Upcoming
Biografien der Moderne exhibition graphics for Brücke-Museum, Berlin, 2024
Bundes.Festival.Film visual identity for Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum (KJF), Berlin, 2024
HYBRIS website design for the artist Yana Zschiedrich, Leipzig, 2024
Sammlung als Diskursformation book design for Stephanie Regenbrecht, Hamburg, 2024
Von Beuteln und Sackgassen book design for the artist Alex Hojenski, Wildbad Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 2024
Quecksilbergarten book design for the artist Simone Karl, Trittau, 2024
laif foundation for independent photojournalism collaboration, Cologne, 2023–2024
Specology: Zu einer ästhetischen Forschung book design for SpecSpace, Zentrum für Designforschung, HAW Hamburg, 2023

Past
I said ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ — 85 Years of Kindertransport to Britain, exhibition graphics and campaign design for Berthold Leibinger Stiftung, at Paul-Löbe-Haus, Deutscher Bundestag, 2024
To this day, the Kindertransport is considered one of the most ambitious rescue operations to save children from certain death during the time of Nazi persecution. “I said ‘Auf Wiedersehen’” presents five selected documents from five Jewish families. It depicts parents torn between the hope of reunion and the fear of estrangement and permanent separation, children caught between two worlds, and the host families trying to offer comfort.
Six displays showcase representative quotes on their front sides, while the backs tell the stories through numerous documents and photographs. The chosen blue, inspired by the ink of handwritten letters, unites all elements into a common narrative. Furthermore, we connect the media and the exhibition through a sender’s stamp. This stamp also links the individual quotes, which we carried out into the city as part of a poster campaign, their open wording building a bridge between the fates of the past and the experiences of the present.
Client:
Berthold Leibinger Stiftung

Media:
Exhibition Graphics, Poster, Printed Matter, Booklet, Multimedia

With:
Ruth Ur, Freundeskreis Yad Vashem (Project Lead & Curation), Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik (Exhibition Architecture)

Typeface:
HAL Repost and HAL Four by HAL Typefaces

Location:
Paul-Löbe-Haus, Deutscher Bundestag

Image Credits:
art/beats (Exhibition Views), Gregor Matthias Zielke (Exhibition Opening)
Coming in 2024: Infinity Pool, website design for Studium Digitale, developed with Menschmaschine
A collaborative publishing platform on digital and related topics has been created for studies, teaching and research. The participatory idea enables all members of the BURG to exchange artistic-craft processes and intellectual productions on topics of digitality in image and writing. Student contributions, impulses from research and teaching, the digital everyday life in the administration are collected and processed in temporally and thematically limited issues and can be viewed in the archive. The Infinity Pool platform is a project of Studium Digitale at Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle — funded by “Strengthening University Teaching through Digitization” of the Foundation Innovation in University Teaching.
Client:
Studium Digitale, Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle

Media:
Website

With:
Menschmaschine (Website Development and Design)

Typeface:
Maxi Round by ABC Dinamo
End of the year exhibition, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design (BURG), campaign design, 2023
The annual exhibition marks the festive finale of the academic year. Personally connected to the university through our own education, we are well aware of the event’s significance and its corresponding design concept. As the university strives to become more aware of inclusiveness and diversity, we have chosen a particular aspect from this agenda for this year's campaign. The entire design concept delves into the relationship between imagery and text, engaging with the concept of alt texts, who serve as a technical feature for search engines as well as increasing internet accessibility for blind users. The concept uses this logic to create images in the minds of the visitors. A reduced visual representation creates space for individual interpretations and images. The texts are combined with a vibrant array of colours and a minimalist typographical approach.
Client:
Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle (BURG)

Media:
Poster, Flags, Banners, Leaflet, Social Media, App-Design

With:
Matthias Görlich (Project Lead), David Liebermann, Jana Reddemann (Web Developement)

Typeface:
Arial by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders, Monotype
urKultur, website design for the international arts consultancy, developed with Menschmaschine, 2023
We had the pleasure of designing a portfolio website for Ruth Ur, a long-term collaborator of ours. urKultur, her international arts consultancy, specializes in art commissions, feasibility studies, and campaigns. A significant facet of Ruth's work involves transforming transit spaces with art and design installations. With this in mind, we created a website that emphasizes the interplay between images and space. This approach not only gives her work the necessary visibility but does so in a manner that's simple, direct, and subtly playful—effectively mirroring her distinct approach. As a curator, she perceives her role partly as sparking action and giving impulses. This aspect is reflected in our wordmark.
Client:
urKultur

Media:
Website

With:
Menschmaschine (Website Development)

