We have designed the latest issue. Launch in September 2014.
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Edited by Stephen Willats

305 × 245 mm, 32 pp

2014

Control Magazine acts as a vehicle for proposals and explanations of art practice between artists seeking to create a meaningful engagement with contemporary society.

Published and edited by Stephen Willats, this pioneering magazine has documented the work of many artists, both from the UK and abroad and encouraged a wide discussion of artists’ practices. It has included contributions and original pieces from an extensive range of artists over its eighteen issues. Since 1965, the magazine has published work and writing by over 150 artists, including John Latham, Roy Ascot, Anthony Benjamin, Dan Graham, Mary Kelly, Helen Chadwick, Tony Cragg, Dennis Adams, Lawrence Weiner, Anish Kapoor, Martha Rosler, Jeremy Deller, alongside collectives and collaboratives such as Gallerie in Friedrichstrasse, Artists Placement Group and early producer’s galleries such as that of Dieter Hacker. Many of the artists have made artwork specially for the magazine.

Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works. Photograph by Eva Herzog.
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Design of graphic identity, printed exhibition materials, website and exterior signs since Raven Row gallery opened

2009–ongoing

In 2009 we created a system in which a new sign was produced for each exhibition. An image of this single artwork was used for invitations, advertisements and online. The 19 signs were produced using various techniques including sign-painting, silkscreen printing, traffolyte engraving, perspex-moulding and chalk drawing. In 2013 we manufactured a permanent cast-iron exterior sign. Each exhibition has its own project page on this site – follow the links in the related projects menu (the archive of signs can also be seen in the past exhibitions index on the Raven Row website). The Raven Row website programming is by Studio Scasascia.

‘London’s jaw-droppingly elegant new space’ (Adrian Searle, the Guardian)

‘Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth-century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.’ (Raven Row)

Design of graphic identity, printed exhibition materials, website and exterior signs since Raven Row gallery opened

2009–ongoing

In 2009 we created a system in which a new sign was produced for each exhibition. An image of this single artwork was used for invitations, advertisements and online. The 19 signs were produced using various techniques including sign-painting, silkscreen printing, traffolyte engraving, perspex-moulding and chalk drawing. In 2013 we manufactured a permanent cast-iron exterior sign. Each exhibition has its own project page on this site – follow the links in the related projects menu (the archive of signs can also be seen in the past exhibitions index on the Raven Row website). The Raven Row website programming is by Studio Scasascia.

‘London’s jaw-droppingly elegant new space’ (Adrian Searle, the Guardian)

‘Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth-century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.’ (Raven Row)

Edited and introduced by Michael Kupperman
Four Corners Books
315 × 240 mm, 148 pp
2013

 

In the late 1990s, Michael Kupperman bought a stack of men’s magazines from the 1950s and 1960s. On examining them, he discovered that their original owner had tampered with them, using the contents to form his own hybrid magazines. This reordering, censoring and selecting, made the sensation-crazed originals even stranger. Pirate Nightmare Vice Explosion presents highlights from that collection, and takes place in a murky, monochromatic world where mysterious, energetic sin is always happening behind closed doors. Some of it is factual, some of it smells of heady invention.

Michael Kupperman is an American comic artist and the author ofTales Designed To Thrizzle, Snake ‘n’ Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret and Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s and Saturday Night Live. His website is michaelkupperman.com

Read Michael’s introduction to the project here.

Edited by Ryan Gander and John Morgan
Koenig Books
365 × 255 mm, 560 pp
2014 

Published to coincide with the exhibition Ryan Gander: Make every show like it’s your last at Manchester Art Gallery, 3 July – 14 September 2014.

 

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Illustrated by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Four Corners Books

A4 size, 280 pp

2014

The ninth book in the Four Corners Familiars series.

For her edition of The Canterbury Tales, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd has selected her favourite tales and produced a heavily illustrated, collaged book that mixes Medieval and contemporary imagery, and includes the following tales:

Prologue

The Miller’s Tale

The Reeve’s Tale

The Friar’s Tale

The Merchant’s Tale

The Wife of Bath’s Tale

The Summoner’s Tale

The Pardoner’s Tale


Marvin Gaye Chetwynd was born in London in 1973 and now lives in Glasgow. She recently changed her name from Spartacus Chetwynd and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012. 

Ragnar Kjartansson subscription ad
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September 2013–ongoing

ArtReview, founded in London in 1949, evolved from an eight-page, black-and-white broadsheet to a magazine distributed in 28 countries and published nine times a year. Since the first issue in the 1940s, the cover has traditionally featured a self-portrait. Following our total redesign of the magazine and its sister publication ArtReview Asia in September 2013, we continue to art direct and develop the design of each issue and special editions, including the Power 100 and Future Greats. 

