Being from Belgium I can do nothing but look with envy at our neighbours from the Netherlands with their reputation for outstanding graphic design. Today we take a look at Studio Thonik who even in the middle of all that visual bravado manage to stand out by advocating a “conceptual way of graphic design without style and a minimum of form”.
Thonik are Thomas Widdershoven and Nikki Gonnissen. They lived and worked together since 1993 (first as studio Gonnissen and Widdershoven) and their clients range from museums, libraries and cultural festivals to the city of Amsterdam and the Dutch socialist political party SP. They use a broad array of media with an emphasis on graphic design. Each project is regarded as an opportunity to experiment. They like to do their own thing, to be conceptual artists while working on commission.
Presented here is a sampling of their work and two short interviews with Thomas Widdershoven (both by the French design and visual culture magazine Etapes) in which he explains a bit about the way of thinking and designing that goes on at Studio Thonik.
The following videos are from the French Etapes magazine. Visit their lovely (but almost completely French) site www.etapes.com or check some of their other videos on Vimeo here. (Again, often in French, but not always…)
(Edit: A few days after this was posted, the second video seems to have been changed into a private video, which means I am no longer allowed to show it here but unfortunately you can neither see it directly on Vimeo anymore. A pity. I don’t know where it went, maybe it is available somewhere else? If you would happen to know, please inform me so I can direct people there. I’ll be checking up on it in the future, maybe it’ll come back, who knows? Sorry for the inconvenience.)
More on studio Thonik at www.thonikbyyou.com where you can find some extensive interviews an articles, a lot of them in English, and very worth while.