Typeface:
GT Alpina by Grilli Type
Learning from Loheland, exhibition design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G), 2023
Loheland is a unique settlement and educational project for young women, founded in 1919 close to Fulda, Germany. A lively settlement to educate and house female students, fueled by a profound creative drive and talent for improvisation. The exhibition “Learning from Loheland” presents this chapter of German design and arts history from the viewpoint of six contemporary artists. They intertwine the perspectives of Loheland’s students on the female* body, their imagery, affiliations, and value-related questions with current, feminist, and personal contexts. As the exhibition was planned as a holistic concept, the architecture provides walkable paths throughout the rooms. The typography alludes to these designs, as well as to the vibrant and amorphous aesthetics of Loheland itself.
Client:
Judith Kisner

Media:
Exhibition Graphics, Booklet

With:
Judith Kisner (Curator, Artist), Marie Gimpel (Exhibition Design, Artist), Alex Hojenski, Jasmin Preiss, Julia Romas, Lea Sievertsen (Artists)

Typeface:
Timezone by Hal Typefaces

Location:
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Image Credits:
Henning Rogge (Exhibition Views), Distaff Studio
The Body as Co-Author of the Archive, website design for Siddiquie, developed with Amyra Radwan, 2023
The project by artist Siddiquie explores possibilities to free archives from their static, cumulative identity. It emphasizes bodily interaction with archival materials. In addition to research and performative practices, the artist created a video work that showcases her approach to the archive of Southeast Asian documentary filmmaker Shabbir Siddiquie, her father. The work presents choreographic and performative practices that facilitate new encounters between the body and the archive. The website features a series of physical interventions with archival materials, questioning various approaches and providing insights into the archive’s contents.
Client:
Siddiquie

Media:
Website

With:
Amyra Radwan (Web Development)
#Ok Boomer,?!, campaign design for the German Youth Photography Award, German Youth Film Award, and the German Generations Film Award, 2023
Conflicts between generations are as old as humanity itself. At the core of most disputes, the older generation claims to be right because of their greater experience, while the younger generation claims to be right because they see life from a newer perspective and have the future ahead of them. Even though crises have always been present, they now exist simultaneously in various sectors. For the 2023 German Youth Photography Award, German Youth Film Award, and the German Generations Film Award, the theme “#OkBoomer,?!” emphasizes that unity between generations can be momentarily set aside. It suggests that now is the time for debate.
Client:
Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum (KJF)

Media:
Poster, Postcards, Social Media Concept

Typeface:
Serial A by DumDum Studio
The F*Word, concept and design of mediation stations for Julia Meer / Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G), 2023
Client:
Julia Meer / Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)

Media:
Research, Concept and Design of Mediation Stations, Printed Matter, Infographics, Face Filter

With:
Julia Meer (Project Lead & Curation), Rimini Berlin (Exhibition Graphics), Chmara Rosinke (Exhibition Architecture)

Typeface:
Pirelli by Jung-Lee Typefoundry

Location:
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G)

Image Credits:
Henning Rogge, Distaff Studio
A topic that we have already contemplated extensively in personal projects is the question of female representation and feminist positions within the graphic design field. The exhibition “The F*Word” tackles this issue and starts with an introspective approach: the museum scrutinizes its own graphic collection in terms of female positions and how to address the issue of underrepresentation. These findings are explored within an extensive exhibition. In close collaboration with the curator and the exhibition designers, we have developed and designed mediation stations within the exhibition space that enable different approaches to the topics, provide explanations, introduce, engage, offer respites, and encourage questions, as access to the information should be as versatile and multi-layered as the graphic design on display.
framed, book design for Despoina Pagiota, 2023
The source material for Despoina Pagiota’s paintings consists of decollaged posters. When applied to canvas, the fragments, marked by their distinctive tears, serial numbers, print grids, and decontextualized bits of advertising, are reimagined by the artist. Recently, she has been experimenting with the materiality of posters, shaping them into frame forms created by objects that serve as three-dimensional extensions of her previous bodies of work. In parallel, she creates artist books, which Pagiota often uses to explore compositional possibilities through drawing. The publication titled “Framed” was created as part of the 2022/2023 scholarship at the Trittauer Wassermühle. As the artist has her roots in Greece, the catalog is multilingual, featuring English, Greek, and German. Drawing inspiration from the artist’s affection for grids and strong compositions, we have developed a typographical concept that is playful yet clean and geometrical.
Year:
2023

Client:
Despoina Pagiota

Publishing House:
Gudberg Nerger

Media:
Book

With:
Despoina Pagiota (Editor), Jens Franke (Photography)

