We like simple design. We like to keep things clear and enjoy editing out all the unnecessary bits that cling to ideas, so you can call us minimalists, it’s OK. But we don’t like dry work. We believe design should be concept driven, personally formed as well as engaging & fun.
Brighten the Corners is Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou. A German and a Greek, we met studying Graphic Design and set up Brighten the Corners after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1999. We have a studio in London (Brixton) and in the Odenwald (near Darmstadt/Frankfurt).
Over the years, we’ve worked with many clients including the Goethe-Insitut, the British Council, the Department for Education, Accenture, and Laurence King Publishing, happily switching between public sector, corporate and cultural environments. All along we’ve resisted specialising. This is important to us, as we feel that doing the same thing over and over leads to formulaic responses, and they never quite work. And it keeps us on our toes, so that we don’t become “those guys who only do annual reports” or something equally scary.
We’ve won quite a few awards as well. Not just for posters, logos, programmes, websites or events we’ve designed, but most recently for the outcome of a university workshop. And we like to keep our hands in many pies: we publish and sell work in our online shop and teach Graphic Design at the University of Darmstadt.
Frank was born in Stuttgart in 1967. As a teenager, he was the singer in a punk rock band as well as an aspiring goalkeeper. Frank discovered design during his 20 month-long civil service in a local magazine and soon developed a curious appreciation for the work of Neville Brody and the likes. However, the German educational system wasn’t quite ready for Frank’s radical approach to life drawing so he soon left the continent for London where he befriended a Greek with strange facial hair.
Frank went on to complete an MA at the Royal College of Art, during which he was shortlisted to design Royal Mail’s Millennium Stamp and where he designed his graduating year’s poster in manifesto style. He also completed a one-year research project at the Helen Hamlyn Centre on the subject of Small Print, before setting up Brighten the Corners. Today, Frank moves between the Odenwald, London and Darmstadt where he teaches Graphic Design.
Billy was born in Athens in 1973. His formative years were spent making covers for Scorpions compilation tapes on his bedroom floor, reading comics or walking long distances with his dog. Aged twelve, Billy visited an Athens design agency with a friend and declared themselves available for work. Eight years later he travelled to the UK to study at Camberwell College of Arts, where he befriended a smartly dressed German.
After a 20-month long military service in Greece, Billy returned to London for an MA at the Royal College of Art. During his studies, he successfully undesigned his graduating year’s catalogue and was selected to design a publication for the college’s own imprint, Salvo. At his degree show, Billy was awarded the Oberon Book Award and produced a giant sheet of writing paper. In 2001 he joined Frank at Brighten the Corners.
Before there was Brighten the Corners studio for design, there was Brighten the Corners, the album by Pavement. Although tracing the connection may seem difficult, the more persistent listener will find that repeated sessions of Type Slowly, Date w/ IKEA or Old to Begin will offer invaluable insights.
Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Lemmens Verlag) (D)
Anah Architects (AUT/D)
Anish Kapoor (UK)
Aram Store Gallery (UK)
Arnoldsche Art Publishers (D)
Bolles+Wilson Architecture (D)
British Council (UK)
Business to Arts (IR)
Charles Barclay Architects (UK)
Chez Vous (GR)
CILT, the National Centre for Languages (UK)
Cabanon Press (UK)
DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service (UK)
Department for Education (UK)
Frieze Publishing (UK/D)
German Embassy London (UK)
German Post Office (D)
Goethe-Institut Head Office (D)
Goethe-Institut London (UK)
Helen Hamlyn Centre (UK)
Holy Mountain (UK)
ICA – Institute of Contemporary Arts (UK)
IHK Region Stuttgart (D)
Italian Cultural Institute London (UK)
KASAPI Hellas (GR)
Laurence King Publishing (UK)
Lenze Holding (D)
Lola GP (D)
London College of Communication (UK)
Merrell Publishers (UK/USA)
Metz/Racine Photography (UK)
Naiv Records (D)
Mitchell Beazley Publishing (UK)
Random House (UK)
RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects (UK)
Royal College of Art (UK)
Royal Mail (UK)
Skira Editore (IT)
Second Hand Records Stuttgart (D)
Thurm & Dinges (D)
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