Palette portrait of John Morgan by Ryan Gander
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July 2014

Koenig Books

Edited by Ryan Gander and John Morgan. Book launch in October 2014. Full project page coming soon.

Installation of Gallimard Blanche in Seoul
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‘Blanche ou L’Oubli / Blanche or Forgetting’ installation of Gallimard Blanche series by John Morgan with Alex Balgiu, Jean-Marie Courant and 6a architects

Seoul, South Korea

Typojanchi Typography Biennale

2013

‘Like many archetypes, the design of the celebrated collection Blanche/White published by the Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF) and Gallimard is the result of compound sensibilities – the taste and direction of the founders, which included André Gide and Jean Schlumberger – and the implementation by the printer Edouard Verbeke of the St. Catherine Press in Bruges.

There’s a collectively inherited idea of what constitutes a “Blanche” – an off-white cover stock which gives the collection its name, a paperback you can hold comfortably in your hand but perhaps not in your pocket, a single black ruled frame containing a double red frame, centred text alignment, a title coloured red, the author’s name in black and the publisher’s italicised NRF device. The specific peculiarities are harder to define.’ (John Morgan, download full text here)

Play What's Not There
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Design of graphic identity, printed exhibition materials, website and exterior signs since Raven Row gallery opened

2009–ongoing

In 2009 we created a system in which a new sign was produced for each exhibition. An image of this single artwork was used for invitations, advertisements and online. The 19 signs were produced using various techniques including sign-painting, silkscreen printing, traffolyte engraving, perspex-moulding and chalk drawing. In 2013 we manufactured a permanent cast-iron exterior sign. Each exhibition has its own project page on this site – follow the links in the related projects menu (the archive of signs can also be seen in the past exhibitions index on the Raven Row website). The Raven Row website programming is by Studio Scasascia.

‘London’s jaw-droppingly elegant new space’ (Adrian Searle, the Guardian)

‘Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth-century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.’ (Raven Row)

 

Advertisement for exhibition in celebration of Juergen Teller turning 50 this year. On show at Galerie Suzzanne Tarasieve in Paris.

By Oscar Wilde

Art by Gareth Jones

Four Corners Books

350 × 285 mm, 128 pp

2007 

 

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2011
The first book in the Four Corners Familiars series.

 
‘The “Familiars” series, which commenced last autumn with an acclaimed new edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), designed by John Morgan to a concept and art work by Gareth Jones, is a bravura example of how an iconic book might be re-enacted. Returning, on the one hand, to the publishing history of Wilde’s novel, which first appeared in print on 20 June 1890, as pages 3–100 of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, the “Familiars” edition restored the book to its physical form as a large-format, magazine-style publication. The pages turn over with languid ease, as though to the neat flick of a doubtlessly yellow-gloved hand. The phrase “A young man of extraordinary personal beauty” is printed on the pale blue cover in dense black letters. Wilde’s famous preface to his novel, in the form of a succession of aphorisms (concluding “All art is quite useless”), is printed in large italics, with entire pages and double-page spreads luxuriously given over to the rolling flow of each maxim and paradox. The effect is to refresh and dramatize one’s reading of the text, while also reminding the reader of the complexities of Wilde’s cultural enshrinement. And yet this is only one half of the artistic formula at work in The Picture of Dorian Gray as reconceived by Jones. By way of design, motif, typography and, most importantly, the inclusion within the text (as illustration) of advertisements for Gitanes cigarettes – originally made in the 1970s by the Hipgnosis advertising agency for UK print media and featuring suave, Gallically handsome male models – Jones re-routes the novel to both concepts of masculine beauty and the reclamation of Art Nouveau and Wildean foppishness within the subcultural pop styling and fashions of the early 1970s.’ (Michael Bracewell, Editions of You, Frieze 116, 2008)

By Irénée Scalbert and 6a architects

Park Books, Zurich

210 × 140, 176pp

2013

Architectural critic Irénée Scalbert explores the role of narrative, history, appropriation and craft in the work of 6a architects.

‘This book is a significant achievement in architectural publishing, not only capturing the spirit of 6a but itself embodying a deeply welcome orientation to the concreteness of architecture, the nature of its practice and the culture of its constituents.’ (Architecture Today)

Design of graphic identity, printed exhibition materials, website and exterior signs since Raven Row gallery opened

2009–ongoing

In 2009 we created a system in which a new sign was produced for each exhibition. An image of this single artwork was used for invitations, advertisements and online. The 19 signs were produced using various techniques including sign-painting, silkscreen printing, traffolyte engraving, perspex-moulding and chalk drawing. In 2013 we manufactured a permanent cast-iron exterior sign. Each exhibition has its own project page on this site – follow the links in the related projects menu (the archive of signs can also be seen in the past exhibitions index on the Raven Row website). The Raven Row website programming is by Studio Scasascia.

