Q was asked to create a design concept for the international Ceramics Talent Award 2016. The challenge was to come up with a visual idea that both draws attention through an individual approach and provides a platform for the various artworks.
The basic concept of our solution was to declare the artworks as protagonists of the design: Reducing the objects to their silhouettes generates a unique aesthetic, presents the wealth of forms in modern vessel ceramics, and awakens viewers’ curiosity. Only by visiting the exhibition or browsing the catalogue can one find out more about the look and materiality of the artworks. The silhouettes became a central thread throughout the competition's communication media.
In 164 pages, the bilingual catalogue presents an overview on all the awardees and finalists. On its cover, the typography is refined with a red hotfoil; depending on the viewing angle, the letters appear bright or dark, seeming to merge with the silhouettes and to create new shapes. On black spreads in the catalogue’s interior, which divide the publication into chapters, the silhouettes appear in colorless varnish. For presentation of the artwork, our design provides generous white space and fully subordinates itself to the objects (photography: Dirk Uebele). Solely red page numbers serve as a visual bond.
While on the front of the poster the exhibition is powerfully promoted, the back side depicts all the award-winning artworks of previous competitions. Thus, the poster provides far more information than just mentioning the current event; in addition, it can be viewed from both sides when freely suspended from the ceiling.
The International Ceramics Award has been organized by the Nassauische Sparkasse since 1990. A jury of experts presents four awards, endowed with 20,000 Euro each. The theme of this year’s contest was “Focus Vessel”. 500 artists – more than ever – took part. One hundred twenty three ceramic objects were selected for the shortlist, presented in an exhibition in the Keramikmuseum Westerwald, and published in a bilingual catalogue. Among this year’s awardees were Irina Razumovskaya from London (Great Britain) and Yves Malfliet from Antwerp (The Netherlands). Q also created the design concept for the previous Ceramics Talent Award, shaping the catalogue cover as a three-dimensional tactile object.