Welcome! We are What The, an Amsterdam-based design studio with ties in Barcelona. Our concept-driven approach to design and visual communication translates into countless shapes, formats and environments.
We designed the website and visual identity for Plant22, a new creative co-working space in Amsterdam-West. The fullscreen website is a visual translation of the space itself. While reflecting the architecture and interiorism features of the space, the website design also expands the original Plant22 logo to create a dynamic, bold and playful visual identity that positions the co-working space as a unique and vibrant place. The result is a highly comfortable and intuitive website that goes beyond web design standards. The visual language created for the website is further extended to promote Plant22 throughout social media.
Client: Plant22 / Tim BoelaarsYear: 2017Web development: Gregory Bolkenstijn
Visual system and campaign developed for Dekmantel Festival 2016, including photography treatments, posters, artists online promo and entrance tickets.
Working very closely with the Amsterdam-based record label and DJ collective Dekmantel, and taking the global reach of Dekmantel's audience into account, we created the visual system that was applied to a strong online campaign, which was accompanied by a poster campaign in the city of Amsterdam.
Client: Dekmantel FestivalYear: 2016Project made at a design team at Thonik
Concept, design and photography art direction of the campaign image for Something Raw – International Dance and Performance Festival.
Clients: Frascati Theater / De Brakke GrondYear: 2015Photograhy: Arjan BenningModels: Andrius, Evelyne and JessyProject made at Designpolitie
Amsterdam Roots Festival
Campaign concept and design for Amsterdam Roots Festival, a world music and circus festival existing for +35 years and taking place every summer in various indoor and outdoor locations. Colorful birds are used as a metaphor of summer, open air, and the great merge of cultures brought by an extensive line-up of artists from all over the world.
Client: Amsterdam Roots FestivalYears: 2014 – 2017Photography: Benning&Gladkova (in 2016 and 2017)Project made at Designpolitie
Power Station of Design
Visual identity proposal for the Power Station of Design (psD) in Shanghai, China.The Power Station of Design consists of four spaces –exhibition, workshop, café and store–, being the entrance to each space a retractable 'telescope' that connects the inside and the outside spaces. This is the starting point from where to build a dynamic visual system where 'D' for Design is in constant evolution, searching for the new and playfully exploring boundaries.Client: Power Station of ArtYear: 2016Animation: Simon François Project made at a design team at Thonik
Campaign for Makers Unite's solidarity project Re-vest life, aiming to connect refugees with locals, and to clean the environment at the same time. The initiative reuses refugee life vests to produce ribbons for raising awareness on the refugee cause and empower newcomers. Re-vest life was kicked off during Dutch King's Day in 2016, calling attention through a huge typographic installation made out of refugee life vests, a photo call and posters around the city.Client: Makers Unite / re-vestlife.orgYear: 2016Project made at a design team at Thonik
What Design Can Do
Visual identity, all-round campaigns, event design and editorial design for the international design event What Design Can Do, based in Amsterdam and São Paulo.Far from being a classical design conference, What Design Can Do is a call for action. It takes an activist role by tackling the most pressing issues of our time –such as the refugee crisis or climate change– through inspiring talks and workshops.What Design Can Do looks ugly and urgent, because design is not just about aesthetics but, most importantly, it is about solutions. This shouty, unexpected identity for a design event positions What Design Can Do as one-of-a-kind in the international design scene.Client: What Design Can DoYears: 2011 - 2017Project made at Designpolitie
Visual identity and communication of COLORS, an office supplies shop from Barcelona that focuses in paper and print materials and services.The corporate identity relays upon a pictogram system and typeface that visually unifies the great diversity of products, brands and services. A different background color is used for each section at the shop. The simplicity of the system leads to a direct and clear communication, as well as it breathes carefulness, optimism and playfulness.Client: COLORS BarcelonaYear: 2017
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
Communication campaigns for Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam). The museum's visual identity was built by Thonikin 2003 taking Lance Wyman’s Mexico 1968 Olympic Games typeface as starting point from where to set a similar typeface. This project shows the creation of concepts and imagery for several artists and campaigns at Boijmans, expressing the core theme(s) of each exhibition through the typeface.
Client: Museum Boijmans van BeuningenYears: 2014–2016Project made at a design team at Thonik
Communication campaigns, website and editorial design for Frascati Theater, the off-Broadway theatre of Amsterdam. Frascati's program, filled with innovative theatre and dance performances, is daily spread across diverse off- and online media; this wide variety of formats is designed in a style that has remained fresh and timeless for quite some years, achieving both great coherence throughout the identity and a strong capacity to highlight what's new in the theatre's agenda.
