Le Fonds international d’objets imprimés de petite taille (International Collection of Small-Scale Printed Objects) looks at contemporary graphic design through the intelligence of the forms and economic and technical knowhow of printed objects that are modest in their format or size.
The attention usually paid to graphic design has long focused on the discipline’s most salient object, the poster. The formal kinship of that support with painted pictures, and the tradition of biennials and art competitions have favored spectacular dimensions for posters to the detriment of other graphic objects (invitations, flyers, ephemera, bookmarks, business or calling cards…). Half library half archive, Le Fonds international d’objets imprimés de petite taille is displayed on a modular shelving system adapted to the conditions of Kunsthal Gent. Each object can be handled and is shown on a storage case, displaying a notice that allows viewers to contextualize the subject and discover the intelligence of a form designed to echo the content. Technical or economic constraints can strongly influence a project in some cases. They lead designers to rethink the object and imagine different logics of how the object reaches the public by experimenting with other interstices, other fissures, where graphic design can creatively develop.
The collection, made up of several hundred international projects, is meant to evolve and grow as it travels.
The present selection features new or little known productions by a range of international designers. The exhibition thus offers a different history of contemporary graphic design, one where the quality of the object on display is not (solely) defined by a format and a support, but rather by the intelligence of the form, the execution, the materials, and the experimentation that eventually gave birth to it. A history in which the apparent modesty and limited size of the object seem to top the bill.
Åbäke (UK), Xavier Antin (FR), Antoine + Manuel (FR), Atelier de création graphique (FR), André Baldinger (FR), Jean Marc Ballée (FR), Alexandru Balgiu and Olivier Lebrun (FR), Marine Barbet, Garance Bastat-Popower, Florent Macrez and Adrien Tison (FR), Bizzarri-Rodriguez (FR), Boekie Woekie (NL), Jean-Philippe Bretin (FR), Building Paris (FR), Bureau Collective (SZ), Benoît Cannaferina (FR), Christophe Cherix (SZ), Claude Closky (FR), Le Club des chevreuils (FR), Ines Cox and Lauren Grusenmeyer (BE), Studio Veronica Ditting (UK), De Designpolitie (NL), DeStihl (FR), Marietta Eugster (SZ), Europa (UK), Experimental Jet Set (NL), Ed Fella (US), Ryan Gander (UK), Christophe Gaudard (FR), Thomas Geiger (AT), Gilbert and George (UK), Grapus (FR), Oliver Griffin (UK), Studio Joost Grootens (NL), Anna Haas (SZ), Rachel Harrison (US), Helmo (FR), Will Holder (UK), Claire Huss (FR), Jan en Randoald (BE), Mikk Jõgi, Zuzana Kostelanská and Laslo Strong (NL), Philippe Karrer (SZ), John Kelsey (US), Joris Kritis (BE), Anna Kulachek (RS), James Langdon (UK), Pierre Leguillon and Clovis Durand (FR), Florence Loewy (FR), M/M (Paris) (FR), Studio Jurgen Maelfeyt (BE), Karel Martens (NL), Maximage (SZ), Meeusontwerpt (NL), Fanette Mellier (FR), Mevis & van Deursen (NL), Aleksandra Mir (SE), Adeline Mollard and Clemens Piontek (SZ), Jonathan Monk (UK), Fraser Muggeridge Studio (UK), Karl Nawrot (FR), Neo Neo (SZ), Richard Niessen and Esther de Vries (NL), Studio NOI (SZ), officeabc (FR), OK-RM (UK), Gérard Paris-Clavel (FR), Julie Peeters (BE), Radim Peško (CZ), Adrian Piper (US), Marie Proyart and Jean-Marie Courant (FR), Manuel Raeder (DE), Etienne Robial (FR), Grégoire Romanet (FR), Guillaume Sbalchiero and Eliott Grunewald (FR), Marius Schwarz (DE), Mathias Schweizer (SZ), Syndicat (FR), Spassky Fischer (FR), SpMillot (FR), Coline Sunier and Charles Mazé (FR), Team TCHM (NL), Frédéric Teschner (FR), Toner toner (FR), Pierre Vanni (FR), Vier5 (DE), Yonatan Vinitsky (PL), Kelley Walker (US), Charlie Waterhouse and Clive Paul Russell (UK) and others to come
About the curators
François Havegeer (1987) and Sacha Léopold (1986) have worked in Paris under the name “Syndicat” since 2012. These two graphic designers founded the publishing house Empire in 2016. They republished the NASA Graphics Standards Manual (2016) and collaborated with artist Yonatan Vinitsky on The middle of the world book (2017). Since October 2017, they have published the bimonthly magazine Faire, a critical and analytical review of the various forms and activities related to graphic arts.
Quentin Schmerber (1990) is a graphic designer and typographer. After studying graphic communication in Strasbourg, he studied graphic design and typeface design in Amiens, graduating with the Temeraire, a typo inspired from the vernacular English letter, rewarded in the Club des Directeurs Artistiques and the Typeface Publishing Incentive Program. Regular contributor of the typographic news website Pointypo, he has collaborated with several French studios (Building Paris, Syndicat, Pilote…). He has been working with the team of Production Type since 2016.
About the exhibition designer
Pernelle Poyet (1990) lives and works in Paris. She graduated cum laude from ENSCI – Les Ateliers in 2015. At the 2016 Design Parade of the Villa Noailles, she received the jury award as well as the audience award.She was granted a residency at CIRVA in Marseille and at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres – Cité de la céramique. Since 2016, she has designed objects as well as exhibitions as a freelance designer, with a special focus on the question of language, matter-color, the various steps of a design project – from 2D drawing to volume – and the renewal of handmade traditional production techniques.