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XVIth All Sokol Slet 2018 by Studio Najbrt

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Visual identity, posters, billboards, t-shirts and merchandise by Studio Najbrt for the XVIth All Sokol Slet 2018

Slet is a mass gymnastics event and union of schools that has its roots in the latter half of 19th century Prague with the intention of providing physical, moral and intellectual training for the nation. Slet takes its name from the Czech word for flocking of birds. This can be understood in the sight of a stadium field filled with participants exercising in union. Slet became Skol clubs and spread across the country, establishing strong relationships with gymnastic bodies internationally, particularly with those in France, a relationship that endures today.

Slet, which took place every six years, were also characterised by their strong visual identities. This was a critical part of the unifying nature of the occasion. This was often put in the hands of prominent artists of the time.

From its beginnings in the second half of the 19th century to the present, Slet has found itself caught amongst political agendas; suppressed or repurposed for propaganda, only to reclaimed. The event was revived during the Prague Spring of 1968, only to fade out and remerge again for the fourth time in 1990 and then in 1994 when 23,000 Skols participated.

In 2018 Slet once again returned for its 16th event. In the same spirit of its earliest events, visual identity was an essential component. Inspired by the complex movements and the diagrams of dots, lines and arrows that guided the gymnasts, Prague-based Studio Najbrt draws a sense of fun, energy and character from complexity. This runs across and links a variety of printed materials, these included posters, billboards, badges, t-shirts, stamps, bags, badges and a variety of merchandise.

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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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