Zak Group is a London-based office with an international reputation for creating design and art direction for cultural institutions and private companies.
CHICAGO — Opening this week, the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial will present unique architectural projects by over 100 architects and artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and other sites across the city, including Millennium Park, City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, Expo 72 and the Stony Island Arts Bank. As the outcome of a comprehensive cultural plan developed by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Chicago Architecture Biennial will be North America’s largest international survey of contemporary architecture and provide a platform for groundbreaking architectural projects and spatial experiments that demonstrate how creativity and innovation can radically transform our lived experience.
We have been working with Co-Artistic Directors Joseph Grima and Sarah Herda on the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s visual identity encompassing all collateral, website, advertisements, signage and publications. In addition to introducing the biennial in its inaugural edition, the website we designed and developed will also serve as an ongoing presence between editions. Our work for the Biennial has been conceived with a nod to the grid—a visual form emblematic of both the city of Chicago and the practice of architecture itself.
The first edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, titled The State of the Art of Architecture, opens to the public this Saturday, 3 October, and remains on view until 3 January 2016.
PARIS — A preview of our new identity for French fashion house Paco Rabanne can be seen at 12 rue Cambon in Paris, where the brand’s first shop in ten years will open soon. The full rebrand, initiated by Paco Rabanne’s newly appointed creative director Julien Dossena, will be rolled out in the coming months and includes a redrawing of the original 1970s logo and monogram, a new custom typeface and a comprehensive brand system including packaging, collateral, campaigns and art direction of the forthcoming website.
ZURICH — Earlier this summer marked the release of Imponderable: The Archives of Tony Oursler, an epic artist’s book we collaborated on with the artist Tony Oursler that presents his vast archive of ephemera. Over 600 pages, the book documents 1,200 objects tracing an intersecting visual history of various social, spiritual and intellectual histories and their paradoxical belief systems relating to thought photography, the occult, UFOs, colour theory, fairies, cults, séances, magic, optics, mesmerism and many other areas of intrigue. Originally accompanying an exhibition that took place at the LUMA Foundation in Arles, the exhibition will travel to LUMA Westbau in Zurich next month and will remain on view there from 31 October 2015 to 14 February 2016.
LONDON — We recently completed a redesign of the new identity for Timothy Taylor, a commercial art gallery located in Mayfair, London. Following a series of workshops that delved into research around heritage, British typography and specificity of place, we developed an identity that features a contemporary reinterpretation of Berthold Wolpe’s 1937 typeface Pegasus. Our typeface, titled New Pegasus, has been redrawn with greater contrast in the strokes, altered descenders and chiseled serifs, emphasising the singular, unique and contemporary character of the gallery and striking a balance between establishment and experimentation. Our work with the gallery will continue in the form of a forthcoming new website and the design of gallery publications including one by artist Josephine Meckseper, to be released in fall/winter 2015.
Beginning on 14 October in London’s Regent’s Park, you can find Timothy Taylor at Frieze London (Stand B17, through 17 October) and Frieze Masters (Stand D10, through 18 October).
Zak Group is a London-based office with an international reputation for creating design and art direction for cultural and commercial institutions who value the power of design. Through our work with arts organisations, museums, businesses and leaders from various fields, Zak Group has emerged as one of the most progressive studios practicing today. Recent commissions include the art direction of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, ongoing collaboration with the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, book design for Sternberg Press and the art direction of the museum Fridericianum.
Directed by Zak Kyes and Grégory Ambos, the office was formed in 2005 as a collaborative practice to explore the possibilities for design in the production of culture. We work internationally and locally with individuals and institutions on projects varying in scale and complexity. The scope of our work often includes a consultancy to establish intelligent forms of design that range from art direction, visual identity and signage to website and exhibition design.
Zak Group is increasingly sought out by museum directors, curators, architects and artists as a committed collaborative partner. Our approach is invested in a deep understanding of our client, the objectives behind a commission and clear dialogue, which often results in long-term relationships. Clients and partners value our work for its contribution towards the design-thinking behind a project, and our ideas have played a role in more broadly defining a strategic vision.
