is a graphic design studio in London and Odenwald/Frankfurt. We, Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou, established the studio in 1999 after graduating with an MA in Graphic Design from the Royal College of Art and run it to this day. We cover all areas of Graphic Design, including publishing, visual identities, logos, poster design and websites. Over the years, we’ve worked with many clients including Anish Kapoor (UK), Aram Store (UK), Bolles+Wilson Architects (D), British Council (UK), DAAD (UK/D), Disney (UK/US), Fraunhofer-Institut (D), Frieze (UK/D), Goethe-Institut (UK/D), ICA (UK), Italian Cultural Institute (UK), Laurence King Publishing (UK), Martin-Gropius-Bau (D), RIBA (UK), Skira Editore (IT), Steidl Publishing (D), Second Hand Records Stuttgart (D), Walther Koenig Publishing (D) and the Vitra Design Museum (D). And we’ve won quite a few awards as well. The most prestigious being the Grand Prix at the TDC Tokyo Type Directors Club, the Design Museum London Designs of the Year Award, a Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Awards, a Gold Cube at the ADC Art Directors Club New York, a Gold Nail at the ADC Art Directors Club Germany and Certificates of Typographic Excellence at the TDC New York Type Directors Club. We’ve also been teaching Graphic Design since 1998. Frank has been a professor of Communication Design at the Faculty of Design, Darmstadt University (D) since 2007, and Billy is an associate lecturer at UAL Camberwell College of Arts (UK).
On good design: Having studied in an environment that valued originality and lateral thinking over style has informed our practise to this day and has greatly influenced the way we approach each design project. We still believe that concept-driven design leads to new ways of seeing and new ways of doing things. And therefore better design. On our approach: When we start work on a project, we try to get right to the heart of it and enjoy editing out all the unnecessary bits. Then we try to make work that is original, memorable, and direct. On beauty: It inevitably comes into what we do, but it’s not an objective in itself. We prefer to focus on the formation of a strong idea and how it translates into appropriate design (that’s the beautiful bit). Because looking for beauty doesn’t necessarily lead to beauty. Most of the times it leads to a momentarily stylish result that will age fast and ungracefully. Style is, by its nature, ephemeral. If, on the contrary, you put your faith in the idea and trust the design process, the outcome will have integrity, originality and longevity. We’re happy to look back at our portfolio from the past 18 years and see that most works stand the test of time. On doing it right: The deeper we’re involved in a project, the more you get out of us. We depend on respectful collaboration, not least because it will lead to work that surpasses expectations. On growing: We’ve kept our studio small, as we enjoy working on all stages of the process (including initial meetings, design presentations, design/layout, final artwork, and handling production). This means we personally handle a project from concept through to production, ensuring things don’t get lost in translation. When projects require more, we also have a reliable pool of writers, editors, architects, programmers, and artworkers, with whom we work to get the job done. With our experience and skills, you’ll get more than you pay for. On fees and free pitches: We’re not the cheapest designers - a bespoke approach and attention to detail never is - but you’re not paying for overheads. We don’t do free pitches. A commission is based on trust, a free pitch on lack of trust. Plus, they don’t work for anyone. When designers focus on securing a job, they aren’t exploring the countless possibilities of what that job could be. On specialising: We have always resisted it! We’re happy working with artists and corporates alike, with start-ups, organisations, architects and institutes. We also publish our own projects and teach Graphic Design.
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.
