Computer ArtsNews

Form turns 21 in style

Popular, bold and passionate about design, Form has turned 21. They're celebrating with an exhibition in Shoreditch and launching a retrospective of their work

Well, the Diamond Jubilee is nearly upon us and if the four-day weekend of celebration isn't enough for you, why not carry on the festivities next weekend with the popular London studio, Form. Founded by Paula Benson and Paul West back in 1991, they're marking Form's 21st birthday with an exhibition at the Blackall Studios gallery in Shoreditch which opens to the public on Friday 8 June. Plus they'll be launching FormTwentyOne, a book featuring 21 of their favourite projects.

While many studios might celebrate a landmark like 10 or 20 years in business, Form like to do things differently. "Most people celebrate their 21st birthday more than their 20th," explains Paula Benson. "We decided that it was better to celebrate our 21st like a person. Form feel like it’s a kind of character that has grown up and developed and changed, and treating it as a real life person as opposed to a company seems more appropriate."

If you're not familiar with Form's work you'll be in for a treat visiting the exhibition. On show will be the 21 top pieces of work that appear in the limited edition book, and plenty of nostalgic material to support the exhibits. At the exhibition you can explore the works using interactive iPad presentations on stalks in the gallery, and sift through work in progress material which will also be on display. Extra events such as talks and panel discussions are scheduled to take place during the show.

Form has worked with top music acts - East 17, Girls Aloud, Natalie Imbruglia and The Clash - and some of Britain's most talented creatives including Damien Hirst and photographer Rankin. And they've got some great industry anecdotes as well, like the time they turned down a Damien Hirst painting for £250... Today, it might be priceless.

However Form's memories from 21 years in design are priceless too. The Studio has worked across branding, events and fashion is an area they're expanding into at the moment. You may remember the 'Design Wank' t-shirts released by their UniForm range in the early Naughties. Today they're working with Lettuce and several other fashion brands, and getting a real buzz from it.

"We’ve always loved the idea of creating worlds for our clients and that might be for a record campaign, it might be for a fashion brand, it might even be for a book for say Rotovision. But whatever we do we like creating a journey or a story, and that actually hasn’t changed one jot since we set up," says Paul West.

To see this an plenty more get down to the exhibition before 13 June, and for an in-depth look along with more of their great anecdotes grab a copy of issue 203 of Computer Arts, on sale from 28 June.

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