Offshore Studio returns with a stunning range of unconventional graphic design projects

The studio has a lot to update us. One of its recent initiatives, for example, is a project called Not at your service: Manifestos for design, created for the Zurich University of the Arts. The project dissects the role of graphic design and the impact it has through a publication, “which is not conceived as a finished project, but as a fluid document of its time”, Christoph tells It’s Nice That. Inspired by old underground magazines, the team opted for a dynamic mix of text and images to accompany their sprawling, albeit very stereotypical, layouts. Not to mention its use of “wild combinations” of typefaces and sizes, as well as the addition of small hand-drawn symbols and frames. Isabel goes on to explain how they wanted to translate this subversive tone from the underground scene into the editorial format. “So we came up with the idea of ​​four different layouts for the four main chapters, using different type sizes for each of them, getting smaller with each chapter.” Thus, the English texts are printed in red while the German is in green at the end of each chapter; color plays an imperative role as it dissects the difference between quotes, essays, and overall structure.

In other projects, the studio designed a website for the Bauhaus Foundation called Digital Atlas – an interactive map of ideas, objects, styles and people related to the educational side of the Bauhaus. Users can delve into the various schools of art and design around the world to better understand the impact and migration of ideas in relation to this prominent design movement. Another example is a post named Elements, created during the residency at the Jan van Eck Academie and edited with Jessica Gysel. Presenting art and design exhibitions from the year 2021, the work involved is aimed at the cross-border region of the Euregio – located between Germany and the Netherlands. “We wanted to do a little more than an exhibition catalog and came up with the idea of ​​using the four classic elements of water, earth, fire and air as a narrative threat for the publication”, shares Christoph. “These four elements were offered to ancient cultures as a basis for explaining the nature and complexity of all matter and we wanted to look at the exhibits presented through their lens.”

Everything Offshore Studio works towards has this consistent level of cultural impact. Devoid of superficial concepts, the studio’s portfolio is littered with in-depth investigations into topics that really matter – crafted through a playful mix of symbol use, software and writing. “It’s about figuring out how to translate certain ideas, concepts, themes, and spaces into a visual language that feels thematically appropriate, exciting, and able to communicate specific information in an impactful and intriguing way.”

Clifton L. Boyd