Plazm is a creative studio founded in Portland, Ore., in 1991 with the launch of Plazm magazine. As the magazine garnered accolades, it spawned a commercial design and branding firm whose clients have included Nike, LucasFilm, and MTV, along with Northwest businesses and nonprofits such as PICA, the Northwest Film Center, and Fort George Brewery. Together with their clients, the people of Plazm solve problems, tell stories, and seek out truth.
Co-founder Joshua Berger—a creative director, graphic designer, and artist—believes that design can change the world. He was born in the Bronx, raised on Mount Hood, and lived and worked in Portland in the late 1980s, throughout the 1990s and into the new Millennium, helping till the fertile ground that would blossom with Portland’s present-day creative explosion. Josh has won various design awards from the 100 show, Art Director’s Club and the AIGA, among others. His artwork has been shown at The Museum of Sex in New York, PICA’s TBA Festival, and ZGRAF in Zagreb, Croatia, among others. Josh and his family have just moved to Sisters, Ore., and look forward to joining the creative community here. Plazm will now be able to better collaborate with clients and creative partners in the Bend area. Josh is also keen on promoting deeper regional design dialogue throughout the Pacific Northwest through lectures, publications, and events.
Principal Niko Courtelis is a creative director, designer, and filmmaker. A contributor to Plazm magazine beginning with early issues, he co-founded Plazm’s design firm in 1995. After a long stint in New York, he’s delighted to be back in Portland and relaunch Plazm Design. He has taught at his alma mater, Pratt Institute, and currently teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University. A recipient of the One Show Pencil, Art Director’s Club Cube and Young Guns Award, Niko collects postage stamps, typewriters, and vintage perforating machines, and uses them to make artistamps, mail, and correspondence art. His book Philatelic Atrocities was recently published by Kat Ran Press, and his “On Creativity” video series is soon to be serialized by Plazm magazine. He recently founded PDXCC, the Portland Correspondence Co-op. Niko has a daughter and a three-legged turtle.
Plazm magazine is now published by a nonprofit organization, with Josh providing art direction and editorial leadership. The complete catalog of the magazine resides in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Denver Art Museum. Plazm has been listed by ID magazine as one of the 40 most influential design studios in the world and received the Creative Resistance Award from Adbusters.