PRÄSENS BÜRO — Interview

Präsens Büro is a Lucerne-based studio founded by Dorothee Dähler, Kaj Lehmann, Simon Rüegg and Raphael Schoen.

— Hello Simon, Raphael, Kaj and Dorothee how are you?

We feel very relaxed. We just came back from holidays.

— Can you introduce yourself?

We are four graphic designers working in Lucerne, where we studied (HSLU Design & Kunst). Simon and Kaj started working as self-employed graphic designers directly after studies. Dorothee and Raphael joined them after finishing internships. Raphi was at Onlab Berlin and Dorothee at Prill Vieceli Cremers.

— Where does your interest in graphic design come from?

We all have different backgrounds and therefore had different reasons to become graphic designers. Dorothee has always been fascinated by all these things which where done by graphic designers, but never actually thought of it as a job – when she was finishing her A-Levels and almost becoming a teacher she realised it is a real job! Raphael was always very good in drawing lessons. So in the early days his parents, teachers and the occupational counselor thought it’s a good idea if he tries to become a graphic designer. When Kaj was a kid, he had the chance to help out in an Agency during summer holidays. He instantly knew this was a working environment he really liked. Simon just felt that it’s the right job to do.

— How did you come to start up the studio?

In the last years we organically grew as a group as we were working at the same place and collaborating most projects, but we never felt the need to promote ourselves as a group. Yet last year we wanted to participate in a competition called «Werkbeiträge Luzern», and for that reason we had to come up with the name. We decided for «Präsens Büro», as we were already publishing magazines with our friends under «Präsens Editionen».

— Can you explain to us one of your projects?

We think that the CI we made for this year «Werkbeiträge Luzern» shows our interests quite well: The assignment was to design A1/A3 posters, flyers and stationery. Therefore we were doing a pre-print in A1 of four stripes using 4 Pantone colors. After that we overprinted them with silkscreen (silver) for every format. With this system we were able to do all the print products with 5 special colors at a very low cost (A usual CMYK or 2 Color Pantone print-run would have cost even a bit more).

— Do you have a favorite typeface?

We like to work with typefaces that were made recently and within our network. But we’re not dogmatic about it. Every content needs a new research for a fitting type.

— A designer that you admire?

The usual suspects, really. But at this point we’d like to mention Gunter Rambow. Have a look at his posters and books!

— Favorite books?

Kaj: Earth Extremes by Christian Waldvogel. Great content and wonderful design by Jonas Vögeli.
Raphael: At the moment it’s the comic TinTin. Love to read them before sleep.

— The last word…

We got a five star ranking for our coffee – if you happen to be in Lucerne come by and have one!

Pictures and projects by Präsens Büro.

Interview: Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler, 06.16


Graphic Design