The studio’s work has been awarded the German Design Award, Red Dot Award, prizes for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books and the INFORM Award for Conceptual Design.
Active since 2005, Zak Group has been fortunate to receive a number of commissions, awards, publications, exhibitions, teaching positions and lecture invitations. These recognitions can be seen alongside other studio activites and milestones on our office timeline, available for download below. Highlights include the Inform Award for Conceptual Design, the New Visual Arts Award, the Most Beautiful Swiss Books Prize, and positions at Architectural Association and Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL).
CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux
Swiss Architecture Museum
University of Southern California
Victoria and Albert Museum
Zak Kyes is a London-based graphic designer and art director. He founded Zak Group in 2005, and since 2006 has been the Art Director of the Architectural Association (AA), London, where, in 2008, he cofounded the publishing imprint Bedford Press. In 2010, he received the Inform Award for Conceptual Design from the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, initiating the traveling exhibition Zak Kyes Working With… (2011–13).
Through collaborations, curatorial projects and publications, Kyes has developed a unique practice that expands collaborative form from a pragmatic structure of working together to the joint development of content.
His design projects include the art direction of the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (with Juan A. Gaitán), art direction of the Taipei Biennial at Taipei Museum of Fine Arts (with Anselm Franke); the graphic identity of Barkow Leibinger, Berlin; the Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon, London (with Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2008); and the Sternberg Press Solution series (with Ingo Niermann, since 2008).
He has curated the touring exhibition Forms of Inquiry: The Architecture of Critical Graphic Design (2007–09) and The Information Economy as part of the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, New York (2010). He has edited publications including Iaspis Forum on Design and Critical Practice: The Reader (Sternberg Press, 2009), Exhibition Prosthetics (Bedford Press, 2010) and Space Is the Time You Need to Go to Someone Else (CCA, 2012).
Kyes has lectured and participated in numerous international conferences on design related subjects and has taught at various universities including the Architectural Association School of Architecture (2007–11) and École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) where he has been a Visiting Professor. Kyes is frequent jury member in design competitions worldwide.
Grégory Ambos is a French graphic designer based in London. He became a partner at Zak Group in 2012. His work focuses on publication design, exhibition design and visual identities for cultural institutions.
Design projects include the book FORENSIS: The Architecture of Public Truth with the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London; the Phaidon reference book Aalto, shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Award; Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon, awarded the prize for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books; Cybermohalla Hub, an exhibition and publication presented at the Louisiana Museum; and the exhibition design of No Soul for Sale?—?A Festival of Independents, presented on the occasion of Tate Modern’s 10th anniversary curated by Cecilia Alemani, Massimiliano Gioni and artist Maurizio Cattelan.
Through projects such as Are You Ready For TV? at MACBA, Barcelona and the Lisbon Architectural Triennale, he has begun applied research on the relationship of exhibition design
In 2011, he was an invited Art Director at Colors Magazine, a quarterly cultural magazine based at Fabrica in Treviso, Italy.
We are not currently hiring but we are always keen to have potential collaborators in mind. To submit your work, send a CV and portfolio of work as separate PDFs to email@example.com. We appreciate your submission and will keep your materials on file for up to three months. Please watch our website and social media pages for any updates regarding vacancies.
Three-month internships are available at Zak Group for students and recent graduates in the field of graphic design. All internships are paid, either at UK national minimum wage or through an independent scholarship obtained by the intern. If no independent scholarship or funding is obtained, the applicant must be UK/EEA work eligible. Placements are full-time for twelve weeks, with a probationary period in the initial four weeks. Internships are available during the following periods: January–March, April–June, July–September and October–December.
To apply, please submit a CV, portfolio of work and cover letter as three separate PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should be titled with “Internship” and your full name (“Internship — Jane Doe”). Please name each file with your name (i.e. “JaneDoe_CV.pdf,” “JaneDoe_Portfolio.pdf” and “JaneDoe_CoverLetter.pdf”). We are unable to return original work.
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