Justus Bier Preis 2012
for curators
Ralf Beil and Peter Kraut

“The quasi encyclopaedic dimensions of the project as well as the exceptional aesthetics of the book design convinced the jury and led to its decision.” The Jury

2012. It’s all about modern music and art, film and video, soundscapes, projections, installations … shown along 12 basic strategies like “play" or “destroy” the interdisciplinary works of Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and many many other artists come to life at Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt’s exhibition. For the catalogue we focussed on capturing this spirit, designing a “navigation system” that looks familiar, but seduces the reader to accept new meanings. The intertitles for each strategy feature arrows that—if anyone flips quick enough through the book–move clockwise. And, as very special events deserve a very special graphic identity, we created a custom type system for the book ready for “take off”.

Sound System, Armitage

240 mm × 305 mm

416 pages


English and German editions

Published by Hatje Cantz


Like the artists in modern music and art tend to leave common ground the letters of our typographical Sound System are leaving the baseline. Deliberately (and against all well-behaved tradition) they vary in size and width within the same word. All glyphs are formally based on a single note (that still can be found in the letter J). So for all titles and artists’ names throughout the book the lettering was composed by hand and not simply typeset.

“Taking into account an ingenious technology it is a much greater pleasure to explore the exhibition by seeing and hearing. . . .Reception is possible according to one’s own taste and tempo. And if the sumptuous and beautifully designed catalog and the audiobook are compensations for those who missed the exhibition, you’ll probably feel the urgent desire to make music on the next Alexander Calder sculpture, like Earle Brown did it in 1985, only after the on-site visit.”
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zurich, Switzerland), Kerstin Stremmel,
August 17, 2012

“A wonderful book and a wonderful exhibition.”
Typographische Gesellschaft München (Typographical Society Munich), Rudolf Paulus Lorbach,
August 6, 2012

“For the transdisciplinary topic the graphic concept, including dramaturgy and typography, by KOMA AMOK developed ascending characters, inspired by Secession and Expressionism (Olbrich to Cizek), which give the titles their adequate form.... [the catalog] shows in a picturesque and sounding way the transdisciplinary connections of synaesthetic, vegetatively stimulating ensembles of 20th century arts - with an absolutely magnificent impetus of design.”
www.kultur-punkt.ch, Switzerland,
mai 2012