‘London’s jaw-droppingly elegant new space’ (Adrian Searle, the Guardian)

‘Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth-century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.’ (Raven Row)

Edited by Michael Kupperman

Paperback, 148 pp

'In the late 1990s, Michael Kupperman bought a stack of men’s magazines from the 1950s and 1960s. On examining them, he discovered that their original owner had tampered with them, using the contents to form his own hybrid magazines. This reordering, censoring and selecting, made the sensation-crazed originals even stranger. Pirate Nightmare Vice Explosion presents highlights from that collection, and takes place in a murky, monochromatic world where mysterious, energetic sin is always happening behind closed doors. Some of it is factual, some of it smells of heady invention.' (Four Corners Books)

Control. Stephen Willats. Work 1962–69
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23 January to 30 March 2014

Publication and exhibition graphics

Clip from a short film by John Morgan and Michael Harvey

2011

Introduction to a film screening at X Marks the Boekship, 2012:
‘Apologies for not being here, but I have nothing to say… and have asked somebody else to say it. They have a French Swiss accent – saying nothing with a French Swiss accent always sounds better.

I made this short film called “Blank Dummy” with a friend Michael Harvey. Initially it was an excuse to make a poster, which I still haven’t made…

It’s a re-enactment of a meeting I had with a publisher and production team. This is how it really happened, all true, though you may find the ending unbelievable. It really did happen just as this film. By making this film, I wouldn’t need to tell the story again. My intention was to cast a young beautiful boy as myself, sadly the actor who turned up didn’t correspond to his photograph or the image of myself. So we see here the ritual abuse and “reading” of a blank book.’


The film will be shown in full here soon. 

April 2014 cover drawn by Wilhelm Sasnal
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September 2013–ongoing

ArtReview, founded in London in 1949, evolved from an eight-page, black-and-white broadsheet to a magazine distributed in 28 countries and published nine times a year. Since the first issue in the 1940s, the cover has traditionally featured a self-portrait. Following our total redesign of the magazine and its sister publication ArtReview Asia in September 2013, we continue to art direct and develop the design of each issue and special editions, including the Power 100 and Future Greats. 

Art direction of ArtReview from September 2013
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September 2013–ongoing

ArtReview, founded in London in 1949, evolved from an eight-page, black-and-white broadsheet to a magazine distributed in 28 countries and published nine times a year. Since the first issue in the 1940s, the cover has traditionally featured a self-portrait. Following our total redesign of the magazine and its sister publication ArtReview Asia in September 2013, we continue to art direct and develop the design of each issue and special editions, including the Power 100 and Future Greats. 

Winner of graphics category Design Museum Designs of Year 2013
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Graphic identity, exhibition graphics, posters, environmental graphics,

books, merchandise 

2012

 

‘The Venetian stencil street signs or Nizioletti don’t prevent you from getting lost in the labyrinth, but they do comfort you or allow you to get lost in the most elegant way. They speak to you not in an Italian but a Venetian dialect – “Calle” rather than “Via”. Given their frequency, that they don’t irritate or disturb is a measure of their visual properties – they must be the most beautiful of city sign systems (the v-incised Bath street names defined by light and shade alone follow closely behind). The stencil text is contained in a white plaster panel – Nizioletti means “white sheet or cover” – roughly framed in black. The text is also painted black, but this black like so much in Venice has undertones of blue, a prussian blue (the blue used in blueprints) or a deep black water. To the passer-by the white rectangle often appears to be positioned in alignment with the interior ceiling ribbed with beams. The sheets which stack like sails when there’s lots to say, expand and contract to fit the content. There’s a hierarchy in size, the larger type of a sestiere (district) would sit above a smaller bridge name. The black blue text switches to brick red for key directional signs (and to a more recent reflective yellow). These point with a beautiful arrow, whose head is spliced from its own tail, leaving the bony silhouette of a vorticist fish.

These forms were irresistible to me when David Chipperfield, the Director of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, invited my studio to create a graphic identity for “Common Ground”. The body of work spanned across four publications, exhibition graphics, signage, posters, printed matter and more uniquely banners for bridges and wraps for Vaporettos. The theme Common Ground celebrated interconnected architectural culture and explored the things architects have in common, from the conditions of practice, to influences, collaborations and histories.’ (John Morgan, Eye magazine). Read more.

