Although when he first discovered the world of graphic design, Jordy Ringeling wanted to “make cool Photoshop collages and show off the new brush sets I had downloaded,” his practice has now developed into something much more intricate and perceptive. Having studied the subject at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, he “quickly became attracted to the cultural responsibility of the designer, the real world implications it can have, and the ideas you can push through visual communication”. Now based in Haarlem in the Netherlands, Jordy’s work reinterprets the obscure, producing meticulously researched projects that span editorial design, identities and digital work.
“Really anything in the science fiction genre,” he responds when asked about his references and inspirations. “It’s a genre that attempts to speculate on potential consequences of innovation. This has always been a fruitful ground for my work, in which I love to explore the different modes of storytelling that science fiction narratives often present.”
Nowhere is his interest in the genre clearer than on inspection of his graduation project, Extinction. Building a speculative narrative, Jordy’s thesis suggests that it’s “possible to tackle climate change through modes of celebration”. Extinction makes reference to the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, a real-world organisation that celebrates both the life and death of humanity. “This group proposes an alternative solution for the decaying of our Earth (global warming, climate change, etc) by dying out, not through reproducing,” Jordy explains.
Taking this somewhat macabre concept as his basis, Jordy magnified the ideals of this small movement and speculated on the implications of their vision on our media landscape; through four future television broadcasts. “The channels show different voices that present news, advertisements, products, live-streams and counter-movements through technologically advanced interfaces,” he adds. Through this medium, Jordy was able to experiment with a range of aesthetics and, by introducing an evangelical tone, argue that most religions celebrate death through the after-life, reincarnation or festive funeral rituals.
What Extinction demonstrates so well is Jordy’s thorough approach to design. Not content with aesthetics, he builds entires worlds that convey his concepts. This can also be seen in his project Good Work, a photography exhibition which demonstrates the second facet of his practice: collaboration. Made in tandem with Yacinth Pos, the project visually represents the 33 participating photographers of an exhibition who were all in the early stages of their projects.
Creating an A1 catalogue which folds out to be double-sided, Jordy and Yacinth documented each photographer’s process and sketches, presenting them as archaeological and anthropological findings in a visual exploration of trying to find “good work”. “As this term is often treated as a definable quality, we sought out to find a physical form for this frequently used measure, while speculating that the answer lies in subjective elements like emotional value, individual experiences and other personal definitions,” Jordy explains, “The posters show our attempts to measure these elements.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.