M/M (Paris) deciphers her world in the last volume

M/M (Paris) deciphers her world in the last volume 21d6b30fdec39dbe2c5ad4a7202e3abe

PARIS – Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag have spent the last three decades translating the world into a diversity of graphic alphabets for contemporary artists, musicians, fashion designers, brands, and magazines.

With his latest volume, the design The duo behind M/M Paris have created the dictionary to help people read it.

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“It’s quite strange, we’ve always created worlds that we invite people into, but it’s the first time we’ve given people the clues to how they were built,” Augustyniak said during an interview.

“Letters from M/M (Paris)” is her third Thames & Hudson book.

Augustyniak and Amzalag perceive their work as the construction of a visual language. As they describe their previous two-volume monograph, “M to M de M/M (Paris),” Like an “atlas” of his work, this publication explores the meaning and creative process behind it.

Available now in Europe and to be published in the United States in January, priced at $75, it lists 90 of its sources in chronological order. A first section explores the history of each one, a second presents typographic plates and a third highlights the achievements for which they were used.

A separate Collector’s Edition of three individual books, allowing for side-by-side viewing, for example, is scheduled for next spring in a limited run of 300 copies.

Augustyniak and Amzalag had been thinking about the project for several years. “It’s something we’ve sensed for a long time, but we never had time to realize it, and we hadn’t found the right person for the job, which is that of a historian or archaeologist,” Amzalag explained.

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That person came through Paul McNeil, graphic designer, writer, educator, and specialist in the history of printing, author of “The Visual History of Typography.”

“Exceeding the conventional limits of the field of graphics design, the study practice of M/M could be more accurately described as a semiotic laboratory,” McNeil wrote in his introduction to the paper. “Since the beginning of their association, Amzalag and Augustyniak have been ardent explorers of the universe of signs.”

The process of putting the book together took five years, the design duo said, and it’s been a bit of therapy.

“It forced us to do a lot of very intense inner work, it was almost like psychoanalysis, with weekly sessions,” Amzalag said.

That involved confronting his memories of each of the typefaces and characters, and how and why they were created.

“It’s a relief in a way, because before, all that information was in our heads. It allows us to externalize everything”, commented Augustyniak.

Typefaces featured include unique artwork commissions and visual identities for luxury brands such as Byredo, loewe Y Louis Vuitton. They range from Monotrash, created in 1992 for eDEN, a fanzine celebrating electronica, house music and the French rave scene of the time, to the geometric alphabet designed as a visual language for Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées when it opened in 2019, informing both its interior design and its communication materials.

Björk, who has regularly collaborated with the design duo for two decades, wrote the foreword.

“They are like fountain psychics, they tune in to each project and become just that, they are the actors of the letter method and seamlessly transform from one award-winning role to another by clairvoyantly reading which form of A, B and C are needed in each. play,” she said.

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