CHAMBRE GRAPHIC: Interview with Wibke Bramesfeld
Wibke Bramesfeld is an independent graphic and communication designer.
She specializes in visual communication and graphic design with a focus on book design. Her self-initiated projects show a strong focus in tackling social and cultural topics and she mainly creates visual narratives and stories, set in today's complex environment. She is currently based in Rotterdam (Netherlands) where in 2018 she founded Studio Bramesfeld, her own graphic and book design studio.
Kriegskinder, © 2016 Bramesfeld
Chambre Fluide: Hello Wibke! First of all, how did your passion for book design begin? Wibke Bramesfeld: Hello! My passion for book design started at the end of my bachelor studies. I studied communication design, which combines all different design disciplines so during my studies I struggled a lot to find my specific path and what I am good at. Towards the end I decided for myself that I needed to pick one discipline and I somehow picked books.
Social matter, social design, © 2020 Bramesfeld
CF: In many of your projects, such as Social matter, social design or Freedom of expression to name a few, social and political matters play a major part. What do you think the role of design is in our contemporary challenges? WB: I don’t think that design will change the world. But I think it is a good tool for tackling the challenges we face. With design you can create a better engagement with and understanding for a certain matter. For example just recently there was an open call which asked people to contribute posters to raise awareness of the situation in the refugee camp Moria. The postered needed to be easily printed and were then hung all over the world on valentines day to make aware of the situation.
Freedom of expression, © 2018 Bramesfeld
CF: We found very interesting the concept of Ordinary Muses, quoting yourself: "Sometimes are the ordinary things that are the most dear". Tell us a bit more about the idea and development of this project. WB: The project was actually initiated by two of my friends Lara Chapmann and Tiiu Meiner, who studied together with me. Their course organised a flash fiction workshop, in which every participant was asked to write a 55 word story based on an ordinary object.
They then asked me to create the graphic design for the zine, which we printed straight after the workshop on the riso.
We wanted to create a small zine, in a very ordinary format (a5) with a very clear graphic language but still a with a dreamy element to it. We also asked another friend, Kirsten Spruit to make a dot drawing for the cover.
Ordinary Muses, © 2019 Bramesfeld
CF: Where do you find the sparkle for your projects? Are there any writers, artists or designers that inspire you? WB: I try to get as much inspiration as possible from the content and brief of each project I work on and try to treat every project with the same amount of joy and excitement as the last.
But besides that I love to browse through (Art) Bookshops and go to Art Book Fairs or visiting websites of publishers, like Draw Down Books from the US or Spector Books from Germany. And instagram. Unfortunately, Instagram is blessing and a curse at once. You do get a lot of inspiration but at the same time looking at other designers and artists makes me often feel very bad due to comparison. But I particularly admire the work of Joost Grootens, Ines Cox, Stephanie Specht and Mainstudio.
Recipes for the Future, © 2020 Bramesfeld
CF: What's next for you? Are you planning any particular projects in the foreseeable future?
WB: At the moment I am very lucky to have quite a lot of commissioned projects on the go, which I all really like and are excited about. I am currently finishing the graphic design for two books I am very thrilled about, one is a reader about everyday design criticism and one is about colonialism of the Dutch in Indonesia.
Full credits Social Matter, Social Design | © 2020 Bramesfeld
Editors: Jan Boelen & Michael Kaethler
Contributors: Jonas Althaus, Stéphane Barbier Bouvet, Mariangela Beccoi, Ellie Birkhead, Gali Blay, Jan Boelen, Nadine Botha, Pablo Calderón Salazar, Marianne Drews, Brecht Duijf, Anastasia Eggers, Gabriel Fontana, Saba Golchehr, Alorah Harman, Dick van Hoff, Michael Kaethler, Eric Klarenbeek, Kuang-Yi Ku, Gabriel .A. Maher, Henrique Nascimento, Elisa Otañez, Ottonie von Roeder, Søren Rosenbak, Angela Rui, Vera Sacchetti, Noud Sleumer, Vivien Tauchmann, Henriette Waal
Design: Wibke Bramesfeld and Billy Ernst; Drawings: Billy Ernst
Ordinary Muses | © 2019 Bramesfeld
Initiated by Lara Chapmann, Tiiu Meiner & Edoardo Tedone
Cover drawing: Kirsten Spruit
Collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven & Onomatopee Projects
Kriegskinder | © 2016 Bramesfeld
Bachelor Graduation Project Communication Design Hochschule Düsseldorf
Supervisors: Prof. Victor Malsy, Dirk Heinrich
Recipes for the Future | © 2020 Bramesfeld
Edited by Lene ter Haar, Valérie-Anne Houppermans, Astrid Kaminski, Beate Gerlings; Published by Onomatopee You can find more about Wibke Bramesfeld's work here