2003 Annual Design Review Graphics Design Distinction

Posted inID Mag


The annual report for Zumtobel, a leading European lighting manufacturer, is one of several distinguished print products in this year’s winners circle to come out of Sagmeister Inc. The report’s cover features a heat-molded plastic relief sculpture of five flowers in a vase, which symbolizes Zumtobel’s five sub-brands (the company’s name is embossed on the back); inside pages repeat the cover images, shot under different lighting conditions to illustrate the power of light. “How much simpler can you get? Light is the subject,” juror Dana Lytle said. “It stays true through to the end.” Janet DeDonato agreed, though she also expressed concern about the wastefulness of the materials.

CLIENT Zumtobel AG, Dornbirn, Austria: Jurg Zumtobel, principalDESIGN Sagmeister Inc., New York: Stefan Sagmeister, principal and designer; Matthias Ernstberger, designer; Bela Borsodi, photographerMATERIALS | FABRICATION Heat-molded plastic front and back cover, six-color offset interior, Akzidenz Grotesk fontSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop


The first in a planned series, this fat, compact catalog, also designed by Sagmeister Inc., for Berlin’s Fontshop Intl., features royalty-free photography collections described as “pictures by designers for designers.” The robot-like face on the pale-blue cover is repeated on divider pages. The names of featured designers run along the outside of each spread, creating a kind of flip book-a motif that has become a signature for Stefan Sagmeister. “There’s something about the size of it that makes you want to pick it up. Even when you know what it is, you still want to play with it,” DeDonato said. Dana Lytle commended the project’s conceptual theme: the designed head parlaying into the designer as machine.

CLIENT Fontshop Intl., Berlin: Erik Spiekermann, principalDESIGN Sagmeister Inc., New York: Stefan Sagmeister, designer and art director; Matthias Ernstberger, designer and illustrator SOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop


This stationery for an all-female public-relations firm based in London “emanates cool,” said Lytle. Design studio Johnson Banks created six bold logos to evoke 21st-century women, including a pink Swiss army-type implement that, instead of scissors and knives, packs a mascara wand, lipstick, bottle opener and tweezers. In another image, a shopping basket holds a cucumber and a Beaches video. Interchangeable envelopes carry through the theme with pictures of feminine fixations such as bathroom scales or telephone numbers of potential dates handily scrawled on an arm. DeDonato commended the design’s appropriateness and humor. Lytle said, “I like that letterhead becomes more than just correspondence. To me, it’s attitude.”

CLIENT Kushti Consulting, London: Jane Austin, principalDESIGN Johnson Banks, London: Michael Johnson and Sarah Fullerton, designers; David Sykes, photographerMATERIALS | FABRICATION Litho printSOFTWARE Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia FreeHand, QuarkXPress


Designed by Cahan and Associates of San Francisco, the annual report of Stamford, Conn.-based information technology consultancy Gartner looks more like a conceptual art piece than a compendium of corporate facts and figures. The front cover, a stiff piece of cardboard embossed with a four-line statement about the company’s strengths, sets a sober tone. Inside, a series of colorful panoramic photographs (a tropical resort, an urban skating rink, a massive parking lot), each offset by a pointed question, suggests the wide scope of the company’s reach. With the CEO’s letter printed in large type on the inside front and back covers, “You can’t miss the point,” DeDonato said. She added that the sophisticated report seems appropriate for the times. “It communicates so much in five spreads with very little copy,” Lytle noted.

CLIENT Gartner, Stamford, Conn.: Leanne Shapton, illustrator; Tony Leighton, David Stolberg and Bob Dinetz, copywritersDESIGN Cahan & Associates, San Francisco: Bill Cahan, creative director and art director; Bob Dinetz, art director and designer; Frank Schwere, photographerMATERIALS | FABRICATION Akzidenz Grotesk font, Vellum 17# t2000 Zanders; translucent text 50# Utopia 3; 80# accent cover shell for case cover; 80# opaque smooth text for inside coverSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress


Another remarkable design by Johnson Banks in London, this mailer explains how “the ultimate paper geek” developed paper company Smurfit’s new product, FAB. The reader is introduced to Bjorn, a paper-development technician, who appears nerdishly outfitted in a lab coat, glasses and pocket protector, and his colleagues Annita and Fredrik, and then invited, through large photographs and minimal text, to learn how Bjorn researches, tests and names the new paper. Bjorn builds huge origami projects to test folding capabilities and visits forests to make sure the product comes from a sustainable environment. “The deadpan humor and flawless execution are standouts,” DeDonato said. “Every page makes you giggle.”

