A Concrete Cover

MA Graphic Arts student, Efisio Nicolò Sabiucciu (Nico) has won the Mark #50 cover design competition. For those of you not in the know, Mark is a European architecture magazine published by Frame, from Amsterdam. The competition was arranged by the publishers to celebrate their fiftieth issue. The magazine with Nico’s winning cover design will be out on 1st June 2014.

The competition was open to all interested parties: architects, graphic designers and other creatives. Editor David Keuning said:

“We had 540 entries from 265 contestants, who originated from 48 countries. Many people sent more than one entry. Efisio sent only one. Here’s the excerpt from the jury report that discusses his entry:”

‘Efisio Nicolò Sabiucciu won our hearts with his original and meticulously executed concept. He submitted a robust handmade object showing the ‘flesh and bones’ of a building, a work created specifically for the competition. We reflected on the reason for its strong appeal. Were we captured by the material reference? The handcrafted physicality and deconstructed appearance? The anthropomorphic proportions of a figure akin to Wall•E and R2-D2? We concluded that it was probably a combination of all those things. Difficult though it was to pinpoint the allure of Sabiucciu’s design, we were unanimous in our response. Among the 540 entries, his stood out for all the right reasons and was the obvious winner. A concrete cover. We couldn’t have done it better.’

The team at Mark showed total confidence in the cover concept opting ‘for no additional colours, in order to let (the) photo take the spotlight as much as possible.’ Another brave design decision was to drop their regular masthead in favor of the cast concrete logo. Nico was keen for a non-gloss finish on the cover to be used to ‘keep the natural roughness of the paper. The designers decided instead to add a few spots of bronze-coloured foil print (‘confetti’) to the upper left and lower right corners.’

Nico was born in Italy (1986) and on completing his undergraduate degree in Industrial Design at The Second University of Naples, decided to head to the UK for a ‘new challenge’. After studying English for a year in Bristol he joined MA Graphic Arts in 2012. Much of his research has been about materials and their uses.

MA Graphic Arts recruits students from a broad range of countries in Europe and beyond, and it is only natural that much of what we do on the course has an international outlook that mirrors this. We are particularly proud of Nico’s ambition this year that has seen him collaborating with professionals in London, Berlin and Milan, submitting proposals to the Istanbul Design Biennial, and now winning this prestigious design competition from Holland.

See the magazine write-up.

(Stephen Monger)

The Competition Entry
The Winning Cover