How can we talk about design?

“It has become increasingly difficult to discuss the field of design,” says graphic designer (and now also publisher) William Stormdal on the motivation behind his latest book release, Pseudo.

Pseudo is attempting to coin the meaning behind the buzz-word conceptual. It’s a collection of interviews and conversations with some of Scandinavia’s top design agencies and rising stars, on the rhetoric and concepts we see in today’s design scene. The book is described as an effort to explore ‘what happens to the industry, it’s collectiveness, and the relationship to our clients when we can’t even agree on what we’re making and selling?’

 Pseudo is the first title by  Pseudonym Publishing  — an indie publisher initiated by the young and aspiring William Stormdal and writer Emilie Teige Skrattegård.

Pseudo is the first title by Pseudonym Publishing — an indie publisher initiated by the young and aspiring William Stormdal and writer Emilie Teige Skrattegård.

"Graphic Design and design in general is an industry without any definite answers, it's a matter of taste and personal interpretations of both the task and the words we use to describe it. We all use the same words, but what we mean or what value we give them can be very different," Stormdal says.

He thinks the reason is both the fact that we want to differentiate ourselves from competing agencies, but also because we can. The result is a inconsistent and unclear design language, he says.

“I want to be able to talk about what I do every day, and actually see that people understand what I’m talking about when I speak of concepts, conceptual design, conceptual typography and so on. Because as of now, as documented in this book—we don’t have a clue.”

However buzz-wordy, this title is definitely conceptual, both in terms of the aesthetics as well as the written word. There’s nothing left out from the conversations that took place, it’s completely unedited and honest. The writers had to use a writing software tailored for the project — it exposes the thinking process by inserting empty spaces when the writers are not actively writing and hyphens for all deleted characters. To further underline the honest approach, each writer were given a disposable camera and instructed to document the interview and it’s surroundings — nothing more, nothing less. Expect great design.

 

Pseudo is the first title published Pseudonym Publishing, initiated by William Stormdal and writer Emilie Teige Skrattegård—both young and aspiring creatives. PP is an Oslo based indie publisher aiming to initiate and publish projects where design and art meets.