The publishing label Slanted Publishers has received the “Kölner Klopfer” 2021, which is awarded annually to outstanding designers from students at the Köln International School of Design (KISD). This year’s honorees are Julia Kahl and Lars Harmsen, owners of the independent German publishing label Slanted Publishers.

They are best known for the biannual magazine “slanted” and the blog “,” which cover topics related to typography, graphic design, photography, illustration and art. Julia Kahl and Lars Harmsen have created a platform in the design field that presents the work of designers from all over the world. With their issues focusing on a city’s design scene, they draw attention to the work of designers who are often less well known in Germany. Through the publishing label ‘Slanted Publishers’ they publish their own books and also make their platform available to other book authors and designers who want to publish for a design-interested audience. Recently, they launched their year-long publishing experience for newcomers and first-time publishers in collaboration with Kickstarter.

Julia Kahl and Lars Harmsen were nominated with Slanted by KISD student David Wiesner:

“Slanted publications have accompanied and guided my path into communication design. They were a window into a world I wanted to be a part of. Now their work continues to inspire me.“

This year’s award ceremony will be accompanied by an exhibition showcasing the developments and various periods of Kahl and Harmsen’s sixteen-year publishing history.The award ceremony and exhibition was designed by Akari Shimizu, David Wiesner, Marco Puzik, and Marvin Senarath.

The “Cologne Thumper“

Students of the Köln International School of Design (KISD) have again nominated winners for this year’s Kölner Klopfer. On November 3, the winners were honored at a first-time hybrid award ceremony. 

In the 20th anniversary year of the „Cologne Thumper”, the award ceremony is accompanied by an exhibition in which the works of the winners can be seen. Since 1996, KISD students have been awarding the “Kölner Klopfer” to designers every year. This award recognizes outstanding individuals or groups who, in the opinion of the student body, have rendered outstanding services to design. The selected candidates for the „Cologne Thumper“ were presented at a general assembly and put to the vote in a secret ballot. Among the previous award winners are: Erik Spiekermann, Axel Kufus, Droog Design, Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Motoko Ishii, John Maeda, James Auger, Heinz Bähr, Stefan Sagmeister, Ingo Maurer, Dieter Rams, Erik Kessels, R. & E. Bouroullec, Eike König, Jerszy Seymour, Sarah Illenberger, Mike Meiré and Henrik Vibskov.  



03.11. – 05.11.21
Köln International School of Design
room 11, Ubierring 40
50678 Cologne