Drama Within Simplicity: Graphis Master Fons Hickmann and His Great Designs

Based in Berlin, Germany, Fons Hickmann and his posters, typography, and photography reveal his unmatched creativity, boldness, and talent in the world of graphic design. Hickmann founded his studio, Fons Hickmann m23, in 2001 and runs it alongside Bjoern Wolf. Both Hickmann and his studio have won countless awards, including sixteen from Graphis for various competitions. Hickmann studied photography and communication design, and has taught at several universities, held lectures and workshops around the world, and is a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. He is also a member of the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club New York, and the Alliance Graphique Internationale.

Hickmann’s designs merit special attention because they are so dynamic, and his posters for the “RIAS Chamber Chor” (above, left) showcase this beautifully. Based on the corporate design that M23 created for RIAS, the design changes every choral season. This year’s designs are characterized by colorful, fluid movements that seem to dance along with the music. His design “Heimatkunde” (above, right) further pushes the boundaries of his own creative energy through its somewhat confusing yet enchanting elements. The longer the audience stares at the poster, the more details are revealed, such as a lawn gnome and a pig. For this reason, the design won Platinum in the Poster Annual 2014.

Another great quality of Hickmann’s work is his use of colors in order to draw attention to his designs. Take his pieces “the flying dutchman” (above, left) and “this way please (above, right) for example. Both pieces use only a handful of colors, yet they are still eye-catching and well-designed. Most of “the flying dutchman” is comprised of a black-and-white image of the ship, while the main feature of “this way please” is pink arrows pointing every which way. Their relative simplicity in comparison to his other designs also does not mean that they do not effectively convey the messages they are meant to showcase — both won Gold in the Poster Annual 2016 and Poster Annual 2015, respectively.

See more of Fons Hickmann’s gorgeous work in his Graphis Master Portfolio.

Author: Graphis

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