Typeface:
Parallax by Lucile Billot

Image Credits:
Despoina Pagiota
Sechzehn Objekte, exhibition graphics and campaign design for Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V., at Paul-Löbe-Haus, Deutscher Bundestag and UNESCO world heritage site Zeche Zollverein in Essen, 2023
“Sechzehn Objekte” is an exhibition that delves into Jewish life in Germany and beyond during the Holocaust. Sixteen distinct objects, referring to the federal states of Germany and originally situated in the Holocaust Memorial Center Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, are returning to Germany for the first time to tell their stories and those of the individuals they belonged to. Curator Ruth Ur has placed a strong emphasis on elevating these objects to the forefront while complementing their significance with a sensitive approach to providing additional context. The entire exhibition concept draws inspiration from an iconic photograph: a Chanukah chandelier, captured by Rahel Posner in 1931 in Kiel. This inspirational imagery guided the design of the exhibition’s architecture, which was designed by Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik. The compelling narrative of disintegration and reunification is an idea that has found its way into our graphic concept for the exhibition and all related media.
Client:
Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V.

Media:
Exhibition Graphics, Poster, Printed Matter, Booklet, Multimedia

With:
Ruth Ur, Freundeskreis Yad Vashem (Project Lead & Curation), Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik (Exhibition Architecture), Marvin Systermans (Photography), Christina Stohn (Photography)

Typefaces:
Marfa by ABC Dinamo

Location:
Paul-Löbe-Haus, Deutscher Bundestag and Zeche Zollverein, UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe Essen

Image Credits:
Marvin Systermans (Exhibition Views, Berlin), Sven Lorenz (Exhibition Views Essen), Thomas Willemsen (Opening, Essen)
ProtoPotsdam, visual identity for the Bauhaus Earth initiative, 2023
The primary mission of Bauhaus Earth is to delve into the future of sustainable construction. One of its regional satellite projects, ProtoPotsdam, is in the process of building a pavilion in Potsdam, Germany, constructed entirely from circular and bio-based materials. The architectural features of this pavilion, including a modular facade and an open space for lectures, are designed to engage the public in the ongoing research endeavor. As the pavilion itself serves as a structural framework, we have developed a visual identity rooted in the concepts of transition and modularity. With this particular goal in mind, the customized typeface Proto Sans offers a typographical system with wide range of styles.
Client:
Bauhaus Earth

Media:
Visual Identity, Custom Typeface, Website

With:
Menschmaschine (Web Development)

Typeface:
Proto Sans by Pawel Wolowitsch

Image Credits:
Distaff Studio
Milimani, book design for the artist Judith Kisner, Trittau, 2022
Judith Kisner’s works refer to a theme that has long been close to the artist’s heart: Loheland, a settlement and educational institution founded by women for women in 1919. The artist has a deep connection to this place through her family background, as her mother was a Loheland woman. Starting from her mother’s inheritance, which includes photographs, studies, and notes, she has created a series of collages. Close-ups of these collages are featured in the first part of the catalog.
Additionally, the catalog showcases a series of abstract paintings and works that were created during her scholarship at the Trittauer Wassermühle. The title and cover design of the catalog are inspired by a character from Astrid Lindgren’s children's book, “Mio, mein Mio,” published in 1954. This character cheated death by wearing a glittery cape.
Client:
Judith Kisner

Media:
Book

Publishing House:
the books the books

With:
Judith Kisner (Editor), Edward Greiner (Photography)

Image Credits:
Vedad Divovic
Visual identity for Hanse Song Festival, Stade, 2022–2023
Client:
Stade Marketing AG

Media:
Poster, Banner, Ticket, Booklet, Social Media

With:
Sebastian Tim, Koralle Blau (Project Lead)
Once a year, the quaint town of Stade transforms into a bustling, musical playground. It’s that magical night when both emerging and seasoned musicians from various genres come alive, taking over the city’s most intriguing spots. As passionate music enthusiasts, we absolutely adore this unique festival and capture the vibrant essence of the Hanse Song Festival in our ever-evolving festival identity.
40 Jahre laif, publication, campaign and exhibition design for laif Agentur für Photos & Reportagen, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln (makk), together with Lisa Petersen, 2022
The development of 40 years of documentary photography is made visible in this exhibition. The shown photographic perspectives reflect the world through conflicts and fault lines, but also demonstrate how art and solidarity connect people. The nature of documentary and press photography is to always be in the current events – and this exhibition also responds to the circumstances brought about by the 2021 pandemic. The exhibition on newspaper can be folded and set up anywhere, a take-away exhibition, so to speak. This concept not only makes art more accessible but also prompts us to contemplate the accessibility and exclusivity of art and cultural spaces as a whole.
Client:
Laif Agentur für Photos & Reportagen

