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Dee Magazine 6

DEE No. 6 published by Design Friends asbl

Colophon Editors in Chief Nadine Clemens, Mike Koedinger

Design Friends Board Members Nadine Clemens, president Mike Koedinger, vice-president Guido Kröger, treasurer Anabel Witry, secretary

Art Direction 101 Studios Print coordination Guido Kröger

Design Friends counsellors Heike Fries Silvano Vidale

Cover Illustration Original creation by Pe’l Schlechter, July 2017. In collaboration with Vidale-Gloesener Writing Afsaneh Angelina Rafii Photography Antonello Di Pinto, Jan Hanrion (if not mentioned otherwise) Editorial collaborators Charline Guille-Burger, Anabel Witry Distribution Maison Moderne

Design Friends asbl 41, rue Notre-Dame PO Box 345 L-2013 Luxembourg

Thanks to Marc Binsfeld, Heike Fries, Nicole Goetz, Will Kreutz, Lëtzebuerg City Museum, Loterie Nationale, Mudam, Dan Neven, Sécurité Routière, Mike Sergonne, Fred Thouillot, Silvano Vidale, 1535°. Visit and subscribe to our newsletter. Join us on Facebook. © Design Friends asbl 2017 (Luxembourg, Europe)

ISSN 2304-523X




Design Friends have been working away, for some time now, on grouping the key elements of Grand Ducal design culture. A step to definitively perpetuate and legitimise this process would be to write a history of graphic design in the Luxembourgish context. Certainly, this would amount to initiating a practice, new in this country, and particularly, to filling a gap. Indeed, Luxembourg can boast of a real tradition in the field of graphics which has materialised, over the decades, through the creation of high-quality works of art. However, before applying ourselves to analyse the aesthetics, or interpret these works of art, we must first consider the methods to use for a study of this kind. With an absence of any real reference tools, the exercise proves as arduous as it is necessary. In fact, publications, exhibitions and other scientific research relating to the subject are, in a manner of speaking, seriously failing. Apart from a few museum collections (notably those on the posters), there is a lack of a real archiving culture. In a previous edition of this magazine, we presented an overview of striking visual identities for Luxembourgish institutions and brands. To do this, we contacted people concerned in this field. Today, we wanted to complete the experience by initiating a round table with witnesses of the subject of the evolution of graphic design culture from 1964, the date when Interpub was created, up until the present day. The ambition of relating almost a half century of history arose from memories and recollections which appeared during our interviews. The ground has now been prepared for the creation of this historical perspective that we are obviously hoping to deepen. The field of investigation is vast and could relate to other disciplines such as history (of art) or sociology, as well as to the world of companies and brands. As usual, particular attention has been given to the layout of this magazine, a carte blanche given to 101 Studios. It is wrapped, furthermore, in a very beautiful, new work of art, by Pe’l Schlechter. Born in 1921, without any doubt, he ranks as a pioneer in graphic art which, as you will have understood, we are not growing tired of showcasing. Nadine Clemens, President Mike Koedinger, Vice-President



Dee Magazine 6

Understanding the past

The Evolution of Design in Luxembourg

Luxembourg can rely on a very strong and diversified graphic design scene, with a landscape that is marked by many agencies that deliver quality work. Its strength derives from a historical foundation that can be traced back to the turn of the 20th century, followed by a generation of designers that were born before the Second World War and remained active after the war and well into the 50s, 60s and 70s. They include celebrated talents like Raymon Mehlen, Roger Gerson, Lex Weyer Senior, Mett Hoffmann, and of course Pe’l Schlechter.

pivotal institution in the process, serving as an incubator of sorts where a number of graphic designers did their training before moving on and creating their own agencies. 1979 marks the creation of Made by Sam’s, which revolutionises the scene by presenting works that are meant to push boundaries and rattle the expectations of what role an agency should play. The 80s and 90s continued to witness the emergence of an increasing number of agencies with a unique voice.

This small group of graphic designers was not only for the most part self-taught, but often dabbled in other creative outlets like painting and architecture, splitting the work commissioned by institutions like the Loterie Nationale.

Looking back at this rich and diversified history it is disheartening to realise that there is no national institution dedicated to the archiving of these past works – with the exception of few exhibitions that have presented a collection of works at national museums. Graphic design is an important part of the artistic heritage and cultural history of any country. It is with this in mind, that a few actors and observers were invited to a round table to reflect and shed light on the factors that contributed to this evolving graphic design landscape, the culture years of 1995 and 2007 as a catalyst for new work, and the important and changing role of the client.

Later emerged people like Pit and Anne Weyer who were also active in the theatre world, as well as Claude Fontaine, who as the cofounder of the Galerie Terres Rouges infused this already rich archive of graphic art with his important take. It is with the advent of the agency age, beginning in 1964 and continuing into the two decades that followed, however, that things were really revolutionised combining technology with the creative ambitions of young entrepreneurs. Maurice Benoy, an active painter, graphic artist and poster designer, can be seen as a precursor, establishing one of the first advertising agencies already several years prior.

Participants of the conversation: MB. Marc Binsfeld, Binsfeld WK. Will Kreutz, Made by Sam’s DN. Dan Neven, Apart design agency Animated by: AAR. Afsaneh Angelina Rafii, journalist NC. Nadine Clemens and MK. Mike Koedinger, Design Friends

Interpub, founded by Guy Binsfeld and Leo Reuter, ushered in a level of professionalism, and became a






1 Lex Weyer, Redoute de l’Assoss St. Gervais-des-Près,1953. 2 Pe’l Schlechter, Loterie Nationale,1976. 3 Roger Gerson, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg,1945-1965. 4 Raymon Mehlen, Luxemburger Landeslotterie,1940.


All: Lëtzebuerg City Museum Collection.


Photos: Christoph Weber.


Dee Magazine 6

The first design-related memories

DN. I am a bit behind, but what I remember really well is a Luxembourgish product, the green milk carton made by Luxlait. It really left an impression on me. I really liked it then, still like it now and prefer it to the type of things they are currently presenting. But I was a kid then. Much later though, I remember something, a campaign for the Sécurité Routière called Sief keen Déier am Verkéier. (Translation: Don’t be an animal on the road). It’s not that I found it particularly nice looking, but it was compelling and the fact that I still remember it means that it was good. So these are the things that stayed with me even before I ever decided to get into graphic design.

MK. Maybe we can start with each of you sharing an anecdote or a memory pertaining to your first design-related experience – where you remember experiencing design. WK. In my case I would definitely say that my first memories are related to packaging. That was a long time ago though… I can remember that I was impressed by packaging that I had seen around, like Kaba, or Kölln Haferflocken, and Brandt. Especially, because as a child you were constantly exposed to these products. Brandt is still defined by the simplicity in its design. So these are the three things that come to mind. Basically things that I was surrounded by in my daily life, which gave me a sense of curiosity, a desire to discover what was behind it, and which later led to my vocation. So I would say branding and packaging.

MK. On the one hand there are things that we were subconsciously exposed to, like the milk carton you just mentioned which was accessible to kids, or cigarette packs which one might have seen around parents. I can also remember, as a young professional, the first time that design entered the advertising realm, it was thanks to works that were created by Made by Sam’s, Will Kreutz, your work entered the public space, a space that was until then limited to ordinary advertising but which then made room for real design-forward ads. It may have not been a nice invitation card but it was massive advertising and it was well designed. That was essentially a real tipping point at the end of the 80s, beginning of the 90s, through your Power of Symbols self-promotion campaign. There may have been good ads around before but not with such a punch. The exposure in that sense was both on a conscious and subconscious level.

