by Real Foundation and designed by OK-RM

Mies In London is a project by Real Foundation that seeks to document modernist architect Mies van der Rohe’s only design for the United Kingdom, Mansion House Square; a bronze tower and grand plaza located at the heart of London opposite the bank of England and commissioned in 1962 by Lord Peter Palumbo. Following a long struggle with Royal and political concerns, as well as an increasing disfavour for modernism within the public consciousness, the project was halted by an inquiry in 1984 with many of the details and artefacts lost to time.

Through careful research and collaboration with RIBA, the CCA and Drawing Matter over three years, editor Jack London and co-editor Yulia Rudenko have brought to light the inside and out of Mansion House Square as envisioned by Mies. The project is an interesting and ambitious example of Gesamtkunstwerk / Total Project. This is expressed by Real Foundation in their own practice and material response through a combination of book and objects; an ashtray and door handle. The book, designed by OK-RM, chronicles and presents the grand architectural gesture and philosophy for the site using the arrangement of content; documents and images with extended captions as a narrative tool.

This article, in a break from convention and with a desire to experiment editorially, has two interwoven parts; the familiar format looks at the micro (the graphic and the material), while inset italics explores the more meta. These can be read independently or sequentially.

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