Studio Darius Ou [...] is an outfit based in Singapore, offering art direction and graphic design services to commercial and cultural fields. Contact us at mail@dariusou.work / mobile +65 9617 7693.

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Voices from the Courts

Voices from the Courts is a collaboration between the artist Jack Tan and the Comm­unity Justice Centre (CJC), a charity based at the State Courts and the Family Justice Courts of Sing­apore, out of which a number of projects, events, exhibi­tions and artworks have emerged.

Inspired by legal statutes binders and being a project with collab­oration at its core, the catalogue was designed with the mechanism of two parts coming together - Articles One and Two, which also repre­sent diff­erent phases of the project. The idea of two distinct fields coming together (Art and Law) is simi­larly repres­ented by two accomp­anying typo­graphic systems, each with its own distinct 'person­alities': serif type­faces central­ised and justified, sans-serif typefaces left-aligned and ragged-right.

The other core idea of the project is the inqui­sition of the processes and relation­ships Tan had with CJC, a legal entity that was previously new to arts engage­ment. Flowcharts and diagrams were used to symbolise this idea, with various essays in the catalogue designed in flowchart form.

Voices from the Courts catalogue was awarded in Society of Typographic Arts (Chicago) STA100.

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SCOPEPLUS 2017

SCOPEPLUS is an Electronic Music & Art Festival held in Huddersfield (UK) that comprises a live elect­ronic music event, an art exhib­ition and various workshops, organ­ised by Mutualism UK. Head­lining artists include Visionist (PAN) and Giuseppe Ielasi (12k/­Error Broadcast).

With the fest­ival name SCOPEPLUS, Mutualism aims to explore the wide spectrum of what live elect­ronic music can be. The words SCOPE and PLUS form two main ideas, one about the ever expan­ding scope of what art and music can be, and the other about the idea of zooming­-in. The art direction of SCOPEPLUS takes cues from these ideas and is derived from an animated 'zoom in' sequence of chara­cters within chara­cters (S,C,O,P,E­,P,L,U,S). The expand­ing chara­cters then port­ray the idea of the expa­nsion as well.

From the sequence, a series of colla­terals was designed for the festival, inclu­ding an event wall projection video that utilises the Shepard's tone (a popular audio illu­sion that alludes to an infin­itely rising pitch) that is akin to the infi­nite loop of the zoom sequence. The halftone treatment for videos and photo­graphs derived from its repro­graphic nature that simulates conti­nuous tone imagery depen­ding on distance (physical) & zoom (digital). Metallic Purple (Pantone) and Black (Pantone) were used for the print collaterals.

Art direction: Darius Ou
Design: Darius Ou, Sebastian Zimmerhackl (Selam X)
Website design/coding: Mak Simay
Animation: Darius Ou, Gabriel Lim
Sound: Julian Jaschke, Helge Ebinger, Mutualism

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State of Motion

State of Motion is an exhib­ition and tour event organised by the Asian Film Archive - a subsidary of National Library Board - as part of Singapore Art Week 2016. The event retraced actual film locations of AFA's selection of Cathay Keris films where artists were invited to create an artwork in response to the film and location. The whole event consists of an exhi­bition held in the National Library Board (Central) and a tour that brings parti­cipants to the film location and artwork sites.

The graphic identity of the event, inspired by analog televi­sion screen noise, was formed by a set of graph­ical patterns. These patterns form an illu­sory sense of motion when shifting on top of each other, with various permut­ations creating different 'motions'. In collabo­ration with Melvin Tan, special thanks to Nicole Tan.

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Nanyang Technological University ADM Graduation Show 2016

Nanyang Techno­logical Univer­sity School of Art, Design & Media Gradua­tion Show 2016 is a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree graduation event. The design identity refer­ences the narrative and design of the Voyager Golden Record - a set of phono­graph records (containing Earth's sounds, photo­graphs and writings) selected by Carl Sagan that NASA had sent out into the space in 1977. The attempt to send out 'Earth's portfolio' into the unknown, mysterious yet alluring space draws parallels with the graduates' excite­ment (and a certain anxiety for an uncertain future) upon graduation - sending their own port­folios to the outside world for contact and oppor­tunities.

