Studio 209, 3rd Floor
D&J Simons Building
120–150 Hackney Road London
London E2 7QS
+44 (0)20 7033 4466

Polimekanos is a graphic design practice based in London and Vienna. Founded in 2001 by Joseph Kohlmaier and Stefan Kraus, the studio works across a variety of media, from visual identities and books to exhibition design and websites, wayfinding and public realm work, publishing and curatorial commissions. Polimekanos has a reputation for an unusual working method that is research-led – allowing place, history and the immediate context to inform the design process – and at the same time idiosyncratic, open to more unusual references and interdisciplinary, contemporary discourses.


Stefan Kraus


Joseph Kohlmaier


Lisa Stephanides

Stefan Kraus is an independent artist and director of graphic design practice Polimekanos. He worked in London for Imagination, Nick Bell Design and for Duncan Baird Publishers. Before moving to England in 1997, Stefan studied at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saarbrücken in Germany, where he received his degree, and also for one year at the Beaux-Arts de Nancy in France. His main focus of his studies were fine art, art history and design.

Joseph Kohlmaier was born in Vienna, Austria. He founded Polimekanos with Stefan Kraus in 2001. Joseph studied photography at the Schule für Künstlerische Photographie in Vienna and architectural history and theory in London, where he gained a masters degree in 2005 and where is now a Principal Lecturer and Head of Critical and Contextual Studies. He is also the founding director of Musarc, one of London’s most progressive choral collectives.

Lisa joined Polimekanos in autumn 2013. She has a diploma in communication design from die Graphische in Vienna and holds a BA in Design & Interaction from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, London. In 2013, she gained an MA in Book Design at the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading with a focus on art publications and exhibition design. Since autumn 2019 she is based at Polimekanos' office in Vienna and teaching composition and visualisation at die Graphische in Vienna.

Selected Publications

  • ‘If You Could Collaborate: Sebastian Wrong and Stefan Kraus’, It’s nice that, 2011
  • ‘Polimekanos’, Design Week, June 2010
  • ‘Objects of desire: Font Clock’, Grafik, 2007

Teaching and Workshops


Head of Critical and Contextual Studies, The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (Joseph Kohlmaier)


Die Graphische, Vienna, Composition and Visualisation (Lisa Stephanides)


London College of Contemporary Arts, Layout Workshop


The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design. Critical and Contextual Studies in Visual Communication


Die Graphische, Vienna, lecture: On Being a Graphic Designer in London


Identity Design, Camberwell College. In collaboration with Rob Sollis

Colour Dance Workshop, Field Studies, London Metropolitan University


Design Workshop, Escuela de Arte y Superior de Diseño Antonio Lopez, Tomelloso, Spain. Funded by Erasmus


Rhythmic Drawing for Musarc, The Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design


Typography Summer School, London. Rhythmic Drawing and Colour Dance Workshops

Lectures and Talks


Designing for the Public Realm, Camberwell College


Spike Island, Polimekanos Practice Talk


Central St Martins, Polimekanos Practice Talk