Yokoland is a design studio based in Oslo, Norway. The studio works with a wide range of clients, mainly focused on projects within the cultural field. The studio aims for an experimental, ambiguous and progressive practice that blurs the line between subjective/objective, order/disorder, process/product, art/design, form/content, good ideas/bad ideas, etc. Projects include both print and digital work: art direction, graphic identity, book design, editorial design, packaging, web design, exhibition design, signage and wayfinding.

Studio/Timeline

Yokoland was founded sometime between 2001 and 2005 by Aslak Gurholt and Espen Friberg. From 2007 to 2012 Gurholt ran the studio with Thomas Nordby, which between 2008 and 2011 also included Martin Lundell. A book on Yokoland’s early work was published by Die Gestalten Verlag in 2006. In 2013 a retrospective exhibition on the studio was shown at the Kemistry Gallery (London). Since 2013 Gurholt has been running the studio, collaborating with various other designers. The studio aims to be a small and flexible practice, which grows and contracts depending on particular projects. Current core collaborators include Thomas Nordby, Martin Asbjørnsen and Alejandro V. Rojas.

Books and exhibitions

Self initiated projects are an integral part of the studio’s practice. These projects often take form as curatorial or editorial projects like exhibitions, books, pamphlets, workshops or lectures. The studio has edited several books on art and photography, and curated exhibitions on Scandinavian designers such as Melin & Österlin and Arild Kristo. Yokoland is actively involved in publishing through the imprint Aki Books and the occasional bookstore Related items.

Yokoland has also written and illustrated several children’s books. Books are translated to English, French, Swedish, Korean and Japanese. Yokoland’s work has been exhibited worldwide. A retrospective exhibition was shown at the Kemistry Gallery in London in 2009. Work has been featured in journals such as IDEA, Grafik, It’s Nice That and I.D. as well as books from Princeton Architectural Press, Phaidon Press etc.

Awards

Yokoland has received several awards for its practice including Best Book Design from all over the World (Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt), The Most Beautiful Norwegian Books (Årets Vakreste Bøker), D&AD, Visuelt and Norsk Form’s award for young designers. The practice has also been nominated for the INFORM Award for Conceptual Design (Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig). In 2015 Aslak Gurholt received Bokkunstprisen, the most prestigious award in Norway within book design.

Selected clients

New York Times, Phaidon Press, Norges Bank, Flamme Forlag, Hubro, Henie Onstad Art Centre, The Kon-Tiki Museum, National Museum of Art, Norwegian Crafts, Kunsthall Trondheim, House of Literature in Oslo, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, Forlaget Oktober, Tronsmo Bokhandel, Notam, Domino Recording Company, Ninja Tune, Smalltown Supersound and Metronomicon Audio.