Signage, wayfinding, printed matter for Tate Britain
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Signage and wayfinding with Ian Whybrow 

2013–ongoing

 

We were commissioned to review the signage and wayfinding as part of the Tate Britain Millbank project under the building master plan by Caruso St John architects. The existing sign system had developed in an ad hoc manner, resulting in disjointed layers of disparate sign systems, compounded by the use of a scheme, typography and materials developed principally as a graphic identity for a sister building, Tate Modern – an environment very different in atmosphere and architecture.

We reduced the presence of signs and promotional material to an ‘essential only’ state, and integrated the signage with the architectural, structural and operational requirements of the building. Whereas very present ‘supergraphics’ may be appropriate in a noisy, fast environment, the requirements in a gallery like this are different. The signage could be less present and more dignified.

As part of the re-hang, and the ‘Walk through British Art’ display, the gallery layout has been reconfigured to create a circuit around its outer perimeter, exploiting the long enfilades of galleries that open onto each another. The circuit travels anti-clockwise around the building, with threshold dates sign-painted onto the floor to tell you where you are in time. This is supported by a schematic map of the chronological circuit cut in brass. Permanent aluminium captions and labels are painted to match the wall colours, angled and positioned below the artworks. The emphasis is on looking rather than reading first (more contextual information is given in the new Tate Britain Companion). Where possible and appropriate, we replaced unsympathetic vinyl donor accreditation with sign-painted gilt letterforms painted directly onto walls by Phil Surey. We designed a new display typeface inspired by Bowles – a ‘British vernacular’ letterform for a British building. This letterform is cast in brass for external signs and silkscreened directly onto the interior walls. Where the ‘Tate Pro’ typeface is used, we commissioned an expert set of numerals – a better fit for the number-heavy data we were presenting. As part of a ‘total’ scheme for Tate Britain, we designed templates for new maps, menus, banners and posters.

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2011
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Series designer: John Morgan 

Print production: Martin Lee

Four Corners Books

2007–ongoing

Four Corners Familiars is a series of books featuring artists’ responses to classic novels and short stories. They provide a fresh look at the tradition of the illustrated novel, with each artist choosing a text to be reprinted in full alongside their newly created work. Each book is different in style and format, according to the needs of the artwork and the text. Eight titles have now been completed, with more being prepared. 


1. The Picture of Dorian Gray
2. Dracula
3. Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor
4. Nau Sea Sea Sick
5. A Stick of Green Candy
6. Vanity Fair
7. The Prisoner of Zenda
8. Madame Bovary

Each book has its own project within this site. Follow the links in the related projects menu.

‘The collaboration between John Morgan, Four Corners Publishing and three contemporary artists (Gareth Jones, James Pyman and David Musgrave) has been one of the most toothsome ongoing treats of 2008. Each volume is a brilliantly well-considered and fresh approach to a classic text, with the artists providing a contemporary take on the art of book illustration and Morgan exercising his estimable powers as one of today’s most assured, imaginative and intelligent book designers. So far The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula and Kafka's Blumfeld: An Elderly Batchelor have enjoyed the Four Corners Familiars treatment in 2008. We can't wait for more in 2009.’ (Grafik magazine, 2008)

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2011 

Art direction of 4 covers. Future Greats, March 2014
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September 2013–ongoing

ArtReview, founded in London in 1949, evolved from an eight-page, black-and-white broadsheet to a magazine distributed in 28 countries and published nine times a year. Since the first issue in the 1940s, the cover has traditionally featured a self-portrait. Following our total redesign of the magazine and its sister publication ArtReview Asia in September 2013, we continue to art direct and develop the design of each issue and special editions, including the Power 100 and Future Greats. 

Graphic identity for new contemporary art museum, Mexico City
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Mexico City

2013

The inauguration on 19 November 2013 of Museo Jumex, in a building designed by David Chipperfield Architects in Nuevo Polanco, Mexico City, marks a new stage in the development of the Fundación / Colección Jumex. Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo was created to promote production, reflection and knowledge of contemporary art and to generate new proposals of cultural support. This is accomplished through Colección Jumex, the foundation’s art collection; Museo Jumex, a place for the exhibition and activation of contemporary art; Galería Jumex Ecatepec, an experimental exhibition space; and Editorial Jumex, a platform for publication and circulation.

We worked closely with the museum’s in house team to create a graphic identity that extends through exterior and interior signage, exhibition announcement systems and advertisements to tickets and printed matter. We refined and developed the existing La Colección star symbol, the ghostly presence of which informed the bespoke Museo Jumex display stencil alphabet.