Design Museum London Designs of the Year Awards 2013, nominated in the category Graphic Design D&AD Design & Art Directors Club UK Yellow Pencil 2013, Yellow Pencil Nomination 2014 and Wood Pencil 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2005 Tokyo TDC Type Directors Club Grand Prix in 2014, Grand Prix Nomination in 2013, Excellent Work/In-book Award in 2017, 2016, 2✕2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 TDC New York Type Directors Club Certificate of Typographic Excellence in 2014, 2013 and 2012 ADC Art Directors Club New York Global Awards Gold Cube in 2013 and 2009, Global Awards Silver Cube in 2014 and Global Awards Bronze Cube in 2014 and 2011 ADC Art Directors Club Germany Gold Nail in 2013, Bronze Nail in 2014 and In-Book Award in 2009 iF Communication Design Award in 2014 Fedrigoni Top Award Silver in 2015 and in 2013 Stiftung Buchkunst Most Beautiful German Book Award shortlist in 2016, 2014 and 2005 100 Beste Plakate in 2002 and 2001 Best of Corporate Publishing (BCP) Shortlist (Top 7) in 2013
Accenture (IRL) Anah Architects (AU) Anish Kapoor (UK) Aram Store (UK) Arnoldsche Art Publishers (D) Bolles+Wilson Architects (D) British Council (UK) Business to Arts (IRL) Charles Barclay Architects (UK) Chez Vous (GR) DAAD German Academic Exchange Service (UK/D) Department for Education (UK) Disney (UK/US) Fraunhofer-Institut (D) Frieze (UK/D) Foreign Ministry (D) German Embassy (UK) Goethe-Institut (UK/D) Heinemann (UK) Helen Hamlyn Centre (UK) Humboldt Stiftung (D) ICA (UK) IHK Stuttgart (D) Italian Cultural Institute (UK) Laurence King Publishing (UK) Martin-Gropius-Bau (D) Metz+Racine (UK) Naiv Records (D) Random House (UK) Reed Business Information (UK) RIBA (UK) Skira Editore (IT) Steidl Publishing (D) Second Hand Records Stuttgart (D) Therium (UK) Vitra Design Museum (D) Walther Koenig Publishing (D)
Alexander Girard – A designer’s Universe, 512 pages (March 2016), authors of a 120 page visual essay & designers of the book: Frank Philippin, Billy Kiosoglou (Brighten the Corners), publisher: Vitra Design Museum, ISBN 9783945852040 I used to be a design student, 256 pages (Feb 2013), authors & designers: Frank Philippin, Billy Kiosoglou (Brighten the Corners), publisher: Laurence King, ISBN 978-1856698986 plus a Korean edition in 2014 (디자이너, 디자이너 훔쳐보기 published by ag books, ISBN 9788970597355) and a Chinese edition in 2016 (我曾经是个设计系学生——50个平面设计师的今昔对比, published by HuaZhong University of Science & Technology Press, ISBN 9787568007023) Victor & Susie (2008, ISBN 9783923107421) / Stanley & Marvin (2009, ISBN 978-0-9562202-0-2) / Susie & Edward (2009, ISBN 978-0-9562202-1-9), all paperback, 72 pages, authors and designers: Frank Philippin, Billy Kiosoglou (Brighten the Corners), published by Offizin Scheufele 2 Jahre/2 Years, 104 pages (March 2008), author: Frank Philippin, publisher: Offizin Scheufele, ISBN 978-3-923107-45-2
Pulp, issue #04 Arte/Art, created by Eye Magazine, interview with John L Walters with the title ‘Feels Like Sculpture’, 76 pages (2015), publisher: Fedrigoni New Graphic Design: The 100 Best Contemporary Graphic Designers, 512 pages (2013), authors: Charlotte and Peter Fiell, publisher: Carlton/Goodman Books (London), ISBN 978-1847960443 Fully Booked: Ink on Paper – Design and Concepts for New Publications, 272 pages (2013), publisher: Gestalten (Berlin), ISBN 978-3899554649 It’s Nice That Annual 2012, 264 pages (2012), publisher: It’s Nice That Slanted Magazin #16 Bold/Light, 148 pages (2011), publisher: MAGMA Brand Design (Karlsruhe/München), ISSN 1867-6510 Minimalist Design, 336 pages (2011), publisher: Harper Collins (New York), ISBN 978-0062004581 Selected A: Graphic & New Media Design from Europe, 700 pages (Sep 2010), publisher: Index Books (Barcelona), ISBN 978-8492643578 The Complete Typographer, 292 pages (2010), publisher: Thames & Hudson (London), ISBN 978-4903233567 Idea No. 340: Forms of Practice, 230 pages (2010), publisher: Seibundo Shinkosha Publishing (Tokyo) Sourcebook of Contemporary Graphic Design, 600 pages (2009), publisher: Harper Collins (New York), ISBN 0061704385 2 Colors: Low Budget, High Impact, 288 pages (2009), publisher: Page One Publishing, ISBN 9789812456571 Made & Sold: Toys, T-Shirts, Prints, Zines and Other Stuff, 240 pages (2009), publisher: Laurence King (London), ISBN 9781856696289 Zoom In Zoom Out, 288 pages (2006), publisher: Victionary (Hong Kong), ISBN 9889822814 Tres Logos, 508 pages (2006), publisher: Gestalten (Berlin), ISBN 3899551575 Idea No. 316: The Conditions of Graphic Design, 264 pages (2006), publisher: Seibundo Shinkosha Publishing (Tokyo) Introducing: Designs for Making a First Impression, 240 pages (Jan 2006), publisher: Gestalten (Berlin), ISBN 389955087 Problem Solved – A Primer in Design and Communication, 288 pages (2004), publisher: Phaidon (London), ISBN 0714844535 Business cards: The Art of Saying Hello, 272 pages (2004), publisher: Harper Collins (New York), ISBN 1856693864 Insight: A Guide to Design with Low Vision in Mind, 304 pages (2003), publisher: RotoVision (London), ISBN 2880466989 What is Graphic Design?, 256 pages (2002), publisher: RotoVision (London), ISBN 2880465397 GB: Graphic Britain, 208 pages (2002), publisher: Laurence King (London), ISBN 1856693112 Baseline Magazine No. 34, 120 pages (2001), publisher: Bradbourne Publishing (Kent) Restart: New Systems in Graphic Design, 176 pages (2001), publisher: Thames & Hudson (London), ISBN 0500282978
Coimbra (PRT), ENED (National Conference for Design Students), 2016 London (UK), Jewish Cultural Centre (The Book is Dead! Long Live the Book!), 2016 Düsseldorf (D), Peter Behrens School of Arts (Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf), 2016 Potsdam (D), FH Potsdam Faculty of Design (Editorial Design), 2016 Düsseldorf (D), Peter Behrens School of Arts (Jour Fixe), 2015 Falmouth (UK), Falmouth University (Graphic Design Visiting Speaker Series), 2015 London (UK), Typocircle (St Bride Library), 2015 Tokyo (JP), Tokyo Type Directors Club (TDC Day Joshibi University of Art and Design), 2014 Epsom (UK), University for the Creative Arts (UCA), 2014 Xijing (CHN), Xijing Art College, 2013 Chengdu (CHN), Chengdu Art College, 2013 London (UK), Design Museum (PechaKucha X Design), 2013 Darmstadt (D), Hochschule Darmstadt Faculty of Design (I used to be a design student book launch), 2013 London (UK), University College of the Arts Camberwell (I used to be a design student book launch), 2013 London (UK), Royal College of Art (Type talks), 2008 London (UK), University College of the Arts Camberwell (BA Graphic Design Department), 2008 Augsburg (D), Fachhochschule Augsburg (Design matters: forum for critical debate), 2007 London (UK), Royal College of Art (Type talks), 2005 London (UK), Royal College of Art (Together), 2003 Brighton (UK), University of Brighton (Professional Practice Lecture), 2000 Kingston (UK), Kingston University (Professional Practice Lecture), 2000 London (UK), Helen Hamlyn Reseach Centre (Symposium), 2000 London (UK), PIRA Conference, 2000 London (UK), PSAG, 2000 Kent (UK), Kent Institute of Art & Design (Professional Practice Lecture), 1999 Reddich (UK), North East Worchestershire College (Professional Practice Lecture), 1999
Tokyo (JPN) (Ginza Graphic Gallery) & Kyoto (JPN) (ddd gallery), TDC Exhibitions, 2016 Singapore (The Substation Gallery), ‘I Have a Room with Everything Too’, 2016 World wide touring exhibition, NY TDC60 on the Road, 2014–2015 Beijing (CHN) (CAFA Art Museum), A dialogue on typography, 2015 London (UK) (Stationers’ Hall), Fedrigoni Top Award exhibition, 2015 Tokyo (JPN) (Ginza Graphic Gallery) & Osaka (JPN) (ddd gallery) & Concordia (USA) (The Concordia Art Center Gallery), TDC Exhibitions, 2014 Stuttgart (D) (Rathaus Stuttgart), ADC Roadshow & Editorial, 2014 New York (USA) (ADC Gallery), ADC Awards Exhibition, 2014 Berlin (D) (do you read me?! Reading Room & Shop), ‘Editorial ist ausgezeichnet!’, 2014 Tokyo (JPN) (Ginza Graphic Gallery) & Osaka (JPN) (ddd gallery) & Seoul (KOR) (Samwon Paper Gallery) & Shenzhen (CHN) (The OCT Art & Design Gallery), TDC Exhibitions, 2013 Chengdu (CHN) (Chengdu Art College), 10 posters, 2013 Parma (IT) (Bodoni Museum), Fedrigoni Top Award exhibition, 2013 New York (USA) (The Cooper Union Gallery), TDC New York Exhibition, 2013 London (UK) (Design Museum), Designs of the Year, 2013 London (UK) (Royal College of Art), 10th Anniversary Exhibition Helen Hamlyn Centre, 2009 Vancouver (CAN) (Emily Carr University), Common Threads Poster Exhibition, 2009 London (UK) (Cork Street Gallery), DAHRA (Designers Against Human Rights Abuse), 2009 Berlin (D) (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin), 100 Best Posters, 2003 London (UK) (Billboard und Publication in Duke St Hill), Change Your Life – Just and Frank, 2002 Berlin (D) (Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin), 100 Best Posters, 2002 London (UK) (The Old Jam Factory), Young Horses, 2001 London (UK) (Hockney Gallery), Cow, 2001 London (UK) (Entrance Gallery), Transit AV-installation, 1998 London (UK) (Gallery No.10 London), Reflectaphors, 1996
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