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The Essentials
Mike Meiré, Art Director


History isn’t always kind to guys like Mike Meiré — become the poster child for a rebellious and polarizing creative movement like the “New Ugly,” which rocked the graphic design world in 2007 with its stretched typography and defiantly awkward layouts, and you’re practically begging for an expiration date. To achieve the kind of unqualified success that Meiré has since he started his career in Cologne 25 years ago demands two basic personal attributes: The ability to talk about even your most controversial work in a straightforward, no-bullshit manner, which helps people believe in what you’re doing, and the talent to excel at a diverse range of projects just in case they don’t. What you learn from reading interviews with Meiré, or in our case, sitting across from him at a dinner party hosted by Apartamento magazine during the Milan Furniture Fair, is that he’s driven far less by the desire to make a statement than by an earnest ambition to offer people products that are different from all the other ones already available to them. You also realize that the same guy who made his name art-directing publications like Brand Eins and 032c — and who most recently helped Russian doyenne Dasha Zhukova launch her latest project, the art and fashion magazine Garage — is just as likely to spend his time hanging pheasants inside modern farmhouse installations for Dornbracht, or collecting and exhibiting street food carts from around the world. In other words, even with the hype surrounding 032c having long abated, and that of Garage conspicuously angling to take its place, we still think Meiré’s a fundamentally interesting guy, so we asked him to share some of his favorite tools and inspirations below.


MIKE MEIRÉ’S ESSENTIAL:

FONT
“I love my computer-generated ‘random GARAGE concept type,’ which gives the new magazine from Dasha Zhukova (above) this early ’80s Letraset feeling. A bunch of the coolest grotesk fonts appear randomly. Post-postmodern handmade.”

IPHONE APP
“Pretty popular and super helpful, Shazam is perfect. I use it all the time when sounds find their way into my head.”

OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY
“Driving my Dodge Defender through the hills and valleys of Mallorca. Listen to vinyls from The Doors.”

PHOTOSHOP TOOL
“Tobias, one of my designers! He’s brillant, he knows them all.”

A cheese-and-meat cart from Meiré’s Global Street Food project for Dornbracht

STREET FOOD
“Caramel-flavored almonds.”

KITCHEN INGREDIENT
“Sage, lemongrass, and salted butter always helps, and the kitchen smells wonderful.”

DINNER PARTY SOUNDTRACK
“Start with ‘Clear Day’ by Hope Sandoval and move on to ‘The Organist Entertains’ by the Tindersticks — it creates a nice mood for talking. Around the end of the party, fade into ‘The Silent Chorus’ by John Maus. After that you start with the dance floor, but this is a different chapter…”

LITERARY HERO
“Jiddu Krishnamurti. Every single book comes close to a personal enlightenment.”

MUSEUM
“I just love the New Museum by SANAA in New York. Simply contemporary, very urban.”


Portrait of Mike Meiré by Heji Shin

EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHER
“Heji Shin. Check out her website: strong, mature, sexual, sensual, mysterious.”

COLOGNE HANGOUT
“The Belgium Quarter at night, and Café Schmitz at Aachener Straße for Sunday breakfast.”

FASHION LABEL
“Jil Sander by Raf Simons, Adam Kimmel, and Missoni for the last three seasons.”

RECORD SLEEVE
“The cover of Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark’s ‘Architecture & Morality,’ designed by Peter Saville.”

ONLINE MAGAZINE
www.manystuff.org and www.falsearms.com

PRINT MAGAZINE
“Garage, PIN-UP, Apartamento, and 032c (below).”