MB. I do have a range of anecdotes I can remember. I came into this all through, my father, Guy Binsfeld from Interpub, which was founded in 1964, the year I was born. I have this picture of a competition they had organised at the time for the city of Luxembourg, where I am sitting in a gigantic box, taking part in the drawing of the ballot. It’s not directly design-related but at the time they were working for Grosbusch (company that imports and distributes fruit and vegetables) and in terms of packaging, there was this orange called bébé orange that was wrapped in this paper. On the paper there was an image of Pipi Langstrumpf… and as a ten-year-old, I was of course a big fan. So I don’t have design-related memories per se but more memories relating to the fact that I was growing up within that scene.







By the simplicity of the design of the packaging of these brands, they have succeeded in marking the spirits from a very young age. Luxlait packaging is an illustration of a typical product of current consumption that can be found in the Luxembourg’s households.


Dee Magazine 6

How did it develop?

MB. One of the reasons why Luxembourg is really above average in terms of graphic design is the fact that it had a large and diverse print media landscape early on. If you go back to the 60s and 70s, we had our daily press with a powerful Luxemburger Wort, we had TV which started with Hei Elei Kuck Elei (RTL) a programme that was on air once a week for two hours on Sundays and we had cinema, but nothing too noteworthy before cinema Utopolis came on the scene in 1996. So the works that were created were mostly focused on print media. Maybe more than in other countries – which also have good graphic design but where the transition into audio-visual probably happened much faster. I am talking about agencies specifically, since graphic design relates to that. In the case of Interpub, my dad (Guy Binsfeld) was the copywriter who would deliver the text and Leo Reuter the visuals. They were, in the beginning, mostly a graphic design oriented agency and not so much an advertising agency. Guy was a journalist for the Journal, Leo studied graphic design in Germany and Switzerland and they were both from Limpertsberg. Guy had to sometimes create an ad for the Journal, so he would call up Leo since there were no agencies around, except for Pe’l Schlechter and those guys, and Leo would draw something up for him as a side gig. The Journal was then having some difficulties, not knowing if they could stay afloat, so once Leo finished his studies they created the agency together. It’s not an important anecdote but it’s just to say that they were solicited left and right to come up with ads. After that, you had the emergence of a niche for the financial industry with their annual reports. Will Kreutz knows more about that time because that’s

when they really emerged. Audio-visual always lagged behind because it was just not worth it to do a whole production for something that appeared once a week on TV… some of course did it but it was really basic and mediocre. Historically graphic design was born into this print landscape and it was in high demand. Pe’l Schlechter was telling us (Note: on the occasion of a Design Friends conference in 2017) about how it then became important to be able to make a living with it. The Loterie Nationale was really crucial because they had the budgets to make lithography and to apply the techniques for the printing of coloured posters. So for the few people who were active in that scene it was an important source of revenue. On the flip side it also explains why we were slow to develop the audio-visual. Hei Elei Kuck Elei was later projected on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until it became a daily production, but, still, adverts were limited during the week. It’s only with the emergence of the cinema Utopolis that making audio-visual content started to become interesting and we started making investments towards that. But as agencies we only had very limited experience or none at all. So we would go to places like Brussels to see how it is done… that’s another subject altogether. Now we have caught up but historically it took some time. MK. If RTL brought the images, then cinema really added the sound to advertising spots. NC. Utopia didn’t have any ads for a long time, and when they started they were very selective.



1 Interpub, Cargolux logo, designed by Karl Kodar. Early 1970s.

2H  ei Elei Kuck Elei, RTL, the first weekly information television show in Luxembourg language.

3M  ade by Sam’s, The Power of Symbols,


self-promotion campaign, 1991.


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Dee Magazine 6

Getting exposure abroad

DN. Today, we can say that there is a pretty strong scene, but isn’t that just a natural consequence of the development in technology? Before making an ad required a lot more effort and a larger investment.

result is the combination of all of that and having the right training is part of that too. DN. Going back to that though, the diploma or studies are irrelevant to us.

WK. It’s also the quality of the people that has evolved. I used to go looking for people in Germany, London, and Paris. I even went as far as Colombia and China. The idea was to have a diverse talent pool. But if I look at what has happened in the last 10, 15 or 20 years, then the quality of the people who have come back and are on the market place is completely different from what was available to us when we started. We were really dedicated to training people and bringing them up to a level and standard that we had set for ourselves.

AAR. Ok, but it’s the idea of leaving the country and going out and being exposed to different experiences, being confronted to other people. DN. What’s important is having a large general knowledge, an interest in what happens all around you. That’s the most important factor. Then comes talent, your personal affinity and interest but I am not sure you need to get a doctorate in graphic design or study for eight years.

AAR. What role would you say that studies played? Were the older generation more self-taught?

WK. But going abroad, that’s important. You absorb things that you can then bring back. We were so happy when someone left, and did not say “F- Luxembourg, you can suck it, I am never coming back”, but actually came back. Because they had something more to offer.

WK. If you look at the older generation going back to the 60s, people like Maurice Benoy, René Ungeheuer, they were all people who stumbled into the vocation. They delivered because there was a need for that type of work out there and they never transcended that level. Pe’l Schlechter, on the other hand, was on a different level, and I worked with him often. He was a role model as a poster designer, and he was always one step ahead, because he had drive.

MB. They often did come back because there was work here and people who laid the groundwork. There was the Pe’l Schlechter generation. Then later at Interpub, they tried to attract certain talents. People like Claude Fontaine, also a guy from Limpertsberg, who had an interesting exhibit at Kulturfabrik in Esch/Alzette a few years ago. Guy Binsfeld and Leo Reuter tried to bring in a level of professionalism, so they went to the US to see how agencies worked there, Ogilvy and other pioneers were examples for them.

As a young student I worked with Maurice Benoy, and that constant collating, it was like being on a different planet. Basically, you found your vocation and you tried to improve on it and fine-tune it. Interest is the first prerequisite and talent is the longer path forward. The end

WK. Yes, they really prepared the terrain and Made by Sam’s was able to just jump in because of that.



Agencies leading the way

MB. You guys at Sam’s, created the second important step because you shook things up. You ushered in a new style that was youthful and different. Then after that came the next generation, with Tom Gloesener and Silvano Vidale (Vidale-Gloesener), Raoul Thill (Bizart), etc. MK. From the 60s until the 70s it was a big step and then it accelerated, in a sense, with new generations. You had the pioneers, the first, second generation, followed by new milestones with Bizart, followed by Vidale-Gloesener. Each generation followed the other and relieved it in its role as trendsetter and influencer with new and evolving tastes. Today that has changed and it is no longer one agency that leads the way but it is a constellation of small agencies that are really good. WK. Yes, before each decade was marked by one agency, Interpub, followed by us at Sam’s, and then in fact it went pretty fast. MB. You also had people who started doing internships left and right, who maybe were at the Lycée des Arts et Métiers and then tried to gain experience at different agencies. Silvano Vidale (Vidale-Gloesener) was with us. They went and learned new things everywhere. An agency, even if it ends up disappearing, sees a lot of people come through. If you look at Interpub and all the people that came through it – and I am not only talking about designers, but people like Carlo Dickes (Comed), Marc Wagner (Format), who later moved on and maybe created their own agency. It’s almost like a ripple effect that ensures a sense of continuity and a certain dynamic.