For the opening we designed a set of publications, ‘La Fundación / La Colección’, contained in a green paint-flecked orange case, inspired by Juan Villoro’s text ‘Blue like an orange’ (in turn inspired by a verse by Paul Eluard).


More images soon.

Stencil alphabet designed for Common Ground, Venice Architecture Biennale 2012

 

‘There are shared common associations with architects and stencils, part of the attraction being that stencils appear built and engineered. The zinc stencils (still) manufactured by Thévenon & Cie are now emblematic of Corbusier. More significantly, stencils have traditionally been used as a convenient and economical form of “public lettering” as “everyday letters” (literally “lettres à jour”, through which you see daylight when held up). More crucially on a practical level for our exhibition design, here is a letterform perfectly suited to signage and public notices of a temporary nature. When applied as a stencil there’s a painterly quality that can’t be matched by vinyl. It seems likely the Nizioleti stencil system dates from Napolean’s occupation, and we see similar typeforms produced by Jean Gabriel Bery in Paris from c.1781. There are the inevitable variations in letterform through time too. Our stencil was far from a faithful revival or reflection (that would be the ultimate narcissistic action in this most vain of cities). Through a process of reflection and refraction we produced a letterform that was similar but not the same. We picked and mixed those characters that suited us, focusing on those with the highest frequency in the title, selecting an “O” with a perverse double cut, and an “R” with a loose curled tail (clipped from the mane of St Mark’s lion).’  (Extract from John Morgan, Common Ground, A letter from Venice, Eye magazine blog, 2012)


Our graphic identity for Common Ground was winner of the graphics category in the Design Museum Designs of the Year 2013. See the project here.

Installation of Gallimard Blanche in Seoul
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‘Blanche ou L’Oubli / Blanche or Forgetting’ installation of Gallimard Blanche series by John Morgan with Alex Balgiu, Jean-Marie Courant and 6a architects

Seoul, South Korea

Typojanchi Typography Biennale

2013

‘Like many archetypes, the design of the celebrated collection Blanche/White published by the Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF) and Gallimard is the result of compound sensibilities – the taste and direction of the founders, which included André Gide and Jean Schlumberger – and the implementation by the printer Edouard Verbeke of the St. Catherine Press in Bruges.

There’s a collectively inherited idea of what constitutes a “Blanche” – an off-white cover stock which gives the collection its name, a paperback you can hold comfortably in your hand but perhaps not in your pocket, a single black ruled frame containing a double red frame, centred text alignment, a title coloured red, the author’s name in black and the publisher’s italicised NRF device. The specific peculiarities are harder to define.’ (John Morgan, download full text here)

Texts by A.M. Homes, Fritz Emsander, Bettina Haiss, Thomas Grünfeld
Published by DruckVerlag Kettler

Museum Morsbroich
Leverkusen 

2013

 

‘Museum Morsbroich presents Thomas Grünfeld – homey. Works dating from 1981 to 2013. Spongy ochre-coloured puddles ooze around the floor, a whiff of 1950s fustiness has become entangled in the spiky plant, colourful felt collages decorate the walls, and the room is populated by strange animal creatures: Welcome to the untameable realm of collective memories. This is the first museum retrospective exhibition of works by Thomas Grünfeld, who was born in Leverkusen and teaches at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Grünfeld’s extraordinarily diverse oeuvre, presented here for the first time in a survey exhibition, is characterised by strictly separate work groups.’ (Museum Morsbroich)


See another publication we made with Thomas Grünfeld: Young Steerer.

Designed and produced for the Venice Architecure Biennale 2012

Designed with Jürgen Teller

Marsilio Editori

325 × 245 mm, 48 pp
2012 

As designers of the graphic identity and Biennale campaign, we initiated this publication to support and expand on the Biennale exhibition catalogues. We invited Jürgen Teller to document the people and events surrounding the vernissage.