Client: Frascati TheaterYears: 2010 – 2017Projects made at Designpolitie
The Royal Conservatoire of the Hague
Restyle of the visual identity of the Koninklijk Conservatorium, the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. The typefaces of the former visual identity –Vectora and Kon Con hieroglyph– were the starting point from where to set up a new visual system. A set of rules allows to organize layouts with a clear and fresh outlook, and yet creates rhythm and a sort of musicality along the texts.
Client: The Royal Conservatoire of the HagueYear: 2015Projects made at a design team at Thonik
Amsterdam Biennial 2019
Book and infographics design for Manifesta's proposal to initiate an Amsterdam Biennial of architecture, design and art in 2019. In order to get the funds needed to make it happen, Manifesta elaborated the diverse aspects of the project, collected in this book.With the purpose of immersing the reader into the watery surroundings of Amsterdam, the design of the book uses unevenly cut, waving, pages. A whole system for displaying the content would follow, triggering the curiosity to turn the page and keep reading. This, together with the color set and typographic choices, created a rich and dynamic visual language that would communicate the artistic and innovative aspects of Manifesta's project.
Client: ManifestaYear: 2016Project made at a design team at Thonik
Campaign series for a set of festivals organised by Frascati Theater under its label Frascati Issues, with a program that connects theatre and performance with societal issues, such as: refugees, privacy, gender, mental illness, individuality and collectiveness, etc. These themes are explored through theater, dance, talks, debates, installations and other types of performing arts.For the campaigns, the visuals are created on a ‘template’ of a human portrait, which is intervened in different ways depending on the theme of each edition.
Client: Frascati TheaterYears: 2014–2015Project made at Designpolitie
De Appel Arts Centre
De Appel Arts Centre is an Amsterdam-based international institution for contemporary art organising exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures and gatherings that cross boundaries with regards to artistic and discursive disciplines.
These are a few examples of the campaign work created for artists such as Saskia Noor van Imhoff, for whose exhibiton #+21.00, we created an outdoor campaign consisting of a four-poster series –cyan, magenta, yellow and black– inviting the viewers to reflect upon the concepts that Saskia further explores in her exhibition; or for artists Melanie Gilligan and Michael Dean, for whose campaign image De Appel's apple was split for the first time to shout out announcing the exhibitions.
Client: De Appel Arts CentreYear: 2016Project made at a design team at Thonik
Hirigintza eta Generoa
Architect Irantzu Ibañez's essay Hirigintza eta generoa (Urbanism and Gender) raises awareness on the urban voids of our cities as a potential starting point from where to build spaces that are gender equal. The urban voids Irantzu refers to are translated into visible voids along the text. The essay's fresh tone of voice is accompanied by a custom-made HG display typeface.
Client: Irantzu IbáñezYear: 2016
Stories Collective is an online platform filled with inspiring fashion stories. For the story 'Subjective Experience' we created the visual concept and layout enhancing both the theatrical poses and the strongly static compositions of the photographs. This was done by framing the pictures and by elevating them with graphic totems, while relating them with Game Boy (Tetris) aesthetics.Client: Stories CollectiveYear: 2017Photography: Marie CanianiStyling: Eva SilatsaMake up: Fanny DépeeHair: Brigitte MeirinhoModel: Nina K at Mary Lin AgencyStyling assistant: Kenza Kaci Sebbagh
Imaginary landscapes transported into blankets, comforters, duvet covers, pillows and carry-all pouches. These abstract landscapes strongly interlace geometric elements with organic forms, exploring the repetition and difference of such graphic elements to create dreamy landscapes.
Self-initiated projectYear: 2017
Re:Story is a concept for a digital platform where urban refugees around the world can share their stories, connect to other refugees and become visible for local communities. Re-story presents the stories in a very accessible way, through simple layout and user-friendly navigation, and the profile of each storyteller is defined by a color, a font and a name. The double purpose of Re:Story is to tear down clichés around refugees by feeding readers with first-hand stories about survival, and to provide refugees a space where their voices can be heard.
Self-initiated projectYear: 2016
*This project is under construction. If you want to help, participate or know more about it, please drop us an email: email@example.com
A selection of commissioned and independent illustrations for various media and events. Most of these are visual comments on current affairs such as climate change, politics, social media or migrations.
Clients: De Groene Amsterdammer, Greenpeace Magazine, De Volkskrant, Best Verzorgde Boeken & some personal workYears: 2011 – 2017Some of the illustrations were made at De Designpolitie, under the agency's collective project and pseudonym Gorilla.