Branding and Design: Darius Ou, Jasmine Lee & Melvin Tan
Project Management & Copywriting: Samantha Yap
Social Media & Marketing: Samantha Yap & Melvin Tan
Website Direction: Darius Ou
Frontend Web Developer: Sim Boon Long
Video / Animation Direction: Darius Ou, Melvin Tan, Samantha Yap & Amirul Afifi
Video / Animation Production: Amirul Afifi
Video Sound Designer: Ross Adrian Williams
Video Narrators: Derek Teong, Julie Heather Liew, Rayne Wong & Timothy Goh with recording assistance from Ken Ng
Director of Photography: Jonathan Tan
Photography Team: Clara-Anne Chow, Hoong Wei Long, Jayme Chong, Lim Jie Min, Sheryl Chua, Teo Cai Yun & Vivien Tan
3D Renders and Imaging: Prakash Perumal Haridas

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Left to Right

Left to Right is a public­ation project init­iated by Geraldine Kang and Kenneth Tay, consisting of writings and images by various artists, curators and writers based in Singapore and abroad.

Contri­butors explore the idea of images in relation to their own indi­vidual research and practices. As the publi­shers mentioned: "...Singapore, after all, is a peculiar image factory; and this project hopes to provide a mean­ingful stop-pause from the constant produc­tion of images here", this is a book about images at its core. To push this core concept to the forefront, the book was designed to not carry any text at all on the front and back cover - just a pure image on each side. The title of the book, contri­butors list and summary were then printed along the spine and fore edges. In collab­oration with Melvin Tan, special thanks to Nicole Tan & Jasmine Lee.

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89plus at Singapore International Festival of Arts

89plus is a long-term, interna­tional, multi-platform research project co-founded by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, investi­gating the gener­ation of innov­ators born in or after 1989. Without fore­casting artistic trends or predict­ing future creation, 89plus manifests itself through panels, books, perio­dicals and exhib­itions, bringing together indivi­duals from a gener­ation whose voices are only starting to be heard, yet which accounts for almost half of the world’s population.

Held on 12 & 13 July 2014, 89plus was part of Singapore Interna­tional Festi­val of Arts (SIFA). Invited to the workshop conducted by Simon Castets, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and SIFA, these posters were created as part of Autotypography x 89plus collab­oration and used as the workshop poster.

The world after 1989 was heavily influ­enced by the advent of digital techno­logy and personal computers - an unpre­cedented time which saw the expo­nential increase in the number of people who gained access to computers. This meant higher access­ibility to digital content creation and inevitably, mani­pulation of the style of that content. Coupled with the shift to digital format printing, stretching letters to fit the content's canvas -arguably perpe­tuated by the layperson- became rampant. This digital poster, featuring vertically-stretched Arial, explores how the aesth­etics of the stretched text, a signifier of the digital manipu­lation, is being picked up by the digital native generation.

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NTU CCA at 56th Venice Biennale – The Geopolitical and Biophysical

The Geo­political and the Bio­physical: a struc­tured conver­sation on Art and Southeast Asia in context is concei­ved as an extension to Charles Lim’s SEA STATE project presented at the Singap­ore Pavilion, and is in response to Okwui Enwezor’s curatorial theme for the 56th Interna­tional Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia: All the World’s Futures.

Tasked by Nanyang Techno­logical Univer­sity Centre of Contemp­orary Art Singapore to create collaterals for the symposium, the brochure was designed in the form of a stylised rattan-weaved fan pattern - rattan weaved products are common in most of Southeast Asia. The pattern coincid­entally forms the familiar shape of an curved audit­orium with casca­ding steps, echoing the idea of a sym­posium. Pivoted in the centre, the fan-brochure opens in a swirling motion. In collab­oration with Melvin Tan.

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Autotypography - A poster a day

Autotypography is a year-long project conducted between 16 June 2012 and 14 June 2013 with a graphic poster created daily, amassing 364 posters in the collec­tion.

Initially conceived as an experi­mental ground for typo­graphic and semiotic play, the project evolved to take on a more inquisitive and specu­lative approach to investi­gating graphic design fashion and trends. The project has been featured on various sites, such as DesignObserver's article Critical Graphic Design: Critical of What? in 2014.

The project also served as curri­cular case study mater­ial in various coll­eges such as Univer­sity of California, Los Angeles - Design Media Arts (UCLA), Minnea­polis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Singapore Polytec­hnic, in workshops like Studio 13/16 22RUEMULLER (By Groupe CCC) in Centre Pompidou, Paris, and as submi­ssion guide­lines in poster festivals like TypoMad from Madrid, Spain.

View archived collect­ion here.

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Kaleidoscope Asia 亚洲

Kaleidoscope Asia is a bili­ngual and bian­nual sibling edition of Kaleido­scope, intern­ational magazine of contemporary art and culture based in Milan, Italy.

Kaleidoscope Asia is specially dedicated to artists from Asia, with the first issue based on the theme Utopia & Dystopia. Dealing with the idea of visual culture now, a provo­cative and bold new look was designed in collab­oration with German design studio Bureau Mirko Borsche.

