Ahoy Studios Merges Nature and Design

In a celebration of color and form, Ahoy Studios translated the ephemeral beauty of a springtime bloom into a tactile experience with their “2022 Public Art Fund Spring Party Invitation.” This artful invite merges design and nature, unfolding in the hands of the beholder, much like a flower greeting the sun. The bright, overlapping hues and geometric layering invite discovery and anticipation, echoing the vibrant energy of the spring soiree.

By: Connie Koch & Denise Sommer

This 2022 Fundraiser Gala Branding for the Public Art Fund of New York was created by Ahoy Studios a.k.a. Ahoy, known for its sense of color and cutting-edge designs. Drawing inspiration from the delicate yet powerful imagery of blooming flowers, ahoy brought the concept of petals unfolding to life through meticulous craftsmanship, reflecting the agency’s dedication to pushing the limits of creativity within the artistic and cultural realm, digital and in print. 

The invitation, meticulously crafted to evoke the sensation of petals unfurling, features a distinctive design that opens on all four sides, creating an interactive and engaging experience for the recipients. As the invitation unfolds, it beautifully reveals the celebration’s details within.

The chosen color palette, bold and contemporary, reflects Ahoy Studios’ fearless approach to design. Neon shades infuse vibrancy and modernity, serving as a visual reflection of the dynamic spirit synonymous with the annual celebration of the Public Art Fund. Complementing this bold color combination is a holographic finish, adding an ethereal and sophisticated quality to the overall aesthetic, a distinctive mark of Ahoy’s commitment to creating visually stunning and conceptually rich designs.

Ahoy Studios is a branding and design agency for visionaries across the globe to future-proof our planet for everyone.

Women-founded in New York City in 2000, Ahoy operates between the US, Germany, and Switzerland under the direction of Connie Koch, Aline Ozkan, and Denise Sommer: friends, founders, and partners with a mutually rewarding passion for design in any form.

We believe that good design is conceptually driven, and that’s how we – together as a team with the great designers working with us – elevate each cause: to be seen, memorized, and acted upon. We strive to create with authenticity, originality, conceptual power, and just that extra amount of playfulness, color, and irritation that makes the result more striking, memorable, and engaging.

Connie Koch, Founder & Creative Director

Connie is a co-founder and creative director at Ahoy. She was born in the very early 70s as a true Bavarian. The wall came down, and she moved to Berlin, where she met AHOY’s other co-founder Aline Ozkan as a fellow student, friend, and finally master’s graduate in communication design at the University of Arts. In 1995, she fell in love with New York during a trip dedicated to exploring American art and design and followed an offer from the Chelsea Art Center’s The Kitchen to curate their video art collection and to design the center’s materials. After a call to Milan where she redesigned a fashion magazine for Rizzoli, she joined the artists, activists, and Tibor Kalman associates Marlene McCarty and Donald Moffett at the New York design firm Bureau to work with The Andy Warhol Foundation, Sundance Channel, and the United Nations. In 2000, she co-founded the design studio AHOY together with Aline, and today she leads the firm as creative director and partner in New York, Zurich, and Berlin. Connie is the author and creative director of the book 2/15 – the Day the World Said NO to War which has received broad recognition as an award-winning example of activist design. Connie personally oversees all and creates some of the creative work executed at AHOY, and has developed decade-long relationships with most of AHOY’s bigger clients including several agencies of the United Nations, Rockefeller Foundation, the German Foreign Ministry, and New York University. She is known for her bold yet minimal style that merges a disciplined European design sensibility with a fresh American attitude, always putting the message first. In her view, meaningful content is the key criterion to successful design: a viable purpose and mission that makes our planet a nicer, more beautiful, and creative place. Connie’s work has been widely published, won numerous awards and she has been a guest lecturer about Design in the Non-Profit Sector at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute. Her personal work explores art beyond the boundaries of design. She experiments with painting, photography, collage, ceramics, wool, furniture, and spaces to enhance our precious time on earth with beauty, humor, and optimism.

Denise Sommer, Co-owner & Creative Director

Denise Sommer’s remarkable odyssey in the world of design has evolved into a narrative of exceptional leadership and creative vision. Commencing her journey 25 years ago as a young and ambitious designer, Denise’s ascent within the dynamic realm of design is rooted in hard work and a passion for using design for good while delivering impactful, beautiful, and timeless creativity. Today, she stands as the illustrious co-owner and creative director of AHOY Studios, a testament to her unwavering dedication and unparalleled contributions to the field. From her early days as a budding designer, Denise’s trajectory has been marked by an insatiable passion for design, an innate talent for creativity, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

In her current role as co-owner and creative director at AHOY Studios, Denise not only oversees the strategic direction of the studio but also art directs projects of global significance. Her influence extends to impactful collaborations with esteemed entities such as the United Nations, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Under Denise’s visionary leadership, AHOY Studios has become a powerhouse of creativity, consistently delivering award-winning projects that transcend boundaries and leave a lasting impact on a global scale. Her keen eye for design aesthetics, coupled with a strategic mindset, has positioned the studio as a leader in the industry.

Denise Sommer’s journey from a young designer to the helm of AHOY Studios is a testament to her indomitable spirit, creativity, and ability to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of design with grace and innovation. Her role in shaping projects for organizations with global influence underscores not only her artistic prowess but also her commitment to leveraging design as a force for positive change on the world stage. The same passion applies when working with more local clients like New York Public Radio, Public Art Fund, and New York University.

Denise’s journey commenced in the vibrant city of Frankfurt, Germany. As she embarked on her global adventures, it was the enchanting allure of Paris that captured her heart. There, amidst the artistic tapestry of the city, she delved into the realms of drawing, painting, and art history at the prestigious Parsons School of Design. Fueling her insatiable love for travel and her fervor for design and typography, Denise found herself drawn to the pulsating heart of creativity—New York City. Determined to elevate her skills, she continued her academic pursuits at Parsons, honing her craft. Before working at AHOY, Denise contributed her talents to Visionaire, Number 17, and Workman Publishing. Committed to sharing her education, passion, and design expertise, Denise has been a guest lecturer in Design at both Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.

A passionate New Yorker, Denise is inspired by the city every day!

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Author: Graphis