i am a 2x4 junky.
a fan of their work since day one, i’ve yet to be disappointed by a single project of theirs. in a time when hip graphic design firms are permeating the design industry as quickly and extensively as reality shows are infiltrating television, it can be hard to spot the real thing. but trust me when i say 2x4 is the real deal.
founded by michael rock, susan sellers and georgianna stout in 1994, 2x4 focuses primarily on communications for art, architecture and culture-related projects. they’ve worked with clients as diverse as the new york times magazine, knoll, moma, the guggenheim museum, vitra, prada, the p.s.1 center for contemporary art, the nasher sculpture center, diller + scofidio architects and of course, rem koolhaas. comprised of writers, artists, digital filmmakers and designers, 2x4 houses some of the most talented people in the industry in one modest office on varick street in new york.
i could gush on and on about how cool i think they are (and believe me, they are) but i find their work speaks for itself. some of their most celebrated work to date revolves around two very famous names: muccia prada and rem koolhaas. koolhaas enlisted 2x4 to design the interior and façade of the illinois institute of technology campus and ended up with some of the most interesting interiors and exteriors i’ve ever seen. 2x4 combined graphics, textures and images to create a feeling of modernity within a building designed to honor architecture’s past (not to be missed: the building’s founders wall comprised of portraits made of tiny circular symbols).
for prada, 2x4 designed (and continues to design) some of the most spectacular wall murals for the designer’s soho store. their first, and my favorite, solution to this problem was a pattern called “china” made from one large, repeating image of a chinese woman with her arms raised. what makes the image interesting is that it is comprised of individuals in a stadium holding up placards with a single color or pattern on it that, when combined, formed the image of the one woman with her arms raised. the effect is nothing short of astonishing and makes clear the reasons for 2x4 success.
from wall patterns, 2x4 moved on to patterned wall coverings- in the form of two textile collections designed for knolltextiles. dubbed field theory and chatter, the collections were based on space. michael rock described the design process for the knolltextiles collection as, “ a creative phase that yielded hundreds of rough designs from which these two collections were derived; one that references urban space and one that refers to virtual space.”
famous for their branding and identity work as well, 2x4 has created amazing campaigns for vitra, knoll and the nasher sculpture center (their work for vitra was the most impressive and for me). these guys continue to plug on, working with some of the most impressive names in the business while, at the same time, cementing their place in the design world.
MIES PLEASE [founders wall inside iit*2x4 with rem koolhaas] some of their best work to date- the facade and interior design of the iit, an ode to mies van der rohe from the gang at 2x4. (faces are made of tiny figural symbols)
MUCCIA'S DARLINGS [mural for prada soho*2x4] 2x4 has become prada's unofficial design team, coming up with some of the most fantastic wall murals anywhere. (see above text for more details on this particular pattern)
2x4 WASHES UP [malin+goetz logo and branding*2x4] vitra alumn andrew goetz hired 2x4 to direct the imaging of their new skincare line based in the meatpacking district. hip and minimalist, it's classic 2x4 aesthetic.
NEW TWIST [chair wall at vitra's la showroom*2x4] in one of the most amazing ad campaigns i've ever seen, 2x4 managed to rethink vitra's classic designs and create fabulous wall-murals comprised of rotated chairs.
Labels: graphic design