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I have a room with everything too Poster

I have a room with every­thing too is the second edition of Do Not Design's exhib­ition that showcases a selection of rich and rare printed material from around the world.Held at The Subst­ation Gallery, Singapore, featured creatives include: WERK (Theseus Chan, Singapore), Asylum (Singapore), H55 (Singapore), &Larry (Singapore), Kinetic (Singapore), Stefan Sagmeister (USA), Aaron Nieh (Taiwan), Wang Zhi Hong (Taiwan), e.t.c.

Commiss­ioned by the organisers, an indepe­ndent promo­tional poster was designed for the book show. Based on the idea of how a room is demarcated by the occup­ation of space, this concept is translated into typo­graphic form.

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Design Piracy Institute

Design Piracy Institute (DPI) is an applied thesis project developed at the School of Visual Arts’ MFA in Design Criticism (D-Crit)—now known as the MA Design Rese­arch, Writing & Criticism, by Justin Zhuang on piracy and indus­trial design.

"At each port of call, DPI 'raids' design fairs with their bounty of 'original' and 'authentic' products by presenting a series of exhibi­tions, talks and workshops that chall­enge the dominant view of design piracy as simply an economic parasite. While recogn­izing the fin­ancial implicat­ions of piracy, the inst­itute believes the unauthorized reproduction or modification of someone else’s design opens up design to more possibi­lities and makes it access­ible to people too. DPI aims to be a platform for designers, manufac­turers and pirates to openly discuss the issues behind design piracy.

Beyond a platform, the institute is also a research center for document­ing and studying how design piracy is pract­iced and received in different countries and cultures. DPI will build up a physical and digital collection of pirat­ical products as well as a media resource to better understand design piracy as a social and cultural phenomenon." - An excerpt from Design Piracy Institute

Toying with the idea and aesthe­tics of pirated goods, DPI's logomark was designed with a non-english native font Gothic/Mincho, set in default tracking, un-kerned and untamp­ered - a nod to the over­looked details in amateur imitatations. The visible yellow cross across all collat­erals, inspired by watermarks, evades photocopiers' scanning, thus disapp­earing in black and white photo­copies of the collat­erals (letterheads e.t.c,). Application of the identity includes an override of the 'hijacked' design fair's identity logo (skewing and stretching), in an attempt to replicate (and examine) the abrasive and provo­cative nature of piracy. In collaboration with Melvin Tan.

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Karaoke Court

Karaoke Court is a work of art by artist Jack Tan as part of his solo exhibition How to do things with rules at the Insti­tute of Contemp­orary Arts (ICA) Singa­pore in 2015. Karaoke Court was first produced at The Gowlett Pub in Peckham, South London, in 2014, and then later at The Yard Theatre, London in 2016. Inspired by the Arctic Inuit and Eskimo tradition of 'song duels', Tan invites pairs of contest­ants to parti­cipate in a singing perform­ance to resolve their disputes. Taking place within festive occa­sions, liti­gants present grieva­nces to the entire comm­unity for judgment in the form of humorous and satirical songs.

The identity of Karaoke Court is inspired by the visual tropes of local getai and Karaoke Televi­sion (KTV) bars that are common sight in Singapore. The main visual element - spikes/­starbursts, draws parallels from the festive disco-esque lights with the idea of conflict and hostility. In collab­oration with Melvin Tan.

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Who's Looking

Who’s Looking: Surf & Turf is an inquiry into engage­ments with art in the age of the internet. As our atten­tion ecology manoe­uvres between the online and offline, the agency and spectator­ship of art in real life (IRL) extends beyond the physi­cal and dura­tional, through their parallel lives on the web (URL). Artists in this exhi­bition undertake these modes of encou­nters, producing works that are framed for/by diverse online platforms.

Organised by FOCA, and held at NTU Centre for Contemp­orary Art (Post-PopUp), Who's Looking's identity stems from the beha­vioural habits of an internet user, a digital native.

Focuss­ing on the habit of scroll­ing, which is an action exclusive to the digital platform and the internet, cropped texts symbolise the idea of scrolling past a browser's window. Beyond the window of which a user views web content is the vast and infinite web space. The indivi­dual boxes is also inspired by pop-up advertise­ments that is prevalent in the current internet age.

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PopGun Presents - Posters

Posters designed for PopGun Presents (Brooklyn), a a full-­scale events produ­ction & prom­otion, music curation, and venue manag­ement colle­ctive.

Commiss­ioned by PopGun, these posters,flyers and digital banners were designed for music events in indepe­ndent music venues & arts spaces in New York, with headlining artists like Loyle Carner, Deerhunter and Youandewan.

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Cesspool

Cesspool is a solo show by Chan-Davies Prize recipient Jennifer Mehigan.