CLIENT Smurfit Townsend Hook, Kent, EnglandDESIGN Johnson Banks, London: Michael Johnson and Marrieta Devoy, designersMATERIALS | FABRICATION Litho printingSOFTWARE Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress


London design firm Spin helped build the brand equity of the U.K.’s Channel Five by purging the word “Channel” from the station’s name. The promotional spots show, among other things, a young man struggling to do push-ups and the word “Five” pulsating to a hip-hop beat. Both jurors commended the use of Helvetica Neue type. Lytle said that it “screamed at you” when necessary and DeDonato praised its support of the visual content. “It takes a necessary evil and makes it an entertainment device unto itself,” she noted. “Each piece is a unique creation.”

CLIENT Channel Five Broadcasting, LondonDESIGN Spin, London: Tony Brook and Warren Beeby, creative directors; Chris Turner and Sam Tootal, contributorsMATERIALS | FABRICATION Various three- and four-color printing, Helvetica Neue 7s fontSOFTWARE AfterEffects, Media 100


Jurors enjoyed the hilarious catalog for an exhibition of Stefan Sagmeister’s work at the mak Vienna Museum. Designed by Sagmeister Inc., the tiny die-cut book, which features the essay “Baring It All: Stefan Sagmeister and the Return of Idea-Based Design” in both German and English, invites readers to stick their fingers through a nickel-size hole in the middle. Despite the childrens’-book device, the glossy pages picturing examples of Sagmeister’s output are far from G-rated. “The interactivity is rather irresistible,” DeDonato said. “It’s surprising, mysterious and a little bit naughty. It’s impossible not to stick your finger in the thing.” Sagmeister, Lytle added, is “consistent at doing
the one extra thing to make you want to spend time with a project.”

CLIENT MAK Vienna Museum, Vienna: Peter Noever, principalDESIGN Sagmeister Inc., New York: Stefan Sagmeister and Matthias Ernstberger, designers; Tom Schierlitz, photographerMATERIALS | FABRICATION 100-gram matte-coated paper, offset printing, die-cuttingSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop


“Beautifully put together, provocative and disturbing” is how Lytle described the Broken Wrist Project, the first publication in a planned series that showcases the work of a Los Angeles creative collective. Designed by the collective’s New York-based directors, the book blends the refined look of a literary journal with the raw and gritty feel of a street-level art publication. The cover (right) pictures a young boy with an eye-patch that bears a cutout of the Broken Wrist Project’s logo. This logo recurs on section openers throughout the book, which showcases the artwork, illustrations and stories of the group’s members. Inside the front and back covers (above) the name of the project is spelled out in what the designers call “flesh letters”-bulbous, sometimes hairy and definitely abnormal. “This is an attempt to reach a broader audience,” Lytle said of the design. “The production value and stock are high-end, but the borderline grotesque characters represent something else. Someone worked hard to put this out.”

CLIENT | DESIGN Broken Wrist Project, New York: Brett Kilre and Tracy Boychuk, designers; James Hughes, editor; Kevin Christy, creative director MATERIALS | FABRICATION fabrication Printed on Luna dull paper, four-process color with graphite gray special metallic ink and varnishSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress


A project for the Seattle Arts Commission by University of Washington design professor Karen Cheng, Sento at Sixth and Main is a collaboration between Cheng and Gail Lee Dubrow, a professor of preservation and urban planning. The 232-page book documents 10 sites of Japanese-American heritage in Washington and California, using stunning black-and-white archival photography. “It has a lot of power and impact, and it’s beautifully designed in one color,” DeDonato said. “I like the size and format-it reminds me of an old photo album.”

CLIENT The Seattle Arts Commission, SeattleDESIGN University of Washington, School of Art, Seattle: Karen Cheng, designer; Gail Dubrow, urban planning professor; Todd Maggio and Mark Edward Harris, photographers; Graves Arts and Cultural Planning, Seattle: Donna Graves, urban planner MATERIALS | FABRICATION Two passes of black in a high-definition printing process, sewn case binding SOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress


For the Center for Drama Art Zagreb quarterly performing-arts magazine, design firm Cavarpayer in Zagreb, Croatia, submitted three different issues with the common theme of design superiority. The “actor and/as author” issue contains just one typeface, Times New Roman; its paper is a mixture of specimens found at a printer storage facility. “The simplicity and found qualities make it,” Lytle said. “Each piece has a unique and compelling form that implies an unfinished story,” DeDonato added. “It’s fascinating in its randomness. Everything about it makes you think it’s special.”