Media:
Publication, Exhibition Graphics, Poster, Printed Matter

With:
Lisa Petersen (Graphic Design/Art Direction), Peter Bialobrzeski (Curator)

Typeface:
Girott by Radim Pesko

Location:
MAKK, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln

Image Credits:
David Klammer/Laif (Exhibition Views), Peter Bialobrzeski (Newspaper Print)
Eliza, type design, available at Camelot Typefaces, 2020
Eliza is a conceptual exploration of transitional typefaces. The square as a key element is a reference to the digital age – the pixel. It is the smallest unit of our todays communication. Introduced into the humanistic construction of a serif typeface, it creates a dialogue between two extremes: the familiar, humanistic liveliness, and artificial, modern rigidity. Eliza can be seen as an allegory for the conjunction of human and machine. Eliza is a type system equipped with stylistic sets to transform certain letters into even more rigid versions. The typeface comes in four weights in roman and italic, accompanied by a monospace version.
Client:
Self-initiated

Foundry:
Camelot Typefaces

Media:
Typeface consisting of 10 Styles

With:
Wolfgang Schwärzler, Maurice Göldner, Katharina Köhler (Camelot Typefaces)

Showcase Animation:
Patrik Bablo
For Freedom, poster design for the photographer Christina Stohn, 2022
Christina Stohn is a documentary and editorial photographer. In her work Зa Свабоду (For Freedom) she created a series of portraits of Belarusian citizens living in exile in Lithuania. Since 2020, hundreds of thousands of Belarusian citizens are forced to leave their homeland which is ruled by an autocratic regime. The refugees aim to return to a free, democratic Belarus, as soon as possible. Stohn was invited by the Goethe-Institut Lithuania, where her series of 37 portraits was presented. Stohns portraits are straightforward and unpretentious. With our poster design, we wanted to emphasize this expression.
Client:
Christina Stohn, Goethe Institut

Media:
Campaign Design, Social Media

Location:
Goethe Institut Vilnius

Image Credits:
Christina Stohn (Exhibition Views)
About us
Distaff is a Graphic design studio based in Berlin, founded with the desire to develop lightweight studio structures with flat hierarchies. With a focus on solidarity and community, we enjoy working in a diverse network of creators from various creative disciplines, designing publications, holistic visual identities, exhibitions, and communication strategies. Our visual language thrives on carefully researched concepts, concise typography, and the greatest possible attention to detail. We understand design as a process of critical reflection, translation and interpretation of concerns and content in order to communicate them effectively to the public. In our proactive way of working, dialogue with our clients is important to us, and projects are created in collaboration rather than by commission. In addition to our studio work, we give lectures, workshops, and teach at art and design universities.
Team:
Sarah Fricke (she/her) worked as graphic designer at Node Berlin, where she specialised in communication campaigns for major cultural institutions such as the HKW. In addition to graphic design, her multidisciplinary approach is reflected in her work as a photographer and illustrator. She studied at Burg Halle and HFK Bremen.

Lea Sievertsen (she/her) worked as freelance graphic designer for several years, among others she worked with Sarah at Node Berlin. Besides her work, she dedicates time to research projects and teaching. She was resident at the fund of Young Design at MK&G Hamburg. She is co-founder of the feminist initiative notamuse. Lea studied at Burg Halle, HAW Hamburg and HFBK Hamburg.

Pawel Wolowitsch (he/him) worked for several years as a freelancer for various agencies and companies. His closest collaboration was with Studio Matthias Görlich on projects in the field of architecture. In addition to his work, he also taught typography and editorial design. His typeface “Eliza” is available at Camelot Typefaces. Pawel studied at Burg Halle and HFBK Hamburg.
Selected Clients:
adocs Verlag,
Berthold Leibinger Stiftung,
Bauhaus Earth / ProtoPotsdam,
Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum,
Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V.,
Goethe-Institut Vilnius,
Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt,
Hatje Cantz Verlag,
urKultur,
laif Agentur für Photos & Reportagen,
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Contact:
Distaff Studio
Zionskirchstraße 16
D 10119 Berlin
Mail: hi(at)distaff.studio
Instagram: @distaff.studio

Currently we are not offering any positions or internships.

Website designed and coded by Distaff. Optimized and maintained by Jens Schnitzler.
Typeface “Friedl” by Camelot Typefaces.

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