"Cesspool is an immer­sive present­ation of digital and painted imagery convent­ionally assoc­iated with the feminine. In this show, form and flesh are replicated with abandon and often rendered indistin­guishable. The images and their installation address what Mehigan describes as the 'perform­ance anxiety' of a queer femme aesthetic." -An excerpt from VADA.

Design of the artshow's identity takes cues from the title Cesspool - with notions of corrosive liquids and body fluids. Text was designed to 'flow', take shape and interact with images in the layout and intent­ionally mani­pulated to create typo­graphic rivers. Clear Spot-UV was used to simulate fluid splashes on the printed matter. A total of 4 different splash patterns 2 for the zine's cover were used. In colla­boration with Melvin Tan.

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Mythologies

Mythologies is a work of art by Jack Tan that explores various day-to-day Singapo­rean obsess­ions or concerns through a series of mytho­logical chara­cters based on the idea of the Japanese Yōkai (妖怪), or super­natural monsters. Exploring myth-­making as a spatial, visual, perform­ative and pedag­ogical activity, Tan presents eight new mytho­logical creatures through a choreo­graphed children’s lantern parade, and public install­ations of flags and lanterns at Singapore Art Week 2016.

In a collaborative process with Tan, the creatures were illus­trated and printed on PVC cards. The LED-lighting circui­try and handles were designed to be flat-packed, together with the main lantern pieces. In collab­oration with Melvin Tan, special thanks to Nicole Tan.

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Militarising a graphic designer

Militarising a graphic designer is a series of visual ideas that formed during the first 4 months of my military service in the Army of the Republic of Singa­pore. In the Republic of Singa­pore, every Singa­porean son is required to serve the military for 2 years. When a conscript completes his full-time service, he is considered to be 'operat­ionally ready'.

This zine was inspired by the experi­ences of my basic military training and the non­chalance of design in military and govern­ment sectors that I had observed in the military.

The zines were bound by multiple staples, inside-out to attain a rugged and prickly spine, in a way similar to the concer­tina wires on fences surrou­nding military install­ations.

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The Widow and the Orphan

"... the widow carries the orphan on her back, unrelated by blood, bound together by fate."

The Widow and the Orphan is a zine about typo­graphic widows and orphans. Based on a romanti­cised narra­tive that stems from the seman­tics, the zine explores how widows and orphans disrupt reading (and design) processes.

The zine attempts to recreate the disrupt­ion of flow in the reading process by intro­ducing inserts held by slits cut into the pages. Photo­grapher Christopher Olszewski was commiss­ioned for a series of photographs that explores the idea of disrupt­ion in images.

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Soiree Graphique

Soirée graphique was first launched in 2008 by KOMET and the agency has been organi­zing and curating the yearly event ever since. The exhibi­tion also acts as a platform for creatives from various disciplines - graphic design, photo­graphy, and visual arts. The KOMET collection compiles the works from every Soirée graph­ique and documents trends and develop­ments in visual design.

For the sixth install­ation, 31 graphic designers each created a poster – these designs were then reinter­preted by 31 interna­tional photo­graphers. This piece explores the relation­ship bet­ween content and form.

Together with KOMET, this poster was awarded Merit at the Art Directors Club (Switzerland) Awards 2014.

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Miscellaneous

Various works created for contributions and commissions.
View archived works on Cargo Collective here, and Behance here.

[ 1 ] Contribution Poster for NRMAL Festival (Mexico) selection, 2017.

[ 2 ] Contribution Poster for Andreu Serra's V O I D S collection, 2013.

[ 3 ] Adobe HelpDeluxe 13.0, 2013

[ 4 ] Metamaterialism, 2013 w/Jennifer Mehigan and Melvin Tan, text from Timur Si-qin

[ 5-6 ] Branding for Qian Hu Fish Farm, Archived here. 2013.

[ 7 ] Collaterals for Each Blade of Grass, Each Shrub, Each tree, 2016. w/ Melvin Tan

[ 8 ] Contrbution Poster for En Masse and Sameness, (USA), 2014.

[ 9 ] Album cover for YLLIS' Island 01 EP, 2016. w/ Norman Orro & Melvin Tan

[ 10-11 ] Marketing materials for BYCO, 2013.

[ 12 ] Postcards for Chicks on Speed - The Art of Work performance in NTU CCA, 2015. w/ Melvin Tan

[ 13 ] Contribution Posters for Erik Brandt's Ficciones Typographika (USA), 2013.

[ 14 ] Contribution Riso poster for Gallery & Co's The Artist Project 1.0, 2016.

[ 15 ] Contribution for TotallyDrunk's 3rd party, 2014.

[ 16 ] Business Card, 2016.