‘The converging energies that create the installations and exhibitions of the Venice Architecture Biennale take their final shape as the first visitors appear. As the makers of the exhibitions quietly recede into the shadows, the audience begins to wander around the scenographic setting that has been prepared in anticipation of their arrival. Before long, the authors reappear, mingling with their works and with the audience and participating in the theatre that is the biennale. The biennale is both an exhibition and an event. It provides a dramatic setting for the architectural community and all those with an interest to convene around the spectacle of an exhibition in the inspiring locations of the Arsenale and the Giardini. While the exhibition must endure into the dark days of the winter, it is the hot and sweaty days of the openings that define the occasion. Jürgen Teller’s photographs capture both the stage and the players of these dramatic days. He captures the intense humanity of the celebration and intensifies both its innocence and its presence. Through its photographs we feel not only the humidity of Venice but the warmth of this coming together on common ground.’ (David Chipperfield)

 

2008–ongoing

We produced a new graphic identity for the international architectural practice in 2008. The scope of works covered design of all printed and electronic matter for offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. The extensive identity manual and the design of over 200 templates enables the practice to produce communication items sympathetically and efficiently in house. Our relationship continues with collaboration and consultation on many projects, including publications, exhibitions, identities, wayfinding and signage on buildings. Exhibitions include the Venice Biennale 2012, and ‘Form Matters’ at the Design Museum London 2009; publications include ‘Neues Museum Berlin’ (Walter König 2009) and a new monograph (Walter König 2013). Signage projects include Turner Contemporary, Café Royal, HEC Paris and Fundación/Colección Jumex. Key individual projects are displayed in their own project section within this site.


The Venice Biennale graphic identity and campaign won the graphic design category of the Design Museum Designs of the Year 2013.

 

By Gustave Flaubert

Translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling

A work by Marc Camille Chaimowicz

Four Corners Books

210 × 270 mm, 536 pp

2013

The eighth book in the Four Corners Familiars series.

Comprising photographs, collages and found objects, this edition of Madame Bovary, illustrated by Marc Camille Chaimowicz, chronicles Emma Bovary’s attempts to escape the banalities of provincial life. For this edition we created the typeface ‘Berthe’, named after Bovary’s neglected child. To read more about Berthe click here.

Design of graphic identity, printed exhibition materials, website and exterior signs since Raven Row gallery opened

2009–ongoing

In 2009 we created a system in which a new sign was produced for each exhibition. An image of this single artwork was used for invitations, advertisements and online. The 19 signs were produced using various techniques including sign-painting, silkscreen printing, traffolyte engraving, perspex-moulding and chalk drawing. In 2013 we manufactured a permanent cast-iron exterior sign. Each exhibition has its own project page on this site – follow the links in the related projects menu (the archive of signs can also be seen in the past exhibitions index on the Raven Row website). The Raven Row website programming is by Studio Scasascia.

‘London’s jaw-droppingly elegant new space’ (Adrian Searle, the Guardian)

‘Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth-century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.’ (Raven Row)

By Bram Stoker

Art by James Pyman

Four Corners Books

240 × 148 mm, 496 pp
2008 

 

 

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2011.
The second book in the Four Corners Familiars series.


‘John Morgan’s meticulous reading of Dracula, Bram Stoker’s classic and complex “novel” (originally published in 1897) results in a golden, golden-section edition. As one of the characters repeatedly refers to the (then) modern invention of the typewriter, Morgan has set Mina Harker’s journal entries in a quirky version of typewriter type (Remington, of course!). In fact, each character’s chapters are set in their own dedicated typeface, including Bulmer, Goudy and Akzidenz Grotesque (a font first released in 1896). Even a two-line telegram is set in Orator Standard, exactly matching a telegram of the time. The book’s binding is reminiscent of The Yellow Book – another near-contemporary. Except that, instead of black, the blocking of the stylish title-piece is blood red – as are the endpapers, the head-and-tail-bands, and the tops of the pages. The reproduction of the delicate illustrations (by James Pyman), the choice of paper and the golden-section format add up to an elegant and most satisfying example of modern book design and production (production supervised by Martin Lee).’ (Derek Birdsall, Eye magazine blog, 2009)

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2012
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Edited by Tom Weaver 

Architectural Association

297 × 245 mm

2008–ongoing

First published in 1981, AA Files is the Architectural Association’s journal of record. It contains essays and articles on architectural history and criticism, work by contemporary practitioners and designers, photography and art. It was redesigned by John Morgan studio in 2008, from issue 57 onwards.

‘There are two ways of looking at graphic design. You can over value technological change. The technological-revolution-that-is-changing-everything is all that matters. You would then consider only the very latest innovations in design as being meaningful. The ipad magazine app that came out last week that “shows us the future of magazines”. The phone coming out next week with a swizzy new screen that displays text with unparalleled clarity. With this view, any design that is not about exploiting technology is regarded as pretty much passé. Irrelevant. Another way of looking at design is that you can see it as a continuum. That the challenges of making magazines, for example, are essentially the same today as they were twenty or forty or sixty years ago. This argument says that although the media that deliver us the reading experience are changing by the hour – our eyes and brain are not changing, and that the experience of reading and looking are pretty much the same as they always have been.

