Across Team Thursday’s work, the graphic design studio made up of the fab, fab designers Loes van Esch and Simone Trum, there are a couple of graphic elements you’re guaranteed. Whether it be a visual identity for a cultural event or an exhibition, its work is always colourful, typographically driven and to describe it simply, it’s just refreshingly fun.
Even though Team Thursday have some big clients to boast about, it’s the studio’s smaller projects which explore print that we really love — and they do too. An example of this is Disclosed a poster series they add to every six weeks. Each poster is designed to represent the work of a member of Het Wilde Weten, an artist space in Rotterdam which holds a public event by one member “deriving directly from their artistic practice,” the studio tells It’s Nice That.
Designing a poster every six weeks on top of all the other work Loes and Simone do is no mean feat, and so to make sure it’s consistent, still exciting and most importantly the best it can be, Team Thursday have implemented some design rules. Loosely based on e-mails the pair send to each other and their friends, a poster is designed “as expressive as possible using the design merits of an email programme,” they explain. To do this, each poster is specifically no more than three layers and they spend no longer than two hours designing it. Loes and Simone are also quite rightly trusted in this exercise, never showing the work to Het Wilde Weten until its done, dusted and printed. Each poster “is usually (but not always)” made from one text layer and one pattern using Riso printing “in a very ‘basic’ way,” they explain. “For us, it’s, with this project at least, really more about the swiftness of the action of Riso printing. It feels almost punk in a way. It’s a very fast and cheap way to produce a heap of copies, which is necessary for this project initiated by artists (who don’t have a lot of money) and on a very quick timescale, so the information is delivered to us quite late.”
The pair view making these posters as a “finger exercise,” a hands-on project which is “a nice break from things we work on at the studio”. The act is also physical, using their pal Koen Taselaar’s Riso printer which has no computer connection and only six colour drums but its limitations “is quite fun, it leads us to make unexpected combinations.” Team Thursday also have to copy each layer directly on to the master drum, a “very analogue way of working is something we really appreciate,” they say.
Team Thursday’s eye for colour and printing has also given the studio the opportunity to travel, in particular to South Korea where the pair took part in a residency at MMCA Museum of Contemporary Art Seoul. Last summer Simone spent five months there and Loes two, the length of time allowing them to really get to know the city, becoming fascinated by the graphic design scene in the city and culminating in two events. The first was Seoul City Sampling which saw the studio creating a sample database of patterns developed from “pictures we took of surfaces such as bricks, facades, shop windows and patterned clothing encountered on the streets of Seoul”.
From the beginning of this task the end result was always going to be an exhibition, an aim the pair achieved creating “bojagi-inspired fabric” combining “patterns with words, forming potentially new city facades,” which went on to be shown at Dutch Design Week and a soon-to-be new exhibition in My Monkey gallery in France. On top of this, Loes and Simone also worked on a 12m high wall painting design for a public building, a steel installation in Ilsan Park and an exhibition of posters by South Korean designers presented in their studio in the Netherlands.
Picking up on the graphic design of influences in South Korea evidently spurred the designers on, bringing them home and sharing the communicative language. Holding exhibitions in the Team Thursday studio is also something the pair do regularly, showing their love for sharing, discussing and then building upon graphic design in new ways.
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