Awl Editions - How we as a company promote art and make it accessible

28. June 2022 - from Till Könneker

At Apps with love we have created the Awl Editions. Each year, they showcase current works by contemporary artists. The prints, limited to 30 copies, are exclusively gifted to employees and customers.

What we can achieve with the Awl Editions:

  • Promoting contemporary art

  • Exclusive gifts for employees and customers

  • Making art accessible to a wider audience

Kelp by Arden Surdam
Hello by Büro Destruct
Poppopel by U5
Sleeplessly Dreaming II by Vera Mattmann
The Awl Edition 2024

Showing and promoting art

As companies in the creative industries, we are, albeit often unconsciously, users of art. Art is an expression of human existence and reflects social problems and conditions. It can be pleasing, disturbing, stirring or stimulating. Art is also inspiration and material for an entire industry. We therefore see it as our responsibility to promote artistic creation.   

Like many culturally oriented companies, Apps with love has supported culture and art throughout its history, be it with small contributions to productions, auctions for local cultural venues or sponsorship of art events such as the Kornhaus takeover by artists. This has almost always happened through requests from interested parties. The Awl Editions are now a first step towards institutionalizing our support for the arts.

The Apps with love team at the Kornhaus takeover
The Apps with love team at the Kornhaus takeover in an installation by Flurina Hack

Despite the central importance of art, artists are often only viewed from a financial perspective, as beneficiaries of public funds. This is probably also due to the fact that the contribution that art makes to a healthy society is enormous, but remains unclear in tangible terms. Art is usually created without a client or commercial motivation. Artists only receive funding, if at all, when a specific project is in the pipeline or works can be sold. We see the promotion of art and culture as an investment in the society in which we live and work.

The Awl Edition 2023

Selection of the artists

For Apps with love, it was important for the Awl Editions to represent an exciting range of contemporary art, photographic and illustrative works, but also object art and performance.

Vera Mattman / Arden Surdam / U5 / Büro Destruct

Laura Signer / Marina Lutz / Andrea Francesco Todisco / Michael Etzensperger


The artists of Awl Editions 2022 are the performance and video artist duo BiglerWeibel, the illustrator Paula Troxler, the transdisciplinary artist Vanessa Ohlhausen and the artist duo Huber.Huber.

Kirschblüten by Huber.Huber
"Open your sky" by Paula Troxler
"Nidation" by BiglerWeibel
"Patchwork Identity" by Vanessa Ohlhausen
The limited Awl Edition prints 2022
  • More about "Nidation" by BiglerWeibel

    The work shows a multitude of white boxes in which six figures have nested. The figures are multiples of the two protagonists. Some seem comfortable in their boxes, for others it remains unclear whether they want to fit in or wriggle out. The work focuses on the subtlety and individuality of the theme of comfort and discomfort in relation to one's own body.

  • More about "Patchwork Identity" by Vanessa Ohlhausen

    What does it mean for identity-promoting objects in the body-related environment (especially jewelry) if being human under postmodern living conditions is increasingly understood through transpersonality?

    If identity is defined as an integrated bundle of identifications, then it is clear that identity can only ever be a section of something more comprehensive.

    In Western society, the human being is defined as an individual person with an inherent "self". This understanding undermines the transpersonal and collective nature of human beings. According to psychoanalyst Roman Lesmeister, social reality and the Western concept of human beings are at odds. Human values are increasingly defined by independence, unconditionality and flexibility. It is striking that belonging and identity are often foregone in the process of self-development. The effects of such innovations affect people's self-image and the design of objects in their environment. The work Patchwork Identity reflects on identity formation and object design under postmodern living conditions.

  • More about "Open your sky" by Paula Troxler

    For me, the sky or the stars are destiny or the stars know more about how our path will be. However, there are many stars and it is always the way we look at "life" or what we see or pick out. So the sky or what falls to us (destiny) is in our hands, we can shake it or "open" it or widen it or stretch it, lengthen it... in doing so we get a wider horizon and see more things.

Production cycle

Our approach is as holistic as possible. We pay the artists for a work that we then have printed by an art print shop. This results in high-quality prints that can be integrated into the artists' overall oeuvre. Work is generated for the entire production cycle. The recipients of the art are also part of this cycle, making art and its value visible.

Tom Blaess in his Print Shop in Bern
Tom Blaess' printshop
Detail view Tom Blaess imprint
Printed and packed works
In the print shop of Tom Blaess

Art for employees and customers

Giving employees a small gift or at least a card on their birthday is probably a tradition in most companies, but we lacked an institutionalized and sustainable concept that would give employees something truly unique every year. Thanks to Awl Editions, our employees now receive an exclusive, limited edition and signed art print every year, turning them into art collectors themselves.

BiglerWeibel signing their prints
Paula Troxler und Hunber.Huber signing their prints
Vanessa Ohlhausen signs her work
The Awl Edition artists signing the prints

An initiative of the «Amt für Ermöglichung»

The responsibility of the creative industries as art exploiters is one of the initiatives of the Amt für Ermöglichung (AFE).

In Germany at the end of the 1970s, after protracted cultural policy disputes, artists freed themselves from their dependence on galleries and founded the «Künstlersozialkasse». A model in which responsibility is not left solely to the market and the public sector. Art users such as publishers, museums, galleries, concert organizers, theaters and the media must pay a social security contribution, which is then used to fund the Artists' Social Security Fund together with contributions from the federal government.

The Amt für Ermöglichung is working to improve the conditions for artists and cultural workers. The non-profit association aims to raise awareness, promote altruistic action and develop new solutions for the promotion of culture. It supports individuals, institutions and companies in distributing funding transparently and unbureaucratically and helps to develop models that offer benefits for everyone.

More on art and value

Creative economy for the arts

We are excited to see how this project develops and look forward to getting to know many more artists and their works. We are convinced that companies from the creative industries should make a contribution to promoting art and culture.

As you can see from the Awl Editions, this support can also be approached very creatively and provide added value for everyone involved. This form of art in companies could also work with other art forms such as music, where companies support recordings or concert tours and receive an exclusive office concert in return, for example. We and the Amt für Ermöglichung are also happy to support other companies that want to get involved in art and culture.

"Revolting Puppets" concert in the Apps with love office
"Revolting Puppets" concert in the Apps with love office
Office concert by the band Revolting Puppets
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