AA Files is produced using some of the latest technology, but produced as old technology. A magazine, printed with ink on paper. But, in its old-fashioned way, I think AA Files is a fabulous example of both design and content. A perfect marriage of the two. Magazines need to be attractive, clear, powerful, coherent and identifiable, and yet full of incident and change. Magazine the word is derived from the Arabic for a store-house (transliterated as makhzan). AA files is a magical store-house. For what is ostensibly a magazine about architecture – the house magazine for members of the Architectural Association – the content is the freest possible definition of architecture and its concerns.’ (Quentin Newark, 2011)

 
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2011

Rudy was designed for an edition of The Prisoner of Zenda, the seventh book in the Four Corners Familiars series. Rudy is based on and inspired by Raymond Hains’ typographic experiments. The distortion of each letterform is rationalised to a mostly twice vertical repeat, which fits with the book’s overriding theme of doubles and gives the page the texture of blackletter. It is named after one of the book’s characters, King Rudolf Rassendyll of Ruritania (and one of John Morgan’s sons).

The Prisoner of Zenda project page can be seen here.

Graphic identity, website, printed matter, publications
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Programming by Studio Scasascia
2010–ongoing 

We began working with 6a architects during the development and construction of Raven Row gallery in 2009. Subsequently we have collaborated on numerous exhibitions in the gallery and designed a new website and graphic identity for the practice. Our design for ‘Never Modern’, the first book on their work and philosophy, can be seen here.


‘6a architects was founded by Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald in 2001 after meeting at the Royal College of Art and has become one of the leading architectural practices in the UK. The practice has developed a particular reputation for award winning contemporary art galleries, educational and residential projects in sensitive historic environments. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed extension to the South London Gallery (New London Architecture Award 2011 and Civic Trust Award Commendation 2012), and Raven Row, a contemporary art gallery in Spitalfields, east London. In May 2011 Raven Row won an RIBA Award, was nominated for the Stirling Prize and was the only UK project selected by the Design Museum for the Brit Insurance Design Award.’ (6a architects)

Graphic identity, signage, exhibition graphics, posters, environmental graphics, books, merchandise

Wayfinding and signage with Ian Whybrow

Site photographs by David Grandorge

2011

We producted the graphic identity and guidelines for the inauguration of a new contemporary art centre designed by David Chipperfield Architects, in Margate. The identity was based on a modified mono-spaced typeface, best expressed in the modular tiled entrance board used to announce exhibitions and events, and as a poème espace for artist interventions. The interior directional, identification and statutory signs are silkscreened directly onto surfaces without disruption to wall planes or architecture. The sign area is defined with a gloss-painted panel in contrast to the matt white gallery wall.

In addition to the overall identity and scheme we have produced exhibition graphics and publications for the opening exhibition ‘Revealed’, and more recently ‘Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing’, curated by Brian Dillon.

 

By Oscar Wilde

Art by Gareth Jones

Four Corners Books

350 × 285 mm, 128 pp

2007 

 

Nominated for Design Museum Designs of Year 2011
The first book in the Four Corners Familiars series.

 
‘The “Familiars” series, which commenced last autumn with an acclaimed new edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), designed by John Morgan to a concept and art work by Gareth Jones, is a bravura example of how an iconic book might be re-enacted. Returning, on the one hand, to the publishing history of Wilde’s novel, which first appeared in print on 20 June 1890, as pages 3–100 of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, the “Familiars” edition restored the book to its physical form as a large-format, magazine-style publication. The pages turn over with languid ease, as though to the neat flick of a doubtlessly yellow-gloved hand. The phrase “A young man of extraordinary personal beauty” is printed on the pale blue cover in dense black letters. Wilde’s famous preface to his novel, in the form of a succession of aphorisms (concluding “All art is quite useless”), is printed in large italics, with entire pages and double-page spreads luxuriously given over to the rolling flow of each maxim and paradox. The effect is to refresh and dramatize one’s reading of the text, while also reminding the reader of the complexities of Wilde’s cultural enshrinement. And yet this is only one half of the artistic formula at work in The Picture of Dorian Gray as reconceived by Jones. By way of design, motif, typography and, most importantly, the inclusion within the text (as illustration) of advertisements for Gitanes cigarettes – originally made in the 1970s by the Hipgnosis advertising agency for UK print media and featuring suave, Gallically handsome male models – Jones re-routes the novel to both concepts of masculine beauty and the reclamation of Art Nouveau and Wildean foppishness within the subcultural pop styling and fashions of the early 1970s.’ (Michael Bracewell, Editions of You, Frieze 116, 2008)

Art direction of ArtReview from September 2013
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September 2013–ongoing

ArtReview, founded in London in 1949, evolved from an eight-page, black-and-white broadsheet to a magazine distributed in 28 countries and published nine times a year. Since the first issue in the 1940s, the cover has traditionally featured a self-portrait. Following our total redesign of the magazine and its sister publication ArtReview Asia in September 2013, we continue to art direct and develop the design of each issue and special editions, including the Power 100 and Future Greats. 

