Visual identity for a week of action towards the development of the Leonhardsvorstadt in Stuttgart, organised by architects and urban planners Studio Malta. With an intensive programme comprising workshops and debates as well as cultural and musical events, this action week aimed to raise awareness and include residents as much as possible in the early stages of a long-term thinking around the future–both human and urban–of their neighbourhood. Various populations but also various architectures come together in the district: typical Southern-Germany houses and post-war concrete buildings. Based on a freely drawn interpretation of the neighbourhood’s peculiar skyline, the visual identity we proposed opens a door to the imaginary, while grounding on the familiar. Projet in association with Christina Schmid.
Visual identity, posters, sidewalk wayfinding, flyers and community newspaper
Posters: 594 × 841 mm
Flyers: 148 × 105 mm
Newspaper: 484 × 327 mm
Typeface: GT Sectra
Digital and offset printing
Hong Kong: a handful of skyscrapers held by the moutains, jungle and sea. A series of photographs and two short texts play hide-and-seek with the tropical trees and giants of concrete, while the layout slips step by step into this unique scenery. The book is made of seven folded posters, binded with an elastic cord: the reader can unbind the posters, rearrange the sheets, or just glance between the pages.
Photographs: Hong Kong, April 2017 / Publication: Strasbourg, October 2017
24 pages / 7 posters and a green elastic cord
Dimensions, folded: 13 × 20,5 cm / Posters: 26 × 41 cm
Paper: Fedrigoni Oikos 115 g/m2
Typeface: Vremena Grotesk
Digital photography, laser printing
18 numbered copies
During a spring tournament, I could follow the players of the rugby team Les Cheminotes de Strasbourg in one of my favorite games: observing and attempting to capture the attitudes of bodies in movement. Clubhouse preparation, intimate and close-up setting of the locker room, then the giant frame of the field that at once exceeds and underlines the bodies, stripped background, outdoor studio.
Bookcover of Baldamus ou le diable aux trousses by German writer Oskar Wöhrlé, published in French for the first time by La Nuée Bleue. An autobiographical novel of wandering and exile in early twentieth century Europe.
Beneath heavy and threatening clouds, Steinlen’s etched character might well be a Baldamus, a rascal and poet with a scathing pen, crossing as best he can restless times and countries. The title’s Fraktur and the text’s Antiqua meet as if we moved from one Europe to another, while the “black forest” green, color of adventure, chance and bad reputations, also evokes these cross-border regions where unusual paths have their starting point. The loose wrapper can be removed to keep only the picture. The back cover’s text unfolds vertically, as the hero rushes ahead through the storms, both real and of the mind.
Strasbourg, March 2017
Soft cover and wrapper
14 × 19 cm
Papers: Fedrigoni Old Mill Bianco 250 g/m2, Freelife Cento Extra White 100 g/m2
Typefaces: San Marco, Bliss
Drawing: Chemineau sous un ciel d’orage, engraving by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, 1914, BNF.
Poster announcing a talk session at the Haute école des arts du Rhin on the welcoming of refugees in Germany.
Strasbourg, January 2017
21 × 29,7 cm
Typeface: Libertinage c
Drawing, laser printing
Two small books about the Krutenau neighbourghood in Strasbourg: the first one indexes its streets, the second one the leaves of its trees. The Rues were drawn using a city map, scaled to 1/5000, ranked by length and captioned with the count of their trees. An alphabetical index and another by page give their French and Alsatian names. The Feuilles were harvested during three days of walk and pressed into encyclopedias. They were then digitalised and sorted out according to the day and time of their picking up. A single index indicates the place where each of them came from. An archive of Fall 2016, with Christina Schmid.
Strasbourg, December 2016
A box and two books of 100 & 132 pages
4,5 × 6 cm
Softcover and dust jacket
Paper: Canson Croquis 90 g
Typeface: ITC Garamond
Laser print: Haute école des arts du Rhin
8 numbered copies
Photographs of the books: Christina Schmid
Prague, Austria-Hungary, 1904. My great-great-grandmother Kamilla Neumannová founds her publishing house and launches a cheap collection of modern foreign litterature translated for the working class: Knihy dobrých autorů, The Books Of The Good Authors. In the villa in Žižkov, cradle of Czech anarchism and avant-garde, the metamorphosis of the book into an art object joins the struggle for social revolution and national independence. Translators, illustrators and typographers work hand in hand to publish these exceptional books.
I stumbled upon the story of Kamilla and her publishing house, founded right after her divorce, and overshadowed by the many male political and artistic stories of the family. Moved by this collection’s identity, at once graphic, literary and historical, I wanted to save these books from oblivion. I decided to make another book to tell their story, which is also that of Kamilla, independent and avant-garde woman figure fighting for her convictions through the first decades of the twentieth century. Over one hundred and fifty titles were published during twenty-six struggling years of existence.
