Catalogue work their way into print for the newest visual generation

Published:  October 24, 2014
Lucy Waddington

Spread across London and Leeds, Catalogue are the design boys behind some of the UK’s most urban festivals, brands, print pieces and music industry visuals. Indulging in the ‘bro culture’, they prefer to sustain long-term partnerships that evolve organically. Their self-publishing projects have resulted in exhibitions across the globe, hosting the popular daily design feed Back Catalogue on the side. We spoke to Ollie Shaw about some of their recent work, below.

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Beacons Festival

The studio produced print collateral, a website and promotional material for Beacons, which they describe as a “left-field music festival”. Catalogue have worked collaboratively with the festival since its inception in 2011 but disaster struck the first time round, “the festival was actually cancelled due to a flood on the festival site but the organisers fought back and have been able to keep putting the festival on for three years since.”  An opportunity for evolution, “it’s been a great project to try new approaches each year.”

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Catalogue were behind the branding, website, identity system and on-going poster campaign for music promotions company, Superfriendz. “We met the guys from Superfriendz a while ago, they were running their own promotions companies respectively and decided to team up.” Using the partnership as an opportunity to experiment, they explain “we always get an interesting reception on the typeface choice,” as “it’s an unusual monospaced typeface which creates different spacing around some of the letters.” Subject to industry criticism, “it tends to get commented on by other designers, but it was definitely a conscious decision and we’ve always really liked the stylistic element it brings to the posters.”

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Library Paper

The studio’s own initiative, “Library Paper showcases contributions from a range of artists and designers from around the world,” with issue 04 launched at the Printed Matter LA Art Book Fair 2014. “We publish Library Paper twice a year and the magazine’s 5th issue has recently been released.” Opening up global opportunities, “we’ve been lucky enough to travel to Stockholm, LA and New York to release new issues.” Adding to the imagery, “we invite designers and artists so submit a new piece of work and a small excerpt of accompanying text which gives an insight into the contributors work and life.”

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Acorn Tapes

Catalogue crafted the brand identity, web presence and printed material for independent hip-hop and jazz record label, Acorn Tapes. “We designed the identity for Acorn Tapes after listening to the first tape by TMCT — Snow Beach.” As they found it to be “an eclectic mix of hip-hop, jazz and instrumental, with influence from soul, funk and early 90’s rap,” the sonic personality “influenced the typeface choices, image choices and layout.”

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Catch-Up Conference

The concept, curation, art direction, graphic design, website and all material for Catch-Up Conference were produced by Catalogue, as “an accessible examination of applied arts over the course of two afternoons, each featuring a talk, round-table discussion & exhibition.” The anti-conference, revolved around “exploring design, illustration, Art direction & self publishing.” It was “a self initiated project which was made possible with funding from the Arts Council. We had been organising small monthly exhibitions under the name Catch-Up, but wanted to create some events including talks and round table discussions.” With a bight of light mockery, “we played on the visual identity of really corporate business conference in an ironic sense and used this style to create readers, bags and name cards etc.” Social rather than formal, “we invited designers and illustrators to take part in the exhibitions and talks, then had a party at the end. It was a really successful and enjoyable project to work on, something we were really pleased with.”

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