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Stefan Guzy and Björn Wiede also known as „Zwölf“ are a team since 2000 and design everything from posters, packaging, books, exhibitions to the scenography for film and TV. They are dedicated to the simple and proven tools of design: good typography and the choice of the appropriate material.
Apart from their commercial work, they spend time on their own artistic ideas. Their main focus is the development of new printing techniques in their own screen printing studio. Stefan Guzy and Björn Wiede are especially interested in using substances that are not actually meant for printing.
In an interview they told us more about their passion for material analysis:

What is your motivation to analyse different substances as to whether they are printable?

For the past five years, we have focused on the possibilities in screen printing concerning the printing paint. Everything started with the development of a colour that rusts over time for Björn’s diploma. Since then we have continuously tested various materials for their suitability. We see this experiment as the foundation of creative design.

Can you describe the process of a material analysis?

Many substances that we expect to provide an interesting printing result prove to be unsuitable in our tests. Those materials that are suitable are systematically printed in different mixtures: undiluted or with paint binder and additives. The choice of the paperboard also very much influences how the substance will react when printed.

Which are the aspects of this process that interest you the most?

It is exciting for us to see a substance or material that has never been printed before evenly applied to a large paperboard. Many of the substances we print considerably change their appearance depending on the light source much more so than the usual printing colour does. This effect and the indiscernible consistency of the printed substance give it a very specific attraction.

Is your goal to visualize certain properties of a material or are you rather interested in the optical effects caused by the printing process?

We are not primarily interested in the graphic effect. Our motivation and goal is to enhance the scale of possible printing colours in the screen printing technique. Accordingly, the finished prints are style sheets to look at, touch and smell.

Are you interested in separating substances from their actual purpose in order to allow new associations and meaning?

None of the materials we use have anything to do with printing. Therefore, they are automatically disassociated form their usual context when we print them. Associations with a printed substance are always different and more complex, especially when one imagines an expanse of 10 feet of lipstick or toothpaste.

Which role do possible changes through time and the exposure to the environment play in your work?

We ourselves do not know how the substances will react over time when we print them and are very interested to monitor these changes. Honey slowly runs down and lipstick develops an even grease rim. The process and development still continues after the printing is done. That is our focus more than finding the best possible way to conserve the prints.

How do you use the reaction of two substances for your means?

The reaction of two different substances and the tension that can be created between them is our visual playground. We complement it with simple graphic forms.

 

born 1980 and 1981 live in Berlin and run the design studio „Zwölf“ together with Marcus Lisse.

 
Education Stefan Guzy

2001-2007 Berlin University of Arts (Holger Matthies, Daniela Haufe/Detlef Fiedler, Stefan Sagmeister and Melk Imboden)

Education Björn Wiede

2002-2007 Berlin University of Arts (Joachim Sauter, Melk Imboden and Fons Hickmann)  
2005

University of Applied Arts Vienna  (Fons Hickmann)

Solo exhibitions

20011 „Analytical Serigraphs“, Gallery Reign of Art, Berlin

Group exhibitions

2005 „herzberührtdesign“, Zumtobel Staff Lounge, Berlin
  Blacklightgallery, „U3“ Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
2006 Lead-Awards-Exhibition, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2007 Type Directors Club New York (touring exhibition)
  Lead-Awards-Exhibition, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2008 87th Art Directors Club Award New York (touring exhibition)
  Type Directors Club New York (touring exhibition)
  100 Best Posters Germany/Austria/Switzerland (touring exhibition)
  Art Design Institute of China, China Academy of Art Hangzhou
  5th Ningbo International Poster Biennial (China)
2009 Type Directors Club New York (touring exhibition)
  European Design Awards Zürich (Switzerland)
  10th Tehran International Poster Biennial 2009 (Iran)
  American Institute of Graphic Arts New York
  17th Lahti Poster Biennial 2009 (Finnland)
  Art Design Institute of China, China Academy of Art Hangzhou
  Taiwan International Poster Design Exhibition
  7th Trnava Poster Triennial 2009 (Slowakia)
  3rd International Biennial of Poster Bolivia 2009
  9th International Poster Triennial Toyama 2009 (Japan)
  4th China International Poster Biennial 2009
2010 89th Art Directors Club Award New York (touring exhibition)
  Art Directors Club Germany Frankfurt/Main (touring exhibition)
  European Design Award Rotterdam (Netherlands)
  24th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2010 (Czech Republic)
  6th International Triennial of Stage Posters Sofia (Bulgaria)
  100 Best Posters Germany/Austria/Switzerland (touring exhibition)
  1. Graphic Design Biennale Germany China 2010, Offenbach/Main
  Golden Bee 9, Moscow International Biennale of Graphic Design (Russia)
2011 100 Best Posters Germany/Austria/Switzerland (touring exhibition)
  Tokyo Type Directors Club, Ginza Graphic Gallery Tokio (Japan)
  Font and typography in contemporary art, Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig
  „REIGN OF ART FRANKFURT“, Gallery REIGN OF ART, Frankfurt am Main

