How to communicate with Christoph Niemann

If you read the New York Times blog “Abstract City,” then you know him by name. If you’ve ever looked at a cover of The New Yorker you’ve probably seen his work. And if you’ve done neither then perhaps you can at least appreciate when a bathroom is clearly marked “Men” or “Women;” If you do you share a fundamental principle with designer, illustrator and art director Christoph Niemann. Like a good comedian, Neimann’s deceptively simple designs have a way of presenting common knowledge in a new and interesting way. Of course, an intuitive sense of color and composition don’t hurt.

His approach to any project is equally straightforward and nothing, not even an ornery client can get him bent out of shape. In fact, listening to him speak you wonder if this guy gets frazzled by anything. But I suppose it’s that kind of clear thinking that produces work of equal clarity. His ability to sort through complex problems and information is as envious as it is refreshing. You can see him at work in Abstract City, or in Gestalten’s new release “Data Flow 2,” which is far more stimulating than its textbook title would suggest.