24 October 2018

Open Ended Now

Last weekend saw the opening of Melanie Manchot’s monographic exhibition at MAC VAL in Paris, ‘Open Ended Now’. The show celebrates the breadth of Manchot’s practice, which encompasses photography, film, sound and installations, and through which she explores notions of community, identity, place, individuality and activity.

We were commissioned to design a catalogue to accompany the new exhibition, which would gather together a selection of Manchot’s key projects from 1998 to the present. The design of the book reflects the way in which Manchot considers her works as being in progress, in the present, and ongoing, regardless of the final outcome – handwritten type is used for page numbers throughout, and the book has a documentary quality emphasised by the smooth-edged, folder-like binding.

‘Open Ended Now’ is at MAC VAL in Paris until 24 February 2019.

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26 September 2018

We remain European

As Brexit looms, we feel compelled to celebrate our ongoing fellowship with the people of Europe, and our desire to remain within the EU.

We aim for a second referendum, or at least a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal.

These tote bags are our means of expressing this sentiment – they are available now.

Screen-printed cotton tote bag, 420mm × 390mm.

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19 September 2018

Bespoke Typeface for V&A Dundee

Earlier this month we attended the opening of the new V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first dedicated design museum. We were commissioned by the V&A to create a bespoke typeface to mark the occasion of the museum’s opening.

We took inspiration from the external structure of the V&A Dundee building, which was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Kuma’s design for the building references the rocky cliffs of Scotland’s northeastern coast, and our design in turn took these stacked forms as its starting point, creating a dynamic headline typeface built upon a geometric, humanist foundation.

The V&A Dundee typeface features in a new book we designed about the institution and its building, which is available for sale now, as well as on merchandise including tote bags, pencils and notebooks. The new museum, and its inaugural exhibitions, are open now.

V&A Dundee

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28 August 2018

APFEL is fifteen!

A Practice for Everyday Life turns fifteen this year. To mark our birthday we will be delving into the studio’s archive, and sharing stories from several pivotal projects we’ve worked on since APFEL began back in 2003.

We will be exploring the different thought processes, ideas, methodologies and questions that we have explored within our work, and looking ahead to what’s yet to come for the studio.

Keep an eye out on our Instagram feed over the coming weeks as we reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going next…

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17 July 2018

New projects on our website

We’ve just updated our website with a selection of new projects. It’s been a busy few months and we are excited to share what we’ve been working on.

New projects include identities for Kettle’s Yard, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Midgramme, Rees & Co, Llewelyn’s, Kunsthalle for Music and Asia Art Archive.

We’ve also been working on exhibitions for Barbican, Kettle’s Yard and Royal Academy of Art; publications for Whitechapel Gallery, Waddington Custot, Bloomsbury, Artangel, Universal Design Studio, Tower Block Books, Erratica, Faye Toogood and Sternberg Press; and books created with artists including David Noonan, Leonor Antunes, Oscar Murillo and Magali Reus.

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11 July 2018

Hot Cottons / As mist description

We recently designed a publication for the artist Magali Reus, Hot Cottons / As mist description, to accompany her excellent recent solo exhibition at South London Gallery. The book takes certain formal and conceptual qualities within Reus’ work as a starting point for its design, utilising a range of paper stocks, die-cut details and printed inserts. You can read more about the book, and the thought process behind its design, on It’s Nice That here.

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25 April 2018

Periferia by Andrés Sandoval

Tower Block Books’ latest publication, Periferia by Andrés Sandoval, is an artwork disguised as a book. Its yellow cover contains a concertina-folded, rubber stamped scene by the São Paolo-based graphic artist, in which the rhythms and patterns of the city are recreated through repetitive motifs of buildings, people, automobiles and abstract forms. Together, they tell a wordless story based on São Paolo itself.

As Sandoval explains, “We associate stamps with a mechanical gesture that can be repeated endless times. But stamps are also characterised by their somewhat imperfect and incidental nature. In this book, what is hard and industrial in the city has been represented through the misalignments, overlaps and multiplications afforded by hand-carved blocks.”

We were commissioned to work with Sandoval to develop this artist book. Enjoying the parallels between rubber stamping and the process of movable type printing, we decided to celebrate this in creating a bespoke stamped typeface for the cover. The textural imperfections of the hand-stamping process add character and a hand-rendered sensibility to the cover of the book.

Periferia will be published by Tower Block Books, an independent small-press publisher of picture books about places, later this year. You can pre-order a copy now on their website.

towerblockbooks.com

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3 April 2018

The frisson of the togetherness

If you have yet to see Leonor Antunes’ site-specific commission at the Whitechapel Gallery, now is the time to pay a visit, as the exhibition is in its final week. The installation, titled ‘The frisson of the togetherness’, combines layered structures constructed from leather, rope, wire, wood, glass and linoleum, incorporating references to overlooked female figures in the history of Modernism and to the gallery’s seminal 1956 exhibition ‘This Is Tomorrow’.

We designed a publication to accompany the commission, which continues Antunes’ thematic exploration of layered references within its design, featuring installation photography, reference materials, loose-leaf inserts behind a clear archival slipcover, and 1:1 reproductions from her previous publications. The exhibition runs until 8 April at the Whitechapel Gallery, and the book is available now.

whitechapelgallery.org.

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8 February 2018

Kettle's Yard Reopens

Kettle’s Yard reopens this weekend following the addition of a new education wing and expanded galleries designed by Jamie Fobert Architects. The reopening coincides with the launch of Actions, a new exhibition that celebrates the poetic and political power of modern and contemporary art. We’ve been working with Kettle’s Yard for the past four years on their identity, exhibitions and printed materials, and now also on the relaunch campaign and the Actions exhibition graphics and book; it’s lovely to see the space open its doors to visitors once again.

In the words of founder Jim Ede, “Kettle’s Yard is in no way meant to be an art gallery or museum, nor is it simply a collection of works of art reflecting my taste or the taste of a given period. It is, rather, a continuing way of life from these last fifty years, in which stray objects, stones, glass, pictures, sculpture, in light and in space, have been used to make manifest the underlying stability which more and more we need to recognise, if we are not to be swamped by all that is so rapidly opening up before us.”

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26 January 2018

On press for Kettle's Yard

This week we’ve been on press for the printing of the new Kettle’s Yard House Guide, which we have redesigned in time for the re-opening of Kettle’s Yard on 8 February. The beautiful house has been closed to the public since 2015, whilst a major development project was underway to expand the adjacent galleries and create a new education centre, led by Jamie Fobert Architects. With the works now complete, we’re looking forward to spending time once again amongst Jim Ede’s remarkable collection of objects and artworks within the house.

We have also worked with Kettle’s Yard on the design of the reopening campaign, and for the first exhibition in the new galleries, Actions. The image of the world can be different, building upon the identity we designed for the house and gallery in 2014. Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for more information, and start planning for your visit to Cambridge to see the beautiful house and galleries!

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