Visual identities by Vidale-Gloesener for d’stater muséeën (2001), Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (2005), Rockhal (2004).


Dee Magazine 6

The advent of technology

DN. I know when I was doing my studies we practically didn’t have any computers available at university. We did a lot of things manually. But then once you entered the work force that technology was available and you were no longer doing collages.

They no longer need to be a part of a larger entity. It has become more accessible and more democratic. Add to that things like 1535°, the creative hub in Differdange, where you can rent a cheap office space. All in all, it’s a favourable climate for being independent, which gives space to increased creative content. When I started it wasn’t like that. You looked up to five or six agencies, like Tom’s and Silvano’s (Vidale-Gloesener), thinking ok, these guys have it. If they can do it, maybe we can.

WK. Maybe there’s also two kinds of philosophies. We had one day a week, where we would be sitting around, there were 20 of us graphic designers, and we would take a paper pad and we would just create.

NC. Was there a specific style that you would say defined each decade that we were talking about until it hit the point of multiplication?

DN. Yeah, it’s research. WK. The computer was an extra tool, a piece of the journey so to speak. We were also lucky in that we, along with other agencies like Interpub and Comed, were one of the first agencies to even start working with computers. We continuously invested in new technologies. Our income was practically exclusively spent on acquiring new equipment and on training our people because it was important for us to keep up. So when kids would get out of school they did not necessarily have that exposure before. Nonetheless you still had people like Tom Gloesener (Vidale-Gloesener), who started here at the Lycée des Arts et Métiers, but whose work possessed a different quality.

MB. I would say that it was the general style that you would see all around you that had an influence. But going back to the different stages, starting with the 60s, it was pretty constant until about the end of the 70s when you guys started with Sam’s. Around the same time there was also Comed and Orbite, followed by Guy Binsfeld who created his new business (Idées & Actions) in 1979. So it was a phase rich with new active participants. Guy Binsfeld’s idea after Interpub was to stay small. He did not feel like opening a big graphic design structure that needed to constantly be fed, but preferred to then work with freelancers. That’s the point I wanted to get to. From the 70s onwards going into the 80s and later into the 90s, there was a big freelance culture, with people like Heng Ketter, Heng Glaesener, Fern Rollinger, or small studios like Babeth Neiers and Albert Seyser’s Rose de Claire, and Jacques Welter’s Cropmark. Guy Binsfeld then started working with Heng Glaesener, Pat Wengler, Romain Lenertz who created Tiramisu and later imported Apple computers. So a lot was happening then, especially because of the

DN. What I meant to say is that now you have this real explosion of small agencies that are practically a one-man show or consist of two people, who have done a series of internships. Their thinking is that they can buy a computer and deliver a product. Creativity is one thing but having the means to execute on their own is another.



1| 2| 3 1535° is a former industrial site (of Arcelor Mittal) located in Differdange and converted into workspaces for small and medium enterprises of the creative


industry. Opened in 2015.

incorporation of technology. But like you said, initially these were costly investments that you couldn’t just commit to lightly, because you had to constantly update. MK. Tiramisu also used other computers besides Apple. I’ve forgotten the name but they made colouring jobs for animated movies. They had to work in three shifts to make it cost-effective. So you had people who went to work at 2 a.m. until 9 p.m. WK. Yes, that was the beginning of computer graphics. Genigraphics (US) was the name. But that’s also the point in time where you had cross-overs. Imedia for example started as a photography studio, but then through Jacques Nicolay they started to also get involved in graphic design. You couldn’t do the reverse though. I have a combative nature, so I can remember getting into arguments with Jacques Nicolay because I wanted to do my own photography work but the photography profession was very much protected at the time as they were considered Masters or Craftsmen and you had to pass exams to get that title. I had two or three photographers working for me, Jang Tesch, Armand Martini. And they continued to fail every exam for a whole year because they were unable to photograph a bottle of Rosport. Jacques Nicolay was in the exam committee. We had these stories that were just nuts, because we had to constantly defend ourselves. But then eventually that fell by the wayside and things changed especially with the advent of digital photography. So computers also contributed to the fact that all these professions started blending into each other.


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Dee Magazine 6

The client’s role in shaping design

MK. Going back to the subject of style. It’s always interesting to document a style whether it be in time or even geographically, but there is also the idea of good or bad design. We have been talking about people who created quality work, but they were a minority. At some point the client also plays an important role. Should you be willing to fight with your client in order to push them to go further? Should you inspire your client? The client is important and I think the culture scene also played its part in the 90s. What are your thoughts on that? What is the role of the client in getting to deliver quality work? The types of clients who actually look for good design?

enough interest in it, or even worse says: “We just drew this up internally and we like it better.” So I prefer working with someone on the other end who shows interest in what we are doing. Companies, even small ones, are increasingly hiring staff that is responsible for their communication, which allows you to work towards something that is a win for both parties. It’s a better standard. MB. In the 80s the main representative of a company was always the owner or the director. So it either worked out or it didn’t. Some were more flexible, others weren’t. The advantage was that decisions were made quickly, but there were no communications or PR offices. It’s a profession that is really new in Luxembourg and initially most were self-taught. It was towards the end of the 80s that more people started studying communications in Brussels, etc. So these kids started getting hired out of school, (people like Patrick Ernster in the Chamber of Commerce) and they had to create their own space and know-how within these companies. Today, we are much further. On the other end you have people who know what you are talking about and it is on them to get internal approval. Later, you also had cross-overs from agencies to companies, where people were hired out of agencies to become marketing and communications directors within a company. Parallel to the development of the design scene you also have this.

WK. For a while we started having problems with clients because all they cared about was to have your stamp and they didn’t have any particular exigencies, so I started eliminating them. The standard was just low, and they were clueless while I wanted to have a real collaboration and get to something good. Like you said though it started changing in the 90s with the culture year (Note: In 1995, Luxembourg City was designated European Capital of Culture for the first time). Now when you go to a training programme instead of having graphic designers sitting there, which used to be the case, it’s the clients who have sent their representatives to get properly trained. And that just elevates the level of conversation and exchange you will then have with them, which is good. The drawback, however, is that you can no longer take them by the hand and take the lead. The expectations are different.

WK. The designer is an important link in the chain but there are many more important factors around him. Going back to the question of style – it’s an interesting question, when you look at what was in, during these different periods, you may have also had a moment where you thought, ok what I can do is not enough, I have

DN. I think clients are a pivotal part of the whole process. It’s frustrating for us when we think that we have found the right solution, and then we go there, and interact with someone who either doesn’t care or does not have


Conversation to take a look around and inform myself. In our studio we had 5 000 books and international magazines on hand, (Creative Review, w+v (werben und verkaufen), Pub magazine, etc.) as well as the very interesting Graphis and other yearbooks. Madame Edeltraud Wibault, from the Swiss publisher and distributor Rotovision came every year and sold us books. She always left with a big smile on her face because we kept buying. We couldn’t turn to the Internet yet to inform ourselves. In the end, I don’t know that we had a specific style but we definitely had a way of doing things, which wasn’t necessarily to everyone’s liking. But somehow we did have a signature, a recognisable brand. We tried to soak in many influences but give it our own touch. Ultimately, an agency develops a style that is then recognisable and it becomes its signature.

in Paris and not in Thionville. The economic growth of the 80s and 90s brought along some interesting work opportunities. The annual reports were an important part of that.

