Nusaé Reflects on a Decade of ‘Harmonisasi/Harmonizing’

by Cindy Julia Tobing
5th June 2024
Graphic design studio Nusaé presents its milestone exhibition, ‘Harmonisasi/Harmonizing,’ in Taman Ismail Marzuki, celebrating the guiding principle of ‘harmony’ through its ten-year journey.

Prominent graphic design studio Nusaé held its milestone exhibition ‘Harmonisasi/Harmonizing’ at Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), a historic place for Indonesian arts and culture in the city. 

Set inside Galeri Emiria Soenassa, it was somehow a fitting location for the Bandung-hailed studio; not only did they help create the wayfinding system for the establishment’s outdoor area, but longtime collaborator and official advisor of the exhibition, celebrated architect Andra Matin, had also designed the revitalised Perpustakaan Cikini—a mainstay feature of TIM—that opened in 2022. 

Intentional or not, it felt like the right place to celebrate the journey of Nusae, whose presence has grown and loomed large in the graphic design industry since their beginning in late 2013. Part of that success is also inseparable from the collaborators that they’ve worked with across disciplines, from architecture firms and fashion houses to government officials; together, they’ve become part of Nusae’s story, creating works together that span from environmental graphic design (EGD) to branding, all rooted in the focus and awareness of harmony. 

Nusae elaborates this principle of harmony into five parts: subtle, adapt, contrast, fusion and aptness. Whether it’s the subtle role that design can assume—or as the studio described it “make an impact without shouting”— as showcased in the seamless wayfinding that Nusae created for Andra Matin’s PRIHAL 2019 exhibition, or the fusion of various perspectives, ideas and roles that bear fruit to a collaboration, as exhibited in the rebranding of Peggy Hartanto’s visual identity in which they incorporated the moon orchid and three-leafed clover to reference the fashion house’s distinct style, harmony becomes the foundational awareness that aligns these creations. 

In one corner, a red-and-white space dedicated to Menuju Tubaba further shows the capacity and scale that Nusae has achieved as a graphic design studio. A new city campaign that heralds a new culture and civilisation for the West Lampung regency, Nusae has been present in the creation of the city’s visual identity and communications since the beginning, creating collaterals from logo, EGD, to the storytelling aspect of Tubaba itself—once again, applying their core value of harmony that stretches not only to the collaborators, but the environment that Tubaba, from the people down to the nature, inhabit. 

At first glance, Nusae’s works might not demand attention, particularly in fields such as environmental graphic design where they could easily blend into the background. However, as society becomes more attuned to how they interact with the spaces around them, Nusae’s role as a graphic design studio becomes crucial in understanding that good design actually seeps seamlessly into everyday life. Harmony, in this context, is the way to achieve that balance, and it’s the path that Nusae continues to walk on with confident steps. 


The exhibition ‘Harmonisasi/Harmonizing’ runs from May 31, 2024 until June 16, 2024 at Galeri Emiria Soenassa in Taman Ismail Marzuki.