Services and prayers for the Church of England
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Services and prayers for the Church
of England

Church of England

2000–2012

The Church of England’s broad family of prayer books have been designed by the studio over more than 10 years, following the redesign of the main edition by Derek Birdsall in 2000. Read John Morgan’s account of the making of Common Worship.

‘Printing and religion have a long and intimately connected history. The first book to be printed from movable type was a Bible, and ever since then the faiths – especially the Christian faith – have been carried, developed, spread, and challenged by this marvellous human invention. For a typographer, the chance to design a new edition of one of the central books of worship must surely be a forbidding task. At the designer’s back is a great legacy of publication, the bulk of it from the centuries before “design” came to be a profession separate from the editing of texts and the printing of them. It would seem wrong to impose “design” on such a book. Rather, the book should be allowed to design itself. That is an old credo, and one with which Derek Birdsall and John Morgan, the designers of this new work, have long been familiar. Though still in his twenties, Morgan grew up with this precept as a student of typography at the University of Reading. Birdsall’s career is now in its fourth decade and he has vast experience. But in no other of the jobs he has tackled can this injunction have been more deeply true.’ (Robin Kinross, Baseline 33, 2001)

Stories by Jane Bowles

and Denton Welch

Art by Colter Jacobsen

Four Corners Books

225 × 145 mm, 152 pp

2009

Nominated for the Design Museum Designs of Year 2011.
The fifth book in the Four Corners Familiars series.

 

 

William Firebrace

AA Publications

225 × 140 mm, 248 pp

2011

Each of the seven chapters (in reference to the seven hills surrounding Marseille and the seven seas to the south) uses one of the seven Roger Excoffon (a Marseillais) typefaces: Chambord, Banco, Mistral, Choc, Diane, Calypso and Antique Olive.

‘The phrase fascinating urban history sounds like either an oxymoron or the marketing copy kiss of death, but William Firebrace has succeeded in writing exactly this in Marseille Mix, a relentlessly intriguing book about this relentlessly intriguing city. Firebrace has an impressive knowledge of the city’s history, its architecture, its varying populations, its politics, as well as its depictions in literature, film, and the popular imagination … Like all the AA’s books, Marseille Mix is handsomely designed and produced and, although unillustrated, as illuminating a picture of any city as you're likely to read.’ (Kevin Lippert, Princeton Architectural Press, Assembly Journal)

Exhibition graphics, catalogue, invitation, posters
Design Museum, London, 21 October 2009 to 31 January 2010

David Chipperfield Architects

2009–2010

‘“Form Matters” is a cerebral blockbuster that relies not on lurid hypergraphics (instead using designer John Morgan’s characteristic restraint) or exuberantly curved cabinets and forms, but rather the pleasure that comes from wandering through a cityscape, scattered with models of varying sizes and materials. The structure of the exhibition is created by a series of large white panels, bearing painstakingly applied vinyl line drawings of 18 signature projects, stripping out the excesses of modern architectural presentation (renders are refreshingly thin on the ground throughout) and reducing each building to its Platonic ideal.’ (Wallpaper online, October 2009)


For an overview of other projects with David Chipperfield Architects click here.

Edited by Stephen Willats

305 × 245 mm, 32 pp

2014

Control Magazine acts as a vehicle for proposals and explanations of art practice between artists seeking to create a meaningful engagement with contemporary society.

Published and edited by Stephen Willats, this pioneering magazine has documented the work of many artists, both from the UK and abroad and encouraged a wide discussion of artists’ practices. It has included contributions and original pieces from an extensive range of artists over its eighteen issues. Since 1965, the magazine has published work and writing by over 150 artists, including John Latham, Roy Ascot, Anthony Benjamin, Dan Graham, Mary Kelly, Helen Chadwick, Tony Cragg, Dennis Adams, Lawrence Weiner, Anish Kapoor, Martha Rosler, Jeremy Deller, alongside collectives and collaboratives such as Gallerie in Friedrichstrasse, Artists Placement Group and early producer’s galleries such as that of Dieter Hacker. Many of the artists have made artwork specially for the magazine.