Fashionably graphic

New book Graphic Design For Fashion probes the curious relationship between the graphic designer and the fashion world, articulated through branding, packaging, look books and invitations

Eley Kishimoto look books by HarrimanSteel

New book Graphic Design For Fashion probes the curious relationship between the graphic designer and the fashion world, articulated through branding, packaging, look books and invitations…

Compiled by Jay Hess and Simone Pasztorek, designers at London-based studio byBOTH, the book presents a series of beautifully shot spreads and is an ideal reference point for illustrating how graphic design is used by the fashion industry.

Acne Studios projects by Acne Art Department

With the innovative work of Acne Studios and its in-house art department as the starting point, the collection sets out to show how vital design-led branding is for establishing an identity for any fashion business. And from the company’s comp slips to its buttons, the Acne brand is instantly recognisable via the typography and minimalist design used consistently over its products.

But Graphic Design For Fashion also demonstrates how the look book and even the fashion show invite provide a medium that can diverge from a consistent brand statement – with the need to respond to seasonal trends and influences, both forms afford the graphic designer much greater creative licence and artistic freedom.

Viktor & Rolf branding by Mevis and Van Deursen

Aboud Creative’s invitations for Paul Smith shows

An in-depth examination of the Paul Smith brand vividly illustrates the creative scope of the invitation, for example. Regarded by the industry as a quintessentially British brand, the label’s 20-year relationship with Aboud Creative has produced a diverse range of invitations tailored to suit individual collections. The primary colours and geometric shapes used for one season form a dramatic contrast to a handwritten invite emblazoned with delicate floral motifs designed for another.

Paolo Bazzani’s work for Kenzo fashion shows also reveals how an invitation can become a work of art in itself. For the Spring/Summer 09 event, Bazzani used children’s pop-up books as inspiration, to create a whimsical 3D collage of paper butterflies, which of course also doubled up as an invite.

Paolo Bazzani’s work for Kenzo

And from butterflies to human flies, images from the Spring/Summer 06 look book for fashion label Bernhard Willhelm, show how even this staple of the fashion industry can be given a surreal makeover via graphics. Featuring two naked figures with models exploding from their mouths, the images are both beautiful and provocative.

Freudenthal Verhagen’s look book for Bernard Willhelm

With its broad selection of both labels and creatives, Hess and Pasztorek have cherry-picked some truly original work here. Although occasionally weighed down by a few turgid turns of phrase here and there – this is the world of fashion after all – Graphic Design For Fashion is a very well dressed and rich source for information and inspiration.

Graphic Design For Fashion is published by Laurence King and is out now; £26.

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