I chose to make a “beau livre” with generous dimensions, whose subtle variations of paper and layout highlight the reproduced objects. The colors of the papers echo those of the books in the collection. The bilingual reading is slow and immersive: the book is to be laid on a table and one must take their time to read it. Both languages (French and Czech) are separated to preserve a form of mental and visual calm. Similarly, a second level of information, documentary, runs with but does not interrupt the main text written by Kamilla. The linear but modulated narration first lets us meet the books, reaches step by step the heart of the story, then distances itself gradually to embrace a more contemporary look. A corpus of period documents underpins the story.
HEAR, graduation project, Strasbourg, June 2016
A book and a bookmark, 226 pages
Dimensions, folded: 28 × 40 cm
Soft cover, wrapper
Papers: Oikos Extra White 115 g/m2, Arcoprint Milk 120 g/m2, Cyclus recyclé 80 g/m2, Flanelle Nuage, Thé vert and Abricot 116 g/m2, Materica Pitch 250 g/m2, Cyclus Print 115 g/m2
Typefaces: Linux Libertine, Linux Biolinum
Laser printing, silkscreen
Master thesis under the supervision of Cyrille Bret.
From conceptual art’s accumulations of the ordinary to Aristotle and his theory of places, this exploration follows the footsteps of an ancient conception in which aesthetics and reason are almost equivalent: not of equal importance, but of equal efficiency. A logic of the list, at once simple and almighty.
Awarded best master thesis of the Haute école des arts du Rhin, showcased in Lectures de mémoires #2. 2015 — 2016 Crossover (Rhinocéros, 2017). Published by the Haute école des arts du Rhin. Send me an email to receive a copy! (Publication in French, free + shipping costs.)
Strasbourg, January 2016
A book and a loose insert, 280 pages
13 × 19,5 cm
Papers: Munken Print White 18 90 g/m2, 15 80 g/m2 and 15 300 g/m2
Typefaces: Georgia, Vremena
Digital printing, black & white
“The archetypal ideas of Plato: the eternal, immutable forms of things” (Robert French dictionnary)
Faced with the world of shapes, colors and patterns that spread on my notebooks, clothes, objects and furniture, selected in an instinctive, obsessive and arbitrary way, with no hesitation and a hard-to-explain intransigence, what’s left for me to do but to analyze and strip them, cut them up, search each object and try to reach its bone? To uncover a skeleton, a carcass, an essential nature. From reality to photography, from photography to graphic images, patterns get rid of their objects, graphic forms emerge, raw.
Strasbourg, May 2015
18 pages, 1 loose insert and a wrapper
8,5 × 12 cm
Inside pages: Clairefontaine dessin à grain 180 g/m2 / Wrapper: Canson croquis 90 g/m2
Digital photography, inkjet printing
Landscape elements from Julio Cortázar’s short story Continuidad de los parques (The Continuity of Parks).
From still shot to still shot, the movie follows the narrative’s structure but through its sole landscape indications, bringing to light a second narrative thread. Each literary proposition can call multiple representations in the reader’s imagination or in reality. The story that unfolds without characters is confusing, yet not absurd.
“1. on his way back to the estate,
2. a matter of joint ownership,
3. the park with its oaks.
4. the afternoon air danced under the oak trees in the park.
5. the mountain cabin.
6. the backlash of a branch.
7. a world of dry leaves and furtive paths through the forest.
8. It was beginning to get dark.
9. the trail that led north.
10. the path leading in the opposite direction,
11. the trees and hedges.
12. the yellowish fog of dusk
13. the avenue of trees leading up to the house.”
Stealthy quivering of the leaves, silence of the snow, fast lane into the distance and bird conversations surround the narrator’s voice unfolding its relentless thread. While we wait more and more for this voice between the sequences, we return almost unwittingly to the suspense of Cortázar’s short story.
Strasbourg: parc de l’Orangerie, parc du Pourtalès and botanical garden, January 2015
Patrons brochure design for the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam: three types of membership allow contributors to support the center’s actions and to enjoy special privileges (encounters with artists, curators, entrances to various art events…) Playing with paper folds, typography and meaning, eight verbs end up sketching a realm of possibilities around artistic exchange. Final design and tryouts.
This project was conducted during an internship with Kristin Metho.
Rotterdam, September 2014
Three trifold brochures
Dimensions, folded: 11 × 15,7 cm
Offset printing with spot colors
Design of badges, auction boards and experiences certificates for the Benefit Evening 2014, art auction organised by the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and De Appel arts center. The six certificates were handed to the buyers of artworks that couldn’t be passed on as physical objects: performances, conceptual or ephemeral works. A play of waves and windows based on Kristin Metho’s initial design evoking Holland America Line’s historical flagship SS Rotterdam, set of the evening. Final design and tryouts.
This project was conducted during an internship with Kristin Metho.
