PRILL VIECELI CREMERS — Interview
Prill Vieceli Cremers, Zürich-based graphic design studio.
Hello Tania, Alberto and Sebastian, how are you?
We are fine, thank you.
Can you introduce yourselves?
I am Tania Prill. Besides working for our studio I am professor of typography at the University of the Arts Bremen, where I am running the Master-Studio “From Aleph to Eternity / Language & Communication” together with Prof. Samuel Nyholm.
I am Alberto Vieceli.
I am Sebastian Cremers. I am also part time teacher for editorial and exhibition design. About a year ago I found everyedition and realized several projects in collaboration with artists, designers or just by myself.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
SC — I started collecting records at the beginning of the 90s. The way some of those sleeves were designed, especially for the field of electronic music by studios like Tomato, the Designers Republic, Openmind had a great impact on me.
TP — My great-grandfather was artist and director of the “Königliche Kunst- und Gewerbeschule Breslau”. I wanted to be an artist like him. After school I shared a workspace with an artist who was educated as a graphic designer. That time I realized I would rather like to study graphic design than art.
AV — Difficult to say, I think the first influence was John Heartfield with his fantastic collages, certainly that wonderful old Soviet or Czech film poster. Another influence comes from different LP covers from the 70s till 80s.
How did you come to start up the studio?
AV — I met Tania Prill in 2001, we were invited to a dinner organized by Hans-Rudolf Lutz. So in a way, it was Lutz initiative to bring us together.
TP — I was tired of working on my own, we were both looking for someone to work with. Alberto knew the book “Die Schweizer Autobahn” which I designed for the Museum für Gestaltung Zurich. We started an exchange about our projects and this let to the founding of our studio. Alberto kept a lot of clients from his Pre-Prill & Vieceli time where I am not involved and I am teaching besides working in our studio. This was and is a good balance in our teamwork.
SC — I joined the studio and became partner of what is now Prill Vieceli Cremers in 2010. Maybe we should have thought of a different name at that point, because it is almost impossible to spell our email address.
Can you tell us more about the poster and the exhibition « Schweiz — Japan »?
SC — Among 12 design studios – 6 from Switzerland and 6 from Japan – we were asked to contribute a poster design for an exhibition celebrating the 150 years of diplomatic exchange between the two countries. The sun is the most important symbol of Japan and an elementary component of the poster. The typography as well as the form of reduction pays attention to the Swiss style of the 50s when the Swiss poster design had a growing international influence. The verbal message can also be read as the imprint, which underlines the fact that this is the view from us as authors rather than graphic designers in the traditional meaning.
AV — Stephanie Cuerel curated the event together with Josh Schaub. It took place during the “Weltformat” festival in Lucerne and will travel to the Ginza Graphic Gallery in Tokyo early next year.
What are the key features of your design?
SC — The term “form follows content” seems to be useful in order to describe our approach to design. Martin Guggenheimer once said in the laudation of the Jan Tchichold Prize about our work: “There are books that make you suspect who designed them as soon as you look at the cover. You open the book and find you were right, because you have already come across similar approaches by the same studio. It’s very different when the books are designed by Prill Vieceli Cremers. Tania Prill, Alberto Vieceli and Sebastian Cremers do not keep on working in single style of their own, they adapt themselves to every job, every subject and every author each time they design a book.” Every project asks for a different solution. Our studio does not seem to have something like a visual signature that pops up in everything we create. We believe in visual variety and uniqueness owed to the particular content expressed. Research takes a major part within the process, also for our self-initiated projects, which allows us to take this approach even further.
You won several awards such as the « Swiss Design Award » or the « ADC New-York ». What does these awards mean to you?
AV — We are feeling very honoured and proud.
Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?
TP — I was married to and now administrate the bequest of graphic designer, author, publisher, teacher and visual artist Hans-Rudolf Lutz. There is still a strong relation to him and that goes for all of us.
AV — Alex Steinweiss.
SC — Enzo Mari.
Which books are on your bedside table?
TP — Erhard Behrends “5 Minuten Mathematik”, Anke te Heesen “Der Zeitungsauschnitt”, Michael Glasmeier “Üben”.
AV — “How to get rich!” by Donald J. Trump
The last word…
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler — 12.14
Images ©Prill Vieceli Cremers.