Ranging from bold but minimal book design and Helvetica-heavy type-based work, to striking collaged imagery, Studio Mennicke’s projects are as diverse as they are brilliantly executed. Founded in 2010 by Jens Mennicke, the Cologne-based studio now comprises a core team of two, Mennicke and Dmitry Sakharov, who are usually joined by a trainee and freelancers when projects need a specialist boost.
While Studio Mennicke’s work is wide-ranging, its two main focuses are brand development and editorial design. “I love designing magazines the most,” says Mennicke. “I have a background in journalism, and when designing magazines I’m confronted again and again with great stories that are just waiting to be told in a visually exciting way.”
As with many designers, Mennicke’s personal projects add fuel to his creative fire, and in turn inform client work. “It’s an important driver of innovation, and an investment in research and development,” says Mennicke. “Working without a brief means finding topics and concepts that interest me personally. These projects range from formal compositions to ready-made work, and I also create concrete products, such as the book OYIT – One Year in Terror, which tries to make one feel the intensity of daily, global terror. The book lists all calendrical attacks during the last year only by means of aggregated media headlines. A shuddering feeling arises when reading, but unfortunately this is our reality.”
This constant drive to innovate and engage with the world means that while there’s no house style, Mennicke insists there is a house attitude. “The desire to experiment and reduce things until the heart of the matter is visible is the kick,” he says.
Forthcoming projects include a redesign of CARE Affair magazine, designing the new issue of Etüde, and creating the branding for a new skincare range. But further on than that, Mennicke insists that “there is no masterplan… and if there were, I would be the first one to drop out.”