Rotterdam, September 2014
Badges: 7,5 × 4 cm / Auction boards: 14,8 × 21 cm / Experiences certificates: 21 × 29,7 cm
Typefaces: Larish Neue, Aperçu
Horoscopes, news stories and anecdotes that happened on a January 31: a vertical crossing trough time. Real time experiment on the graphic design workshop’s blog using data from the website Éphéméride et almanach du jour.
Strasbourg, January 2014
5 loose sheets
29,7 × 42 cm
Black marker pen on offset paper
I like to look at ski stations from far away, tiny kitsch fictional towns in the vast landscape, and at the skiers’ uncanny attitudes and fluorescent clothes. Clicking on the photographs makes the characters appear or disappear and turns on or off the noise of the station.
Digital photography, sound
From the smoke of a chimney to that of a cigarette, from the rain swelling in the roadside gutters to the hot water poured out of a kettle, from the wind in the trees to the aimlessly fluttering snow, winter seems to wake up impalpable, fluid, continuous movements. They come alive in early November and fall asleep in late March, little by little. They share the same elusive and changing nature, they are at once similar and always different.
Strasbourg, January 2014
Frame by frame animation
I had never seen a military ceremony nor a small Alsatian village. I tried to picture the speeches and the trumpets, the uniforms and the flags, the medals and the splendor, all lost in a corner in the middle of nowhere. I expected something a bit clumsy to come out of this cross between solemnity and bareness. Once there I looked for it in the isolated symbols of the commemoration, lost in the scenery, and in the bustle of the soldiers and the comings and goings of the witnesses, suddenly filling this place that had to be so often deserted. In the fog, a stilted choreography, slightly absurd, touching anyway.
Ceremony in commemoration of Armistice Day (11.11.1918) in Alsace. Featured in 11⁄11 (HEAR/La Nuée Bleue, 2019).
Vieil-Armand (Hartmannswillerkopf), 11.11.2013
Summer 2012, internship in Berlin with Monobloque: a coincidence of places, fields and languages. The story of this experience is told through twenty layers of tracing paper whose interactions evoke the subtlety of the encounters. Place and size of texts and pictures change with each page. Only page numbers and captions keep still on the left, like an intangible binding.
20 lose sheets of tracing paper
42 × 29,7 cm
Typeface: American Typewriter
Book design of Grundton, by photographer Falk Weiß.
For two years, Falk has been crusing the Berlin subway, one line a night. Painstakingly he has been building the photographic index of the underground colored atmospheres, neon light on tiles of all sorts, before the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (the Berlin transportation company) tears them off to replace them with metal plates. Some 1500 photographs digitalised from their contact sheets, carefully named according to the location, date and station of the shooting, and accompanied by hints on the photographer’s intents — schmutzig weiß (dirty white), kalt aber hell (cold but bright) — expecting a finished form for a hard-to-complete enterprise.
Most of the pictures are shot head on, extracting pieces of walls, spreads of color, textures and rhythms from the stations’ landscape. Some stand out because of a tunnel’s uncanny perspective, a corridor’s broken line or vanishing protagonists: so many reading directions to get lost in the depth of the collection. The book is a prosaic and sensitive journey into the hues and cadences of the Berlin U-Bahn. The Italian format, small and easy to handle, goes allong with the horizontality of the photographic expedition. The photographs follow one another and resound in a colorful continuum. Hinge-images play the role of gateways between the different sequences, suddenly opening the view beyond the screen of the tiled walls. Through three different arrangements of the photographs, the layout alternately brings us forward into the journey or gets us lost in the quivering inertia of the surfaces. The Bloque typeface, designed by Dorothée Billard and Clemens Helmke, inscribes the project within the cocoon of the Monobloque collective. A visual summary echoes the final index. On the silkscreened cover, 1846 tiles redrawn after one of the photographs throb together in a colorful play.
This project was conducted during an internship with Dorothée Billard at Monobloque.
18 × 12 cm
Digital printing, silkscreen
50 numbered copies (25 blue covers, 25 red covers)
Falk Weiß 2012
Can we look at one space twice the same way? Sixteen million seven hundred seventy-seven thousand fifteen possible combinations of six stools, six easels, six boards and six tree branches draft the fleeting trace of a drawing room.
65 × 55 cm
Colored pencil on silk paper
Night: overflowing blur, giant coat of ink or coal of which the city lights, bringing tears in places, broach the darkness.
How does one draw the city at night? A work on the limit between sign and abstraction.
Paris, May 2012
20 folios without binding
Dimensions: 16 × 25 cm
Paper: Ingres d’Arches, silk paper wrapping.
Postcard designed for the Estiennales, yearly event of the École Estienne with lectures, debates and discussions, each year around a new theme: in 2010 the theme was food. The (almost) scientific photograph of a single grape gives a new dimension to yet a familiar fruit.
Paris, October 2011
Digital photography, offset printing
© 2011–2023 Clara Neumann