Awards

2006 „Lead Award“ bronze (category „Editorial: Best Newcomermagazine“), Lead Academy Hamburg
2007 „Certificate of Typographic Excellence“, Type Directors Club New York
  „Lead Award“ silver (category „Editorial: Best Illustration“), Lead Academy Hamburg
  „Lead Award“ bronze (category „Editorial: best photography series“), Lead Academy Hamburg
  „German Designprize“ [nomination]
2008 „Gold Cube Winner“ (category „Poster“), Art Directors Club Award New York
  „Certificate of Typographic Excellence“, Type Directors Club New York
  „ADI Excellent Work“, Hanghzou (China), Art Design Institute of China
  „German Designprize" [nomination]
  „Designprize of the state Brandenburg“ [nomination]
2009 „Certificate of Typographic Excellence“, Type Directors Club New York
  „European Design Award“ silver (category „Single Poster“), ED-Awards Greece
  „AIGA Annual Design Award“, American Institute of Graphic Arts New York
  „ADI Design Award 2008“, Hanghzou (China), Art Design Institute of China
  Taiwan International Poster Design Award 2009
  „Echo“ (category „Best Music Video“) [nomination], Bundesverband Musikindustrie (German music industry association)
  „German Designprize“ [nomination]
2010 „Silver Cube Winner“ (category „Package Design“), Art Directors Club Award New York
  „Silbener Nagel“ (category „Typography“), Art Directors Club Germany
  „European Design Award“ Gold (category „CD-Cover“), ED-Awards Greece
  „Golden Bee Award“, Golden Bee 9, Moscow International Biennale of Graphic Design
  „German Designprize“ [nomination]
2011 „Prize Nominee Work“, Tokyo Type Directors Club (Japan)

Editions

2008 Poster edition „José González“ by the publishing house Hermann Schmidt Mainz, 100 numbered A0-Posters

Jurys

2011 Jury 90th Art Directors Club New York

Press (Selection)

2003 Brain Damage #9 (Polen)
2004 Jianping He (Hg.): Holger Matthies and Students, China Youth Press (China)
2005 PAGE #9/2005
2008 Typography #28, New York: Collins Design 2008
  Druck&Medien 05/2008
2009 Departure Look/Book 2009, Nuremberg: Verlag für moderne Kunst 2009
  Blank November/December 2009
  Typography #29, New York: Collins Design 2009
  Deutscher Drucker #19/2008
  Intro #12/2009
  Palette (Igepa-Magazin)
2010 fluter #37
  Conny Becker, Christina Landbrecht, Friederike Schäfer (Hg.): Metropolian Views. Berlin, Berlin.
  Kunstszenen 1989–2009, Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag 2010
  PAGE #1/2010
  Juli Gudehus: Das Lexikon der visuellen Kommunikation, Mainz: Hermann Schmidt 2010
  International Design Yearbook 2010, Gzangzhou: Madison 2010
  John Foster (Hg.): 1000 Indie Posters, Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport Publishers 2010
  Tim Chuang (Hg.): Gallery. The world‘s best graphics vol. 5, Fremont: Choi‘s Gallery 2010
  Mix Magazine #2/2010 (UK)
  International Visual Communication Design, Shenyang: LST Publishing House 2010
  Gallery Magazine (UK)
  PAGE #10/2010
  Visions #1/2010
  Typography #30, New York: Collins Design 2010
2011 PAGE #2/2011
  Monopol #6/2011
  Type Player 2, Beijing/Guangzhou/Hong Kong: Sandu Cultural Media 2011
  Kolja Reichert: Altöl ist cooler als Erde. In: Tagesspiegel on May 29th 2011