DN. I think that’s valid when talking about an agency but I am not sure you can apply a style to Luxembourg as a whole. The advantage of Luxembourg is that we have people working here from all over Europe who represent different graphic design schools.

MB. Yes they are.

WK. Yes, we made about 500 of those over the years. MB. That’s when people started experimenting too, trying out new print techniques, new types of paper. We were not provincial by a long shot here, and that really helped. DN. The annual reports are over now though, aren’t they? I know we used to get excited when we could work on one, because we would just cram everything in there in terms of our know-how.

WK. That also contributed to the growth of the print industry here like Imprimerie Centrale, Faber, Victor Buck. MB. Faber, especially, was always committed to finding solutions for you, and then came Nicolas Buck who pushed it even further.

AAR. Well, we mentioned that each decade was defined by a specific agency. Each agency has their own style and when you think about the idea of copy-cats that replicate another agency’s work, you could essentially say a decade was defined by a style until the time you had more agencies that started coming on the scene.

MK. Would you say that today the culture scene has taken over the financial market as the primary client? MB. Could be. I would say that the European culture years (1995 and 2007) contributed to that.

MK. I think it was also a demographic development, because the more the market grew, the more media sprung up and there was more budget to do creative works. You even started having budgets to pay for make-up during a photo shoot, things were being built for a shoot. So first it was something that was hastily put together graphically for the Journal for example and then later you ended up talking about strategy for a shooting. There is also a demographic component, because we are talking about times when the country’s population was 300 000 or less and now with the commuters we have reached 750 000 people in total. Times are different. Consumer power has evolved and so local companies have to adapt and work with different means. When you look at the very early publications, ads were almost like public notices.

DN. For us, culture is really the primary catalyst of our creative output. There are all these new cultural institutions and each one has needs that go beyond just the creation of a logo. There is strategy behind it, especially because the institutions are so many now, that they are almost competing with each other. MK. Also because now they employ people who have the appropriate degrees, which was not the case before. DN. The 2007 culture year was the most important year for our agency, because the different assignments provided us with a sort of coming-out.

MB. Back in the day we also got a lot of job requests from the greater region outside of Luxembourg and when you looked at their portfolios, it was really limited to a local clientele, like the village Renault reseller who needed an ad. In contrast, here in Luxembourg people had the opportunity to work for the Vinsmoselle for example which was a national brand. Or if you were making an annual report for a bank, it was produced

WK. Evolution should be looked at within the context of opportunity. Each new opportunity allows you to go one step further. All the posters we had to make allowed us to develop a rich well of ideas. When you look at all the theatre posters that Pit Weyer and his troupe made, I consider it fine art.


Dee Magazine 6

D’Lëtzebuerger Land designed by Vidale-Gloesener in 1999. Lifting late 2000s. Complete redesign 2012.

Campaign by Sécurité Routière, 1991.



Advertising for Bières Simon by Claude Fontaine.

Apart design agency, opderschmelz (Centre culturel rĂŠgional Dudelange), 2008. Communication and Design Awards Winner 2008, category: corporate design.


Dee Magazine 6

Archiving past works

MK. We have been talking about what has been going on for the past 50 years. Where should these things be archived in your opinion? How do you guys handle your personal archives? Do they exist and where are they?

can go far back in time, then that work is lost. I guess often one is too humble to go to the National Archive and submit work. NC. I think graphic design and publishing is part of a national cultural history. It engages with social, cultural, and political contexts. However, there remains a lack of documenting, archiving and scientific research in the field.

MB. Well, I can honestly say that we are not very good at that. WK. Yes, me too. I tend to leave the things I have made behind me.

DN. Yes, well it’s difficult, because who is the arbiter? Who will say this is worth keeping and this isn’t?

MK. There’s nothing in the National Archives? Are all those things gone?

MK. The problem is that if you don’t do it yourself, there is rarely someone who will do it for you.

WK. Well, there are books, that we published, those are available. But I don’t have any of the posters. Though many people still call me to tell me they have some limited edition print of mine.

NC. Right, this should be done on an institutional level. MK. A good source is looking through the Almanach (Note: an annual book published by Binsfeld in the 80s and 90s) because it shows the evolution of advertising. It was always a good source for us when were searching for something.

MB. There was a time when you had to submit a copy of everything you did. So that’s around. WK. Yes that we did. The abribus campaign (The Power of Symbols) is around in the National Archives.

MB. The things that were published you can probably partially find in magazine archives.

DN. It’s like you said though, you always tend to move on and look ahead at new projects. Looking at the past you would probably do things differently in a lot of instances. Not that you regard your past works as being bad necessarily but you would just approach it differently.

MK. After a while you don’t even have eye witnesses anymore who experienced that time, and there might only be one person around who still remembers something and so you have no other choice but to believe him because there is nobody else to corroborate. As far as advertising, if it was made by a bigger agency then it becomes difficult to find out who the specific designer was.

MK. We don’t have an institution that has that particular task in regards to design. So if the singular agencies don’t do it themselves, especially the ones where you




Pe’l Schlechter, Design Friends talk at Café de la Place, Binsfeld, 2017.

2|3 Romain Urhausen in conversation with Christian Mosar, Design Friends talk at Centre national de l’audiovisuel, 2016.


Photo: Romain Girtgen, CNA.

DN. Nowadays you keep things digitally. We have things on our cloud. MK. CDs get lost and stop working after a while. A lot of the things you guys made at Sam’s were ahead of their time; do you still have any of those things? WK. We did play around a lot digitally, with Mike Sergonne and Kristof della Siega in the mid 90s, so maybe Mike has them, but I have no idea. There may be traces of it. MK. You could archive static websites in the past but once databases came around you could no longer archive those. So there is a whole facet of the design culture that you simply cannot archive in the way that it presented itself.


DN. Same with flash sites. MK. You guys at Sam’s often engaged in self-promotion where you would take out pages in the Luxemburger Wort, which was unthinkable for an agency back then. You also plastered posters that had a real impact. Are these things available? WK. These things are available because I was often called in and asked to present them, since it made a lot of noise. MK. The next step would be for Luxembourgish designers to start archiving things and creating a network.

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Can Luxembourg’s graphic design talent be exported?



AAR. We all agree that there is a pretty strong graphic design scene here, but does that play out internationally? Are we on the map in the international sense? Do foreign clients come and seek our know-how?

WK. Yes of course, we have always done it and so do you. It’s important for us to expose what we do and be judged for it. MK. Art and cinema are products essentially, whereas graphic design in this sense is more of a service. It’s easier to export a product once it is complete, but in terms of the service either the client has to come to you or you have to seek them out, but the reality is that there are good enough designers everywhere so that nobody needs to make the effort to come here. There’s not going to be a client from Madrid who is going to seek out a design office in Brussels, to acquire that service.

WK. It’s the same as wondering whether the numerous medals that the Luxembourgish Crémant wins every month contribute to making it more famous… I’m afraid that’s not the case. NC. At some point contemporary art from Luxembourg gained more visibility internationally, and now our cinema is gaining traction as well, same with music. Could this model be applied to graphic design?

MB. We have managed to keep foreign offices from coming unto our market, though. There are a few cases here and there, but in general I think we have defended our territory pretty well. I am not trying to be nationalistic, I am just trying to say that the quality of the work we do is really good, such that clients who are active on the international scene don’t have to worry whether or not we can deliver.