CLIENT Center for Drama Art Zagreb, Croatia: Sergej Pristas, principalDESIGN Cavarpayer, Zagreb: Lana Cavar and Ira Payer, designers; Luka Mjeda, photographer; Sinisa Reberski, calligrapherMATERIALS | FABRICATION Times New Roman, Univers Light, Univers Bold, Univers Roman, Trade Gothic, American Typewriter, Bodoni, Fette Fractur and Minion Regular fonts; Bible paper, Agripina paper and mixed paper found at printer storage facilitySOFTWARE Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Pagemaker

Design Distinction : JIMI’S BOOK OF JAPANESE

Designed by Takahashi & Black for PB&J Omnimedia, both of Atlanta, Jimi’s Book of Japanese, an “interactive Japanese language book,” features friendly graphics, inviting colors and easy-to-understand instructions for speaking and writing Japanese. The book’s tour guide, an illustrated monkey named Jimi, shows up on almost every page to help with the learning process. Lytle loved the format, noting, “The excitement of learning a new language comes through the title and follows in the whole design.” He added that his seven-year-old daughter would “eat it up.” DeDonato appreciated the amount of information the book offered in addition to Japanese-language instruction.

CLIENT PB&J Omnimedia, Atlanta: David Voggenthaler, principalDESIGN Takahashi & Black, Atlanta: Daniel Wong, president; Yumie Toka, creative director and illustratorMATERIALS | FABRICATION Sheet-fed press; smyth-sewn book; Adobe Frutiger and Osaka fontsSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress

Design Distinction : PETER WEGNER BOOK

Jurors agreed that an apparent lack of design is the chief virtue of Wieden + Kennedy designer Todd Waterbury’s book for New York-based artist Peter Wegner. The small volume emphasizes minimalism with stark white pages and black type, “an articulation of the process by which the artist abides,” Waterbury noted. That process is presented as a series of 69 “increasingly provocative” thoughts, beginning with “The other today is the one you want” on the front cover and concluding with “The never enough” on the back. “The design is in the format and delivery of each of these statements,” Lytle said. “Anything else would have been gratuitous.”

CLIENT Peter Wegner, New York DESIGN Wieden + Kennedy, New York: Todd Waterbury, design; Fredrik Averin, typographer MATERIALS | FABRICATION Offset lithography on Strobe 80# text and 80# cover; perfect binding SOFTWARE QuarkXPress


The “viscera cortex” box, a 13 x 11-inch black box with a picture of a human skeleton on the front, houses Howry Design Associates’ 7 x 5.25-inch “backbone” book. The compendium, which has a bone-color cover, showcases 14 years of Howry’s design work. “It’s practical yet holds together as a concept. I haven’t seen anything like it before,” DeDonato said. “You can’t ignore this and you won’t throw it away.”

CLIENT | DESIGN Howry Design Associates, San Francisco: Jill Howry, principal; Todd Richards and Clay Williams, designersMATERIALS | FABRICATION Printed on an eight-color UV press on Mead Signature Dull 100# text; cover is foil-stamped in four colors on Arches BFK Rives paper SOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress


Chicago-based VSA Partners created this promotional piece for telecommunications contract negotiator Telwares Commu
nications LLC. Combining playful photography and informative text, the designers make clear why Telwares is the industry leader. Although it’s technically a brochure, the four-color piece looks more like a sophisticated children’s book. “It takes bad business metaphors and makes them interesting,” Lytle said. “It is what it is, and you like that.”

CLIENT Telwares Communications LLC, Destin, FlaDESIGN VSA Partners, Chicago: Nichole Dillon, design director; Andy Blankenburg, copywriter; Geof Kern, photographerMATERIALS | FABRICATION Four-color process plus four PMS colors on Mohawk Superfine White and Eggshell text and cover; Bembo fontSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, QuarkXPress


Curious Boym, a retrospective of the product, environmental and experimental work of Boym Studios, was designed by New York-based graphic design firm karlssonwilker inc. for Princeton Architectural Press. The book features such punchy design elements as a bright orange cover and a pop-up shopping-bag handle (which readers can use to tote the book around). A hole drilled through the cover produced punched-out chads, which the Boyms saved to be reused as promotional coasters. DeDonato liked the book’s “little surprises.” Lytle said, “I’d have to pick it up if I saw it at a bookstore. There’s a naive quality to it.”

CLIENT Princeton Architectural Press, New YorkDESIGN karlssonwilker inc., New York: Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker, designersMATERIALS | FABRICATION fabrication Offset print on Japanese matte sheets between paper-coated boards with a Wibalin spine; Akzidenz Grotesk, Monoline Script and Tekton Oblique fontsSOFTWARE QuarkXPress

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