HUBERT & FISCHER — Interview
Hubert & Fischer, founded by Philipp Hubert and Sebastian Fischer, New York and Berlin.
Hello Philipp and Sebastian, how are you?
PH — Fantastic.
SF — Thanks for having us, we enjoy the last days of summer and work on some exciting projects.
Can you introduce yourselves?
PH — We met at Art Academy Stuttgart in 2005 and have been working together ever since. First we collaborated on student projects and with our first check from a client we found ourselves opening our studio.
SF — I remember the last year before we graduated we rented two flats in the same building. Philipp lived in the flat above me and this was our studio. We played very loud music days and nights and as we were our own neighbors nobody complained, this was a lot of fun.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
SF — My father is a retired architect and my great-grandfather was a stonemason, it’s nice to come from a creative family and I ended up doing graphic design.
PH — When I was young I remember taking newspapers and magazines and cut out images and texts and making collages with them. And as a teenager I did graffiti and/from there I got to experiment with type, lettering, colors, and shapes before I had any idea what graphic design is. I think my enjoyment with graffiti eventually let me to art school where I learned drawing and printing techniques and got in touch with art and graphic design and later went on to study graphic design.
How did you come to start up a design studio with offices in New York and Berlin?
SF — While we were studying and running our tiny studio we tried to get as much experience and did internships or freelance projects. Philipp went after he graduated for the second time to New York and this time to work with Stefan Sagmeister on several book projects and I moved to Portugal to work for R2 Design. Then he stayed in New York to work with Stefan and we decided to open a studio in New York. But besides working at different locations we always kept close contact and worked beside on our studio projects or typefaces.
PH — We didn’t really planned it and I decided to stay in New York as we have great projects there and Sebastian moved to Berlin.
Can you tell us more about the Was Bleibt project?
SF — Was Bleibt is an identity we designed for a symposium about artists and their estates and how to manage them in future. The symposium was held by a network of artists, called Künstlerbund Baden-Württemberg. Our concept is to place typography in perspective to emphasize the space art needs. We designed a poster, an invitation card and a book with essays and an overview of 260 artworks from multiple artists.
You designed several books, what’s your interest in editorial design?
PH — Our interest in editorial design started while we were still studying. A few artists we were studying with took a chance on having us to design books for them even though we really had no idea what we were doing at the time. Luckily these artists gave us freedom to experiment and we took our time and learned about book design.
What I find particularly interesting about designing a book is trying to manage a range of creative details and production factors. Figuring out how to handle all the graphic elements, images, texts, structure along with materials, printing techniques all within a budget is pretty complex but a rewarding process. Additionally, we really like to push the boundaries as far as we can go with our books in both the design and printing. I think book design need to have a conceptual statement that grab your attention on the cover, which need to support and be relevant to the content of the book. When a great concept, design execution, and printing process all come together perfectly the result can be absolutely sublime.
SF — Another thing is the content, every book comes with its own content and with each new book project you get in touch with different topics and people who create the content which is very interesting.
What are the key features of your design?
SF — We like to come up with a typographic approach, using a typeface as image or sometimes we modify an existing typeface or make a custom one for the project.
PH — Typography, Sans Serif, Monkeys and Kunst.
Designers that you admire?
SF — Designers, who are free from any constraints.
PH — Johannes Gutenberg.
Which books are on your bedside table?
– Annäherungen Drogen und Rausch, Ernst Jünger
– More Than You Wanted to Know About John Baldessari Vol.1, Edited by Meg Cranston and Hans Ulrich Obrist
– What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
– A Man in Love, Karl Ove Knausgaard
– 20 Japanese Architects, Roland Hagenberg
– Poems of Paul Celan, Michael Hamburger
– Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, Shunryu Suzuki
The last word …
PH — Never do boring typography.
SF — Design or Die Trying.
Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 10.15
Pictures ©Hubert & Fischer