WK. All we can do is to ensure that the quality of our work continues to improve to a high standard but we still remain within our geographical boundaries – unless you get to work for a client that works in the Benelux or internationally. In my eyes though, it is more important that we are respected for the work that we do, that we are not seen as clowns or amateurs, but that one can say, look this is great work. I saw Eric Hollander (Note: president of the jury of the 2016 Media Awards, and co-founder of Brussels based agency AIR) recently who looks at what’s going on here and really likes it. We should be proud of that recognition because we fight for it every day and work towards it. There is also the idea of participating in international competitions and winning prizes. That’s ok too, but recognising the value of the work we deliver is more important.

MK. Well since we started early we developed enough maturity to be able to keep up. Whereas in the cinema world they still tend to go abroad, so it takes time to catch up. WK. I can remember when Publilux was making ads for cinema. They would call in a cameraman from Brussels, named Jacques, to shoot 35 mm. Together with their commercial guy they would go filming inside the supermarkets and in order to move around he would be pushed in a trolley that would inevitably shake on the tiles… and that kind of stuff was projected

MK. But still you have to be in the competition; otherwise your country is not represented.


Dee Magazine 6 in the cinema. Eventually more people were brought in from abroad and things started to become more professional. MB. You also had the fact that certain fields were running parallel to each other but there were no collaborations, specifically between film and advertising. Some production companies were not in the least bit interested in working in the Luxembourgish advertising market. Now it’s different, for example with the shooting of the Rosport ad. I was talking to Yann Tonnar (film director) about that. About the possibility of future collaborations and what could come out of that, which could give way to many interesting things.

ROSPORT Audio-visual and print campaign for Rosport produced in 2014 by Nvision agency (founded in 1999 of which Mike Sergonne is the co-founder and managing partner) and by Lucil Film (film production company founded in 2006 by Bernard Michaux). This campaign made Rosport the most awarded advertiser at the Media Awards 2016.

WK. Marco Serafini (film director and writer) was pretty desperate after he came back to Luxembourg, because in Germany he had achieved a certain notoriety and was also working on advertising but here it was really not happening. RTL Production for example always tried to manage without calling in agencies. That’s why they are so proud of their La Luxembourgeoise ads, but there is zero input from an outside agency. Nothing. DN. You still have that today though… there are certain ads out there… WK. …where you wonder who is behind it. It can’t have been an agency! MK. Talking about culture, annual reports, official invitations, etc. there is a certain level of design, but once you get into the mainstream, good design becomes elusive and rare. Why is that? MB. Well, in speaking about big structures like RTL Production, IP and Orbite, these were such huge entities that had direct access to their client base with huge resources, so they did not turn to agencies. Also their clients were quickly satisfied because they lacked a certain knowledge and taste. So there were a few parallel markets, with predefined media plans, that we did not have access to. The know-how that we acquired over the years came with opportunity. Brands like Rosport, Vinsmoselle, etc. gave us a playing field to express our creativity and that’s what made us grow as agencies. While other markets did not provide us with that opportunity because the commercial approach behind it was simply different, or they were confined within a small circle of actors.



Lack of a targeted audience

DN. The other issue is that the market in Luxembourg is pretty small and a client wants to be able to reach a maximum amount of people and profiles. While it is a lot more targeted abroad. So the pertinence of the message might get lost along the way. The other thing is the multilingual aspect of it. You might find a good slogan in one language but not be able to replicate it in another. This is more pertaining to advertising as opposed to graphic design.

national products, such as wine and the like, is already designed to target an audience that is well off, educated and bourgeois. That’s not the case if you go to a normal supermarket in France for example. So the greater public actually has enough taste to appreciate this bourgeois style. Our mainstream is really upscale. DN. That’s also related to what we were saying before. The fact that there are more qualified people present on the client end elevates the whole thing.

MB. Absolutely. Also we lacked targeted media, there were basically two mediums, Revue and Télécran through which you directly addressed everybody without differentiating for age or anything else. Going back to Guy Binsfeld, he was working on a print, radio and TV campaign for Gales sparkling wine at the beginning of the 80s. The idea behind it had erotic undertones, likening the opening of the bottle and the foam coming out of it to the physical act of climaxing. It wasn’t spelled out, but it was hinted at. (He still owned the poster by the way.) I always cited this as an example when we would talk about the ethics commission. In my opinion there was no need for such an entity because at that time, the pastor himself put an end to the campaign. On a Sunday he took aside the Gales family to tell them that it was a bit much, and as a result they pulled it.

The idea of winning awards also increases the level of trust that clients will have in our capacity to deliver. Even if in other sectors, like architecture for example, they may call in outside firms, within our sector, the jobs stay within the national confines, for example Post and Mudam. And that, I think, is a sign that we are good. WK. In the past you had cases where clients would run to Metz to get things done. There was an agency called Publi-Est (Gerstenhaber) and another one called Lombard & Noury. They were pretty rock’n’roll in their attitude. There was another one called RL Conseil. But they all went under. They repeatedly tried to penetrate our market, but always failed. If they would get a local furniture dealer’s business, they would be celebrating into the night. But we were really on another level.

Anyway, in a different country it would have probably ran in the sort of media outlet geared to young people that would not have been directly accessible to the local pastor. Here you are always automatically targeting the wider public; there is no concept of a niche audience.

MB. We were part of an agency network for some yearsof mid-sized agencies. We always did really well, whenever we presented our work. Even agencies in Paris, if they were not part of the leading ones, did not have that great of a client base. It was not comparable to the sort of exposure we got in terms of being able to work on branding and having the means to create nice projects.

MK. You are always targeting the wider public but there is also another element to it. Most of the design of our


Dee Magazine 6 MK. We started this conversation by asking you which was your first design-related memory. Now I would liketo ask you what your most recent memory is. What local design have you recently seen that you have really liked? WK. It’s strange because you have to think about it a lot harder. It should be something that has left an impression though, so it should pop into your mind quickly. I have to admit that I can’t think of anything right now. But that’s because the market is really saturated. It doesn’t mean that there is nothing good out there. It just means that there is such high quality work out there, that it is hard to boil it down to one. MB. I feel the same way. DN. This morning I just saw the poster of the Pont Adolphe exhibition (Musée Dräi Eechelen). I thought that was pretty good with the typography. Tomorrow I will probably say something different.

1 2

1 Radio and TV campaign for Gales sparkling wine by Idées & Actions (Guy Binsfeld), beginning of the 1980s.

2 Campaign for the Pont Adolphe 1903 exhibition at Musée Dräi Eechelen,


2016-2017, designed by Granduchy.




LUXAIR’S WK. I am happy that typography now plays such an important part. It did not used to be the case. Things were just thrown out there with stolen fonts and what not. And I have to say that what I have seen in recent years is really good and I really value that. It’s also thanks to Tom Gloesener, Silvano Vidale and Sumo that type has gained in importance.

corporate type is called Luxerine and was designed by Minale Design in 2006.

MK. As far as I know there is no complete Luxembourgish font. WK. Yes, yes, Paulo Mira designed one. MK. A complete one? WK. Yes. Paulo Mira. You should ask him. (Editor’s note: We did ask him, but Paulo Mira unfortunately didn’t design a complete font). MK. There are Luxembourgish companies that own a font, which they commissioned abroad, like Luxair or Mudam for example. But I didn’t think there was one that was actually made here. On some occasion, people created part of the alphabet for an exhibit or something but not the complete thing.





L - 1 4 9 9

L U X E M B O U R G - K I R C H B E R G

© Mudam Luxembourg, 2008 - Graphic design: Ott+Stein, Oliver Peters

DN. There is this Dutch agency called Experimental Jetset that only works with Helvetica. They say that they don’t have time to do research on type and so they do each project with Helvetica. The idea is more important than the font.

