Geoff Williamson and Chris Curran met whilst working at Why Not Associates. Now the pair’s two year-old practice, The Studio of Williamson Curran (TSOWC), has designed the catalogue for Tate Britain‘s new Schwitters in Britain show (which opens tomorrow). Here’s a look at it plus a Q&A with the duo…
“The design of the catalogue hints at Kurt Schwitters‘ graphic and typographic work,” says Curran of the duo’s approach to the exhibition catalogue. “At times Schwitters was essentially a graphic designer, publishing his own magazine Merz which had a strong typographic feel using fonts that he himself had designed,” he continues. “We obviously didn’t want to do a pastiche of his work but felt a nod towards it was needed, treating some of the titles in the book as bold graphic elements yet putting them on odd angles that highlight the playfulness of the artist’s collages.”
Creative Review: Tell us a little about The Studio of Williamson Curran – when did you set up the studio and how did you get started?
Chris Curran: We have been running for two years now. Geoff Williamson and I started the studio after working together at Why Not Associates, which was a great experience giving us a foundation in a broad field of design, from car dashboard design and the giant Comedy Carpet in Blackpool through to identities and motion graphics projects including the Dispatches Unseen Gaza promo which was a Best in Book project in CR’s 2010 Annual.
CR: So you left Why Not to set up on your own?
CC: After a really enjoyable eight and five years respectively, we actually both left WNA independently and did our own thing for a bit, freelancing here and there, but then after a year it seemed to make sense to set something up together. We had an aim to have a mixture of print, motion and digital work, which seems to have worked out pretty well, we’re really keen on keeping this openness and not specialising in one area of design
Bionda Castana identity. Photography by Aaron Tilley
CR: Tell us about some of your recent projects.
CC: During the past year we’ve produced several promos for Channel 4, rebranded a luxury shoe company (image above), produced brochures for London College of Fashion, created a film illustrating a poem by Benjamin Zephaniah for Smile for London, and, most recently, designed the catalogue for the ‘Schwitters in Britiain’ exhibition which opens tomorrow on January 30 at Tate Britain.
CR: What projects are you working on at the moment?
CC: We’re already working on another book for the Tate which documents an on-line exhibition called The Gallery of Lost Art that will be removed after a year of being live. Its a joint project between Tate and Channel 4 and you can check it out online at galleryoflostart.com.
See more of the studio’s work at tsowc.com.
NB Kurt Schwitters fans stay tuned: CR’s Mark Sinclair went to the press preview of the Tate Britain’s Schwitters in Britain show (it opens tomorrow, January 30 and runs until May 12) and will review it here on the blog soon.
More about the exhibition at tate.org.uk.
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