5 August 2015

Waddesdon Manor

On Friday we attended the opening of a new pavilion at Waddesdon Manor designed by the architects Carmody Groarke. We worked on the corridor signage for the pavilion (mostly beautiful toilet signs!). The signage is made from solid patinated brass and the forms take reference from the flourishes of the eighteenth century interiors of the manor.

Waddesdon Manor was built over a century ago by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. It was created as a place to entertain guests at Ferdinand’s famous ‘Saturday to Monday’ house parties. Now open to the public in partnership with the National Trust, the house and gardens exhibit the Rothschild’s extensive art collection.



12 June 2015

Manchester School of Art

Degree Show season is upon us, and we are particularly excited to see the exhibitions at Manchester School of Art, which open this evening.

We’ve been working with the School of Art since last year on its prospectuses, and have now recently completed the identity for the Degree Show too – taking inspiration from the history of the school and in particular the work of Walter Crane, an artist and scholar who was a key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, and was Director of Design of the school from 1893–98. We took his writings about education as a starting point for an illustrative typographic design to form the key graphic for the campaign; the design on the left is from the invitations, which were letterpressed onto a thick bright white GF Smith Wild board.

The APFEL team are heading up to Manchester this evening to attend the opening, and can’t wait to see all the work and celebrate with the students and staff!


15 May 2015

Design Museum Instagram Takeover

To mark the opening of the new Life on Foot: Camper at the Design Museum exhibition that we worked on, APFEL has been invited to takeover the Design Museum’s Instagram feed today, where we will be sharing a week in the life of APFEL.

It’s been an exciting one for us, with projects for Manchester School of Art and Tate Publishing coming back from the printers, a whirlwind trip to the opening of the Venice Biennale and, of course, the installation of the Life on Foot exhibition at the Design Museum itself.

To the right are some of our submissions: first, an installation shot from Sarkis’ Respiro exhibition at the Turkish Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, for which we designed the graphic identity, marketing campaign and accompanying catalogue. Second, a beautiful piece of ‘sacred geometry’ that we found in the exhibition PROPORTIO at the Palazzo Fortuny.

To see all our submissions, take a look at the Design Museum on Instagram.


17 March 2015


Henri Gaudier-Brzeska:
Art Dance and Movement 1911-15

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was a French artist and a pioneer of modern sculpture. Between 1910 and 1915, he produced a diverse and extensive body of work before being killed in action in France in June 1915, aged 23 – years later H. S. (Jim) Ede, the founder of Kettle’s Yard, acquired much of his work for Kettle’s Yard’s collection. The work of Gaudier-Brzeska and his contemporaries is the focus of Kettle’s Yard’s new exhibition, opening today.

This is the second set of exhibition materials we have designed for Kettle’s Yard. We are enjoying working with the new identity we completed for them a few months ago, and experimenting with KY Super Grotesk, the adapted version of Super Grotesk that we created for them, to make it unique to the exhibition. For the New Rhythms typeface, we studied Gaudier-Brzeska’s way of mark making, inspired by the fact that he worked in hard material and carved into stone. The colour is a reference to his association with Blast and the Vorticists.

The exhibition is now open and runs until 21 June, when Kettle’s Yard closes for the construction of a major extension.

Kettle’s Yard – New Rhythms


12 March 2015

Manchester School of Art


We’re very excited that the new prospectus we designed for Manchester School of Art has just come back from the printers. APFEL have been working with the School of Art since last year to design their new printed materials.

With the prospectus delivered we’ve just started working on the Degree Show identity – more soon!


13 January 2015

Adventures of the Black Square

The publication arrived ahead of the exhibition opening tomorrow night at the Whitechapel Gallery, relief! This is one of our largest publications to date with over 288 pages full of amazing work.

The exhibition takes Kazimir Malevich’s radical painting of a black square – first shown in Russia 100 years ago – as the emblem of a new art and a new society. The exhibition and publication features over 100 artists whose work symbolises Modernism’s utopian aspirations and breakdowns. The show traces a century of abstract art encompassing sculpture, film, photography, and painting, and explores how the movement’s revolutionary aesthetic continues to impact culture across the globe.

Whitechapel Gallery


19 December 2014

House of Voltaire 2014

Get your last minute purchases for the holidays at House of Voltaire 2014!

House of Voltaire is a biennial pop-up shop run by London-based gallery Studio Voltaire. It sells unique artworks, limited edition prints and specially commissioned homewares, clothing and accessories by leading contemporary artists and designers, to raise funds for Studio Voltaire’s renowned gallery and education programmes and support the work they do with young and emerging artists.

We designed the graphic identity and packaging for House of Voltaire, and worked with 6a architects and Simon Jones Studio, who designed the interior and furniture. This year’s shop opened for December on Albemarle Street, Mayfair and includes works on sale by artists including Jeremy Deller, Pablo Bronstein, Linder and Jim Lambie.


29 October 2014

Helena Rubinstein:

Beauty is Power

We have just finished the exhibition and publication design for Helena Rubinstein: Beauty as Power, a new exhibition at the Jewish Museum New York. Using works from her extensive collections of art, furniture and ephemera, the show tells the story of Madame Helena Rubinstein, an entrepreneur who helped break down the status quo of taste by blurring the boundaries between commerce, art, fashion, beauty, and design in America. She was an avid art collector, and the exhibition has a variety of works and portraits she commissioned and owned by artists such as Matisse, Miró and Nadelman, along with the amazing Picasso sketches shown opposite.

We collaborated with architects Feilden Fowles to design an installation spanning several rooms and housing a diverse range of artworks and exhibits. Beauty is Power is open from 31 October 2014 until 22 March 2015.


18 September 2014

33 Feet

We were recently invited by Art & Graft to contribute to Tooled Up, an exhibition of works by artists and designers held as part of London Design Festival 2014. For the project, Art & Graft sent each contributor a tool or object of craft to adapt or customise in whatever way they wished.

We were sent an old tape measure, which measured only feet and inches – outdated imperial measurements that are becoming increasingly difficult to visualise. We designed a print based on the numbers printed on the tape, collecting all 396 inches onto one sheet of paper. To the same scale but with lines removed, it is both an exact representation of distance and an abstraction of the collected length. The rhythm of the black and red and the character of the numerals hint at what it is.

Tooled Up is open until 20 September 2014.

Art & Graft – Tooled Up


14 August 2014

A Singular Form

There are only a couple of weeks left to see A Singular Form – an exhibition curated by Pablo Lafuente at Secession, Vienna. We recently designed a book to accompany the exhibition.

The show brings together works of art and ‘everyday’ objects that, because of their nature and of the way they have been displayed, pursue potential uses and meanings that go beyond those usually assigned to them. In response to Asger Jorn’s photographic picture books of the 1960s, our design for the book is intended to feel part academic, part archival document. It’s available from bookshops and on the Secession website. The exhibition runs until 24 August.

Images from clockwise from top: Three of Dustin Ericksen’s Height Bigots; One of Ricardo Basbaum’s NBP objects; A burning turnstile