MUDAM Inspired by the signs of Japanese culture, the Berlin graphic designer Oliver Peters developed in 2004 the institutional typography of Mudam in collaboration with Ott+Stein.

MK. There’s also others who do it without saying it.


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About Design Friends

About Design Friends

When non-profit organisation Design Friends was created back in 2009, its goal was clear: becoming a vital platform for anything related to design in Luxembourg. The originality of its identity lies in its universal nature: Design Friends doesn’t only speak to professionals; it creates a conversation with all design lovers. In this process, playfulness, creativity and a constant will to innovate have been weapons of choice. In all these years, Design Friends has been proud to have thrown countless initiatives, from conferences lead by worldwide-known designers to exhibitions, from screening nights and portfolio shows to collaborative and educative projects. Through the organisation of high-profile events, Design Friends eventually became a true reference. With more than 40 monographs of guest designers’ œuvre, all DEE magazines and several exhibition catalogues, Design Friends has a thorough collection of published works to shed light on. As a vibrant graphic design culture has been flourishing in Luxembourg for many decades now, Design Friends also engages to reflect upon this practice. Through field-research and the publication of articles, the aim is to unearth exchanges and connections, and to ultimately document the country’s graphic design history. As of today, the organisation is mainly financed by private funds, thanks to memberships and sponsoring from private companies. Design Friends also has several long-term partnerships with cultural institutions and benefits from occasional public funding. To further develop its expertise and ensure a permanent status, the non-profit making organisation Design Friends largely depends on donations and partnerships.

If you’re as passionate about design as we are, join us!


Dee Magazine 6




Mr Bingo

Kiki van Eijk

Jean-Paul Lespagnard

37 Things I’ve learnt

The Joy of a Playing Child

Lespagnard by Lespagnard




Over the last fifteen years the British illustrator Mr Bingo has worked with many clients across a wide range of media; you might have seen his illustrations in Time, Esquire, QI, The Mighty Boosh, The New York Times and on Channel 4. He is a regular in The New Yorker. In 2011 he began the project Hate Mail on Twitter, where strangers paid him to send a hand-drawn offensive postcard to a name and address of their choice. It sold out within days; since then he has opened it 12 times and it has sold out every time within minutes. In 2012, Penguin Books published a collection of the postcards called Hate Mail. Like much of his work, the project started as “a drunk idea”, but ended up being exhibited in galleries and gaining notoriety among the global press. Mr Bingo regularly appears at a variety of events around the world, from local bookshops to big media conferences.

By designing with a strong personal touch and idea, Kiki van Eijk strongly represents the new generation of Dutch designers. Kiki’s work is easily recognisable by her mild and playful designs. But don’t be mistaken by the first look of her work. Where it might seem very soft and playful, it can be really hard and serious. Kiki puts multiple layers in her designs. Concept, material, structure and technique must all be in balance to create a surprising and new design. She finds a great joy, love and importance in “making things” by hand. This attitude also influences her more industrial projects. Her nostalgic approach combined with her poetic and personal style comes to life in a wide range of work like carpets, lighting, furniture, ceramics, glassware, and luxurious textiles. By using old and new techniques, applied on an unexpected object Kiki not only surprises the viewers of her work, but also manufacturers and craftsmen that make her designs.

Fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard is a trailblazer in a lot of ways. While many fashion houses are still busy being on the defensive about how things are done within the business, he has carved a way years in advance, with things like model diversity and the idea of directly making his products available to his customers at the time of his fashion shows. In 2008 Jean-Paul Lespagnard won two awards at the famous International Fashion Festival in Hyères (France). He presented his first women’s ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week in 2011; today his shows are a part of the Paris calendar. Otherwise he prefers to keep his creative studio in Brussels, a city he calls unpretentious, and where cultural identities collide easily without barriers, a continuous source of inspiration for someone who obviously has always had design in his blood.

With the support of: Dutch Embassy in Luxembourg.







Pe’l Schlechter

Tim John & Martin Schmitz



Brosmind by Brosmind



Tim John – Atelier für Szenografie: In his studio for scenography Tim John together with Martin Schmitz creates spaces and places of a special kind. Together with designers, graphic designers, illustrators and mechatronics engineers ideas come to life. They are created in professional cooperation with great feelings for detail; living on humour and playful ease, and characterised by devoted craftsmanship. The studio supplies design, planning, production and implementation of: Acoustics and installations for events and festivals; Moving and interactive staging of shop windows and showcases; Set conceptions for photography and movie.

In 2006 the Mingarro brothers, Juan and Alejandro, founded Brosmind studio and established in Barcelona. If there is one sentence that perfectly defines the spirit of Brosmind it is the motto THIS IS OUR MOMENTO! When they first coined the phrase, they wanted to reflect the enthusiasm they feel for each new project and their desire to improve themselves and face the future with optimism. A key element in understanding the studio is the fact that its founders and owners are brothers. This brotherly bond is inseparable from the Brosmind concept and of vital importance both to the contents they generate and to the way they work. Their style is fresh, optimistic and with a large dose of fantasy and humour. They combine commercial illustration with personal projects involving multiple disciplines, such as sculpture, music or video.

In conversation with Christian Mosar Café de la Place, Binsfeld A household name in Luxembourg graphic design and literature, Pe’l Schlechter is a pioneer whose work you’ve likely encountered before. Born in 1921, Pe’l Schlechter made his mark in the country’s graphic design history from the 1950’s on with his iconic posters for the Loterie Nationale, Société des Foires Internationales de Luxembourg, Caritas, Fédération luxembourgeoise de Judo et de Jiu-Jitsu… Pe’l Schlechter is also an accomplished illustrator of children’s books (Maus Kätti), cartoonist (Revue, D’Lëtzebuerger Land), packaging designer, and jewellery designer. He realised exhibition designs and sceneries, logos and neon letterings.


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01.12.2016 – 12.03.2017

Pop-up winter garden Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain From December 2016 to March 2017, a Pop-up winter garden has been installed in the “Aquarium” of Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain. For the event, this glass-panelled, spacious area hosted furniture and small decorative items by Luxembourgish designers and two associations from Lorraine. The joint project has been launched by Casino Luxembourg and the ca(fé)sino, in collaboration with Design Friends. Conceived as a temporary extension of the ca(fé)sino in the “Aquarium” space during the winter months, the Pop-up winter garden was also an exhibition of Luxembourgish and Lorrain design, combining a café-restaurant with a showroom. Clients were invited to taste ca(fé)sino specialities – seasonal dishes, savoury snacks, cakes and pastries, and other tasty treats – while enjoying design pieces which they could discover, use, and even, in some cases, purchase! Participating designers: Gilles Gardula, Raoul Gross, Tine Krumhorn, André Lopeseco, Les M, Lucie Majerus, Meyers & Fügmann, Olaf Recht, Sapin Brut, Studio Delle Alpi and 2m26.

Photo: Maison Moderne.





Season 8 Kick-off & Linotype: Design Disruptors The Film A documentary by InVision

A documentary by Doug Wilson



The future of business is being written by companies and products that – intentionally or not – shake billion dollar industries. In Design Disruptors, enter the world of 15+ industry-toppling companies – valued at more than $1 trillion dollars combined – with one unifying secret advantage: the transformative power of design. Design Disruptors reveals a never-before-seen perspective on the design approaches of these companies and how they are overtaking billion dollar industries through design.

Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centred around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionised printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world. The linotype (pronounced “line-o-type”) completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the Internet is now changing communication again. Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.

Organised in collaboration with LUCA, Luxembourg Center for Architecture.


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Design LX. Portfolio Night Focus on Luxembourg’s design scene Rotondes Design LX – Portfolio Night at Rotondes aimed to provide the design scene from Luxembourg and the Greater Region with a public platform that allowed professional designers and design students to showcase the best of the creative work of all sectors: graphic design, product design, photography, fashion, sound, illustration, light, interior, motion design, etc. Designers who responded to Design Friends call for participation: 101 Studios (, LU) 2M26 (, FR) A+T architecture (, LU) Bakform (, LU) Katharina Blagova (, LU) Linda Blatzek (, DE) Linda Bos (, LU) Lara Bousch (LU) Ben Breckler (, UK) Bunker Palace (, LU) Ana Busuioc (, LU) Koen Cloostermans (, LU) Lynn Cosyn (, LU) Laurent Daubach (, LU) Martin Dieterle (, LU) Runa Egilsdóttir (, LU) Claudia Eustergerling Design (, LU) Roxanne Flick (, LU) Gilles Gardula (, LU) Steve Gerges (, LU) Nicolas Ghilissen (, BE) Anne-Marie Herckes (, LU) Human Made (, LU) Ezri Kahn (LU) Anna Katina (, LU) Dean Kauffmann (, LU) Reza Kianpour (, LU) Kinlake (, LU) Mado Klümper (, DE) Kontext (, LU)



Kousca Design Studio (, LU) Vivien Kristof (DE) Laurie Lamborelle (, LU) Gaël Lesure (, FR) Lucie Majerus (, LU) Laura Mannelli (, LU/FR) Isabelle Mattern (, LU) Lightbulb (, LU) Sara Mossong (, BE) Neopixl (, LU) Christian Neuman (, LU/UK) Kumiyo Noe (, LU) Nouvelle Étiquette (, FR) Olaf Recht (, LU) Fabian Ring (, DE) Rose de Claire, design (, LU) Claude Schmitz (, LU) SNCDA (sncda,eu, LU/BE) Social Matter (, LU) Max Steffen (, BE) Anton Stepine (, LU) Studio Delle Alpi (, LU/IT) Julie Wagener (, LU) Mike Zenari (, LU) Georges Zigrand (, LU) Students Evgenia Dymkina (CAD Brussels, BE) Anne Hamen (CAD Brussels, BE) Léa Saluzzi (CAD Brussels, BE) Yara Stephany (Trier University of Applied Sciences, DE)


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Dee Magazine 6



Season 9 Kick-off & The Happy Film

Armando Milani

A film by Stefan Sagmeister and Ben Nabors

From the Eye to the Earth



Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister is doing well. He lives in New York, the city of his dreams, and he has success in his work, designing album covers for the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and the Talking Heads. But in the back of his mind he suspects there must be something more. He decides to turn himself into a design project. Can he re- design his personality to become a better person? Is it possible to train his mind to get happier? He pursues three controlled experiments of meditation, therapy, and drugs, grading himself along the way. But real life creeps in and confounds the process: art, sex, love, and death prove impossible to disentangle. His unique designs and painfully personal experiences mark a journey that travels closer to himself than ever intended.

A household name in modern and contemporary graphic design, Armando Milani (b. 1940, Milan, Italy) has studied with Albe Steiner at the Società Umanitaria in Milan. He collaborated with some of the most important Italian design studios such as Antonio Boggeri and Giulio Confalonieri. In 1970 he founded his studio in Milan, and in 1977 he moved to New York where, after a collaboration for two years with Massimo Vignelli he opened his own studio. He is an internationally acclaimed expert in the design of logos, corporate identities, book design, posters, and websites. During his career he served prestigious clients including DePadova, Montecatini Edison, Roche, Touring Club of Italy, and the United Nations designing many beautiful announcements, books, marks, and posters. His work has been published in some of the most important design magazines including Abitare, Domus, Linea Grafica, Novum Gebrauchsgraphik, and Print. He exhibited in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S.A. In 2004 a poster he designed was awarded a Compasso d’Oro Honorary Mention.

In collaboration with Design Luxembourg.

In English.

Fast Forward


Fast Forward



Laura Straßer

Phoenix Design

Fragile Affairs – A Porcelain Love Story

Designing Design



Laura Straßer (b. 1981, Frankfurt, Germany) founded Studio Laura Straßer in 2009 as a studio for product design with focus on porcelain and ceramic designs. Since then she worked on numerous projects and products, which were continuously presented on international shows and fairs. As an expert for white gold Laura Straßer develops and designs porcelain and ceramic products for clients and partners with consideration of the specific material involved. Despite international clients she continues collaborations with local manufacturers in Thuringia. With regards to content, Laura Straßer’s work engages in the visual prospects and characteristics of porcelain as well as the social and historical meaning of the material. She is interested in creating new aesthetics; intense research provides conceptual substance to her work. The culture of eating, changing perceptions of the value of porcelain of the time, exclusiveness, historical and cultural content are some key considerations. Laura Straßer’s work translates anecdotes, the extraordinary and curious from the centuries-Iong tradition of material into the product world of today.

In the age of an “information and knowledge-based society” that depends more than ever on path-breaking ideas, innovation, adaption, change, and productive collaboration, a future-oriented business culture is essential. The lecture is about the source of inspiration and decrypts the real secret of creative performances. Creativity is far more than brainstorming; it is a permanent struggle that consists of questioning the established and finding new access to existing problems. Building a creative business means to learn and break the rules every day without loosing its own philosophy. Phoenix Design’s design approach is closely linked to the values of Bauhaus and Ulm school, which are now more topical than ever: finding its expression in functional, simple, and immediately accessible design and usability concepts, and thus leading the way in an increasingly complex world. In English.

In English.


Dee Magazine 6

March 2018


Design Friends & Luxembourg City Film Festival

Uwe Brückner Scenography – Contemporary Guidelines for Modern Museums and Innovative Exhibition Design

Screening in a cinema of Luxembourg-City Mudam 2018 marks the first year of Design Friends’ collaboration with the Luxembourg City Film Festival. The audience will get the exclusive opportunity to see first-hand a new film or a documentary on design. In just six years, the Luxembourg City Film Festival has established its position as the nation’s leading cinema event. It features a vast panorama of contemporary fiction and documentary films both international and national, and hosts events in collaboration with many partners from the cultural field.

Uwe R. Brückner is the founder and creative director of Atelier Brückner (established in 1997, Stuttgart, Germany) that conceives and designs narrative architecture and spaces for brands, exhibitions, trade fairs, and museums. Internationally renowned references of Atelier Brückner include the BMW Museum in Munich and the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. Currently, Atelier Brückner is developing the Beirut City History Museum with Renzo Piano. Together with David Chipperfield architects, they work on the new Nobel Center in Stockholm which will be opened in 2019. With more than 300 lectures, workshops and jury memberships in over 20 countries, Uwe R. Brückner is renowned as an internationally successful exhibition designer and sought-after expert for museum architecture, scenography and exhibition design. Following his design philosophy “form follows content”, he focuses on the individual, content-generated design of spatial staging and stands for a holistic, integrative, multidisciplinary, syn-aesthetic and content consistent design approach. In English.


