Founded in 2012 by Kimberly Varella, Content Object (C/O) is an award-winning, Los Angeles-based design studio that produces content-driven, object-oriented work specializing in book design. C/O’s projects build from a foundation of traditional printmaking, durational methodologies, and conceptual art—teetering the lines between play, resistance, academia, formalism, and a distinct take on materiality.

Working with diverse clients and collaborators including major museums, archives, artist-driven spaces, and community non-profits, C/O is artist and client responsive. C/O approaches all our projects through an ethos of conversation, collaboration, generosity, and experimentation.

C/O and Kimberly Varella have been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), AIGA & Design Observer 50 Books | 50 Covers, and the Book Industry Guild of New York, among others. Varella’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, Cooper Hewitt Design Quarterly, KCET Artbound, and AIGA’s Eye On Design. She holds an MFA in art from the California Institute of the Arts (1999) and a BFA in printmaking and new genres from the San Francisco Art Institute (1996). She was a Visiting Lecturer in the UCLA Design Media Arts program in 2016. With Robby Herbst, she is the co-founder of the micro-gallery Reading Ours.


Contact
tel: 213 235 6278
fax: 866 706 3092
email: co@content-object.com


Selected Clients
Armory Center for the Arts
Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College
Bridge Projects
Colby College Museum of Art
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Hammer Museum
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
ICA Philadelphia
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
LA Phil
Llano Del Rio Collective
Machine Project
MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology
MOCA
ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Original Beans
Pomona College Museum of Art
Princeton University Art Museum
Prospect New Orleans
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery


Press & Recognition

2021
Life Magazine and the Power of Photography
Winner of College Arts Association Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award


2020
Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe
Culture Type Picks: 15 Best Black Art Books of 2020

Life Magazine and the Power of Photography
BBC: Life magazine: the photos that defined the US

Nineteen Nineteen
Communication Arts (CA) Design Annual: Books

Nineteen Nineteen
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL): RBMS Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab Exhibition Catalogue Awards

Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It
The Art Newspaper: What is the curator Chrissie Iles reading during lockdown?


2019
Phillip K. Smith III: 10 Columns
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Nineteen Nineteen
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Association for Latin American Art

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
ARTnews: The Most Important Art Exhibitions of the 2010s

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Association for Latin American Art (ALAA): ALAA-Avery Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award


2018
Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Association of Art Museum Curators

Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100
ADC: Merit in Publication Design

Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100
Communication Arts (CA) Design Annual: Books

Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100
Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY): Gold, Category “West-Pacific – Best Regional Non-Fiction”

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
X-TRA: The Worlds Los Angeles Maricóns and Malfloras Made

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
American Alliance of Museums (AAM): Museum Publication Design Competition

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC): Award for Excellence for a Catalogue

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
American Alliance of Museums, 2018

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY): New York Book Show, First Prize, Category "Special Trade: Fine Art – Under $75 Cover/Jacket"

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY): New York Book Show, Second Prize, Category "Special Trade: Fine Art – Under $75"

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
International Latino Book Awards: First Prize, Best LGBTQ Themed Book

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
International Latino Book Awards: Second Prize, Best Art Book

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
PRINT: PRINT Regional Design Awards Regional Winner

Machine Project: The Platinum Collection (Live by Special Request)
X-TRA: Artist-as-Consultant, Monograph-as-Transparency

Hayv Kahraman
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
International Latino Book Awards

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Los Angeles Times: An exhibition on L.A.'s queer Chicano networks shows how California artists connected with the world

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Print Magazine Regional Design Annual


2017
Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Machine Project: The Platinum Collection (Live by Special Request)
AIGA Eye on Design: The Challenge of Making a Book for a Group Who Host Plays With All-Dog Casts

Machine Project: The Platinum Collection (Live by Special Request)
Los Angeles Times: Iconic alt-art space Machine Project launching retrospective book with a free 'extravaganza’

Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense
AIGA Eye on Design: L.A. Studio Content Object Explores “That Grey Area” Between Art and Design

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
AIGA Eye on Design: L.A. Studio Content Object Explores “That Grey Area” Between Art and Design

Machine Project: The Platinum Collection (Live by Special Request)
AIGA Eye On Design


2016
New York Times: New Print Technologies Help Art Books Survive in a Digital World

Made in L.A. 2014
Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense, Eye Magazine: String Theory

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
New York Times: Cooper Hewitt’s Triennial Asks: What Makes Something Beautiful?

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
Architectural Digest: Beauty, According to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
Print Magazine Regional Design Annual

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
Cooper Hewitt Design Quarterly: Beauty: A Meta-Exploration


2015
Made in L.A. 2014
Huffington Post: MutualArt’s Top 10 Art Books of 2014

Made in L.A. 2014
AIGA & Design Observer: 50 Books | 50 Covers Winner

Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989
Culture Type: 11 Best Black Art Books of 2014