The work of the Vienna-based graphic designer Willi Schmid (born 1963) is marked by the highly individual way in which he connects such contrasting concepts as semantic and sensuality, visual grammar and physical presence. While Schmid’s work investigates the potential of pure design to make a statement, he is equally interested in – and makes very conscious use of – the emotional dimension of such factors as colour. This position, coupled with the fact that he acts as an interpreter rather than a mere translator of artistic intention, makes him a favourite partner of such artists as Thomas Baumann and Tobias Pils. Schmid’s approach results in catalogues marked by courageously conceptual decisions whose unusual formats and refined details give a sense of opulence and sensuality despite – or perhaps precisely because of – the often very limited circumstances of their production. A graduate of the famous “Werkplaats Typografie” programme in Arnhem, Schmid has an undogmatic, free-spirited approach, despite his extensive typographical experience. This was demonstrated in his redesign of the visual identity of the “Wiener Secession”, (2006-2008) in which he replaced the modernist master design with a wealth of fonts and new formats of printed material which could be interpreted with a high degree of individuality depending upon the contents of any individual exhibition. His latest publication, “Amour Fou” by Gerhard Fischer, was awarded the “Staatspreis 2010”.