Fast Forward



Lea Brousse & Raban Ruddigkeit

Isabelle Chapuis

Design Code

Le langage des émotions



Brousse & Ruddigkeit is a French-German design studio founded 2015 in Berlin. Lea Brousse and Raban Ruddigkeit work as conceptors, graphic designers, and illustrators. Together they build a concept for corporate design which allows a brand to be more flexible, media-neutral, and – most of all – open. Their so-called code-design is based on thinking without logos, but with elements that are simple, recognisable, and very dynamic. Lea Brousse and Raban Ruddigkeit work also as editors and designers for successful international publications like Typodarium, Photodarium (both with editor Lars Harmsen), Freistil – The Book of Illustrators and Berlin Design Digest (together with editor Robert Eysoldt). Brousse & Ruddigkeit’s Graphic Comments for the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel received the award “Illustration of the Year” by the Visual Lead Academy in 2016.

Cotton, smoke, powder, frost, cotton candy, plants... these are the materials that Isabelle Chapuis reinterprets in her photographic work. In constant search for organic metamorphoses, emotion is the engine of her creative approach and the human being is at the heart of her work. After having graduated in 2005 from ESAG-Penninghen, with a distinction in graphic design, Isabelle Chapuis spent several years abroad, where she was drawing inspiration from other realities. Back in Paris she won several awards that made her known to the public such as Picto Prize of young fashion photography in 2010 and La Bourse du Talent Mode in 2012. Her work is regularly exhibited in galleries and institutions such as the French National Library, The Perfume museum in Paris, the Bettina Gallery in Paris, Adhémar Art Center Castle in Montélimar, Snap Space in Florida, and Paris 1839 Gallery in Hong Kong. Recently she has been exhibiting the Dandelion series, realised in collaboration with botanical artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc within the context of the Sino-French month dedicated to environment, and established in five cities in China.

In English.

In French.


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With almost 40 monographs of our guest designers’ œuvre, all DEE magazines and several exhibition catalogues, Design Friends has a thorough collection of published works to shed light on. These publications are meant to deepen that vast subject of design through exclusive interviews and picture reports.

01 CHRISTOPH NIEMANN Illustration 2009 02 MICHEL MALLARD Creative Direction 2009 03 FUN FACTORY Product Design 2009 04 ANDREAS UEBELE Signage Design 2010 05 HARRI PECCINOTTI Photography 2010 06 KUSTAA SAKSI Illustration 2010 07 5.5 DESIGNERS Product Design 2011 08 NIKLAUS TROXLER Graphic Design 2011 09 JOACHIM SAUTER Media Design 2011 10 MICHAEL JOHNSON Graphic Design 2011 11 ELVIS POMPILIO Fashion Design 2011 12 STEFAN DIEZ Industrial Design 2012 13 CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER Sound Design 2012 14 MARIO LOMBARDO Editorial Design 2012 15 SAM HECHT Industrial Design 2012 16 SONJA STUMMERER & MARTIN HABLESREITER Food Design 2012 17 LERNERT & SANDER Art & Design 2013 18 MURAT GÜNAK Automotive Design 2013 19 NICOLAS BOURQUIN Editorial Design 2013 20 SISSEL TOLAAS Scent Design 2013 21 CHRISTOPHE PILLET Product Design 2013 22 MIRKO BORSCHE Editorial Design 2014 23 PAUL PRIESTMAN Transportation Design 2014 24 BRUCE DUCKWORTH Packaging Design 2014 25 ERIK SPIEKERMANN Graphic Design 2014 26 KLAUS-PETER SIEMSSEN Light Design 2014 27 EDUARDO AIRES Corporate Design 2015 28 PHILIPPE APELOIG Graphic Design 2015 29 ALEXANDRA MURRAY-LESLIE High Techne Fashion Design 2015 30 PLEIX Video & Installation Design 2016 31 LA FILLE D’O Fashion Design 2016 32 RUEDI BAUR Graphic Design 2016 33 ROMAIN URHAUSEN Product Design 2016


34 MR BINGO Illustration Design 2016 35 KIKI VAN EIJK Product Design 2016 36 JEAN-PAUL LESPAGNARD Fashion Design 2017 37 PE’L SCHLECHTER Graphic Design 2017 38 TIM JOHN Scenography Design 2017 39 BROSMIND Illustration Design 2017 Design Friends Activity Report 2009-2010 Design Friends Activity Report, 2010-2011 Dee Magazine #1, 2012 Dee Magazine #2, 2013 Dee Magazine #3, 2014 Dee Magazine #4, 2015 Dee Magazine #5, 2016 Mapping August – An Infographic Challenge, 2010 (With CarréRotondes asbl)




Dee Magazine 6

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Standard Corporate Member


Valid for 3 persons (strictly nominative)

Valid for 10 persons (strictly nominative)


from 250€

from 500€


Season 9 **

Season 9 **




Mention on the DF website

Mention in the annual publication DEE

Access to all DF events

* Not at conferences. Only at special events when mentioned ** From July 2017 to June 2018


Dee Magazine 6



Dee Magazine 6

Sensity is a consultancy for consistency and change. We are the hidden force – operating in the background.

Sensity supports organizations and projects

Our team of twelve consultants is located

with planning, positioning, ideation, customer

in our offices in Luxembourg and Cologne.

insights and strategic conception issues.



Dee Magazine 6



Dee Magazine 6

Season 8 (2016-2017) 217 Members and Student Members Gold Members Florence Bastin Séverine Bauer Tania Brugnoni Jean-Paul Carvalho Nadine Clemens Kristof Della Siega Stéphane Di Carlo Buffone Viktor Dick Mauro Doro Claudia Eustergerling Claire Flammang Mathias Fritsch Francis Gasparotto Jan Glas Joanna Grodecki Charline Guille-Burger Diane Heirend Pierre Hurt Claudine Kaell Anne Kieffer Sylvain Kirsch

Corporate Members Mike Koedinger Guido Kröger Anne Kröger-Kieffer Ann Luu Steph Meyers André Michaux Marco Morgante Christophe Peiffer Jacques Piroux Stéphanie Poras David Rosner Valérie Sayrignac Gilles Scaccia Patrick Schaefer Tom Simon Maria Grazia Spada Michael Thomson François Valentiny Silvano Vidale Patrick Wirtz Anabel Witry

Banque de Luxembourg Christian Bauer & Associés Carrérouge Darjeeling Consulting Heintz van Landewyck Lucien Schweitzer Luxinnovation Mikado Quattro Creative Reed and Simon Witry & Witry architecture urbanisme

Design Friends Season 8 programme (2016-2017) was realised with the support of sponsors, partners and cultural institutions. Our special thanks also go to: Catalogue layout

Event photography

101 Studios, Runa Egilsdóttir, Joanna Grodecki / Monopolka, Guido Kröger, Sebastian Reiter, Silvano Vidale

Antonello Di Pinto, Jan Hanrion

Catalogue writers and editors

Design Bureau / Laurent Daubach and Viktor Dick

Kinga Kowalczyk, Christian Mosar, Mark Penfold, Afsaneh Angelina Rafii, Duncan Roberts

DJ set


Shato Bajac, Loud was the Sea, DJ Ralitt

Thank you


DEE 6  

Release of the sixth issue of DEE Magazine! Featuring a major contribution on Luxembourg’s graphic design history and Design Friends’ new se...

DEE 6  

Release of the sixth issue of DEE Magazine! Featuring a major contribution on Luxembourg’s graphic design history and Design Friends’ new se...