Zürcher Theater Spektakel campaign by Studio Marcus Kraft

Plus, striking collage branding is everywhere—from the HIFI Athletics branding by Butter to campaign design for Zürcher Theater Spektakel by Studio Marcus Kraft—and we like it. Not to mention a new exhibition at A/D/O called Out of Office, a topic on everybody’s minds. For more along these lines (and so many others) you can follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

  1. National Geographic August issue 

As we pointed out in April, National Geographic has been going through some visual changes recently—starting with a redesign from Godfrey Dadich that introduced new custom typefaces, a new issue structure, and some clean and readable layouts that feel both modern and true to Nat Geo. The magazine’s August issue is out now, with a focus on global migration, and the design continues to stand out. In conjunction with the content, which calls attention to the crisis state of migration throughout the world, creative director Emmet Smith nixed borders from the issue layout entirely. “We are living in a time where borders fail us,” he explains. With the design, Smith and his team wanted to “reflect that notion… having the type move through the pages, rather than obeying traditional rules as to where it can—and can’t—be.”

It’s a subtle but clever signal of change—retaining visual hierarchy, the titles and subtitles dip into the images, and the whole thing takes on a floating feeling without clear visual markers, boxes, or borders. The issue goes deep into the topic of human migration throughout the world and throughout history. We’ve been following the mag’s excellent “Out of Eden” project, so we’re eager to dig into this one.

2. HIFI Athletics branding, Butter 

In other follow-up news, designer Cari Sekendur, whose philanthropic project Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress we’ve told y’all about before, got in touch about her studio Butter, out of NYC. We spent far too long playing around on the homepage of her site, scrolling over the circles to fill them with close crops of her work. When we finally got around to the work, we weren’t disappointed. Especially nice is the retro collage style of the HIFI Athletics branding, created together with illustrator, Heidi Chisholm and designer Lara Turner, for the “boxing-inspired streetwear brand” for women, non-binary, and trans people. The aim of the campaign was to express inclusion for all in combat sports, with bright colors and striking illustration and collage elements. We’re really into the moving poster and Instagram images—nice work, Butter.

3. Zürcher Theater Spektakel campaign design, Studio Marcus Kraft

We love a good festival branding project, and this time of year there’s no shortage of them. Case in point: Studio Marcus Kraft’s campaign for the Zürcher Theater Spektakel, a theater festival in Zurich. In collaboration with Swiss artist Monique Baumann, the studio mixed analog and digital design media to create a campaign of fragments and collaged images that feel thoroughly fresh. Collages FTW this week.

“Out of Office” exhibition at A/D/O

4. Out of Office exhibition at A/D/O

It’s also the time of year when those clever “out of office” replies love to remind you that everyone else is out on a luxurious summery vacation while you’re stuck behind a desk conversing with automated emails. Thankfully, the Brooklyn-based artist space A/D/O has an exhibition entitled Out of Office that won’t make you feel out of flock with the seasonal office migration. Created in collaboration with Soft-FirmTORTUGA Living, and Alex Gilbert, the show looks at the evolution of the office from the analog to the digital age, and how those changes have affected a “culture of labor.” Of particular interest to us is an installation entitled Water Cooler Talk, wherein the symbol of idle chatter and workplace gossip has been transformed for the modern day worker—through Slack, of course. The installation features a screen that projects a live Slack channel—#0ut0f0ffice Slack Workspace, if you’re keen on joining—that “invites the design community to share their practices and thoughts on the future of work.”

New York Times Style Section, “The Summer’s Hottest Takes”

5. “The Summer’s Hottest Takes,” New York Times Styles Desk 

The New York Times Styles section has been on fire lately (editorial and design🔥)… and today we mean that literally. In homage to summer, the Styles desk has created a flaming interface in service of educating readers on the concept of the “hot take.” Per the site, “If you’re not familiar with the idea of the ‘hot take,’ the basic definition would be a hastily assembled but perhaps heartfelt piece of incendiary opinionated content.” The Times has done the courtesy of coming up with some hot takes for you—“Celery juice is a gross scam,” “Cute pool floats are ostentatious and infantilizing”—that you can upvote or downvote in the name of finding the hottest one. Go ahead, practice. There’s a hot dog on a treadmill in the corner that will cheer you on. Genius interface design, Styles design team.