Practise makes perfect for James Goggin

Published:  January 28, 2014
Bonnie Abbott
Practise makes perfect for James Goggin

Chicago-based graphic design studio Practise may only have a temporary site, but it is regularly updated with projects accompanied by extensive rationales. A nom de plume of James Goggin, Practise explores the idea of the graphic design practise as something both disciplined and malleable, with an emphasis on the recording of theory as important as the visual outcome.

Expanding the borders of print design into the realms of art is an essential part of Goggin’s design work for art institutions and initiatives. The work achieves a consistent approach that gives the illusion of a strict grid yet exists somewhere outside it, treating all aspects of traditional composition and type as image and space to be stretched and moulded. This results in a layering effect of elements and ideas on a piece of work, appearing simple but heavy with process and thought.

Lari Pittman: A Decorated Chronology, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, by Practise

Poster for Third Ward TX, Black Cinema House, Chicago, by Practise

Publication for The Way of the Shovel: On the Archaeological Imaginary in Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and University of Chicago Press, by Practise

Poster for Remembering Maarten Van Severen, Black Cinema House, Chicago, by Practise

Album artwork for Momus, Bambi (American Patchwork), by Practise

The studio was founded in London in 1999 upon Goggin’s graduation from the Royal College of Art. A British/Australian graphic designer from London via Sydney, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Auckland, and Arnhem, between 2010 and 2013, Goggin was Director of Design, Publishing, and New Media at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Between 2005 and 2007 he was art director of progressive UK music magazine The Wire. Previously he was based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, working as course director and teacher at Werkplaats Typografie and visiting lecturer in history and theory at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne) in Switzerland. His typefaces are distributed exclusively by Swiss type foundry Lineto. He is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and is currently a visiting thesis critic for the MFA Graphic Design programme at Rhode Island School of Design.

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