A chat with

Roy Terhorst

Roy Terhorst is a designer specialised in graphic and motion design. He likes to experiment and plays with shapes in motion to discover new worlds.

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Since 2012 Roy works at the Amsterdam based design studio thonik. This studio works for clients such as the city of Amsterdam, Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Amsterdam public library (oba), Holland Festival and VPRO.

Here's some of his work 👀

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'Look Love' moving poster, AGI congress, Seoul (Nikki Gonnissen en Roy Terhorst)

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Experimental work (Roy Terhorst)

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'We are what we are, the poster show', moving and static poster, group exhibition, Brugge (Joost Bos en Roy Terhorst)

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Experimental work, currently on show in the solo exhibition 'thonik: why we design' at Power station of Art, Shanghai, 29.03.2019 – 02.06.2019

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Holland Festival, campaign 2018 (thonik)

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Experimental work (Roy Terhorst)


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VPRO, idents (thonik)

Hi Roy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! For starters, what led you into this creative career?

In my late teenage years I ended up at the art school (AKI) in Enschede. For me it was obvious: I had to go study photography. But then I saw my friends at the visual communication department making all this cool stuff with not only photography, but adding text to it, doing layouts and animations on top of it. Then I realised I wanted more. Half way the year I switched and fell totally in love with all the possibilities! A huge playground openend up for me.

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Where do you find inspiration?

Experimenting with new techniques leads to new insights, which can be very inspiring. In general I can say: talking with people who are truly enthusiastic about whatever they are doing inspires me. Besides that, an assignment itself can be a source of inspiration; to make a strong and radical image you need a good concept. Good concepts often are born out of the very essence of the assignment.

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Can you show us how your studio looks like?

Here's an impression of my workspace at Thonik:

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How do you conquer a creative block?

Whenever I get really stuck, I have to stop working on it and pick it up the next day. When I just started I always kept on going for too long, which is never good for the end result. So I try to avoid getting square eyes and ending in a negative spiral of bad ideas. So just stop with what I am doing and pick it up the next day, preferably after a good night of sleep.

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What gives you energy outside of work?

I play guitar and write songs with my band ‘ZERO ZERO ZERO’. Listen to one of our songs below:

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It's super nice to make all the designs too. Sometimes we do live shows. At the moment we are working on ’TEN TEN TEN’, where we experience how we can continue to meet our own standards in extremely limited conditions.

TEN TEN TEN is ten inches of vinyl, containing ten songs, in just ten minutes. That’s one minute per song, on average.

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What are your favourite Instagram accounts?

1. @themovingposters

@themovingposters

2. @montagueprojects

@montagueprojects

3. @dezeen

@dezeen
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What are your three favourite spots in The Netherlands?

1. Kröller-Müller park in spring, Otterlo

2. Cafe Springhaver in autumn and winter, Utrecht

3. My garden in summer, Utrecht

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What have you recently seen that you think is great creative work?

I just stumbled upon posters made by in-house designers of IBM by Ken White, John Anderson, and Tom Bluhm, in the mid 1970’s. They hung across offices to motivate, inform, and entertain IBM employees. What attracts me is the playfulness of each poster: the visual puns, the figurative typography, and the latitude of artistic experimentation.

4 inch Disk Drive & Mile High Arts and Crafts Exhibit by Tom Bluhm
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Any cool projects you're working on yourself right now?

I just came back from a very nice week in Shanghai with thonik, where we opened our new exhibition at the Power Station of Art. For this exhibition we turned the new thonik book ‘Why We Design' into an installation; eleven rooms, eleven projections, eleven reasons why we design. The exhibition focuses on motion graphics, animation and other time-based media. Visitors are invited to submerge themselves in our way of thinking by passing trough the moving images.

'thonik: why we design' at Power station of Art, Shanghai, 29.03.2019 – 02.06.2019
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Can you give one piece of advice to young creatives?

Avoid scrolling through Instagram and liking everything, search for something you really find special and start collecting it by saving the images. This way you develop your own taste and likes and dislikes. It's useful to know a bit of art history, but I think art schools should also teach (graphic) design history. Not only to see what is already done by who and when, but on a more deeper level: to find your own taste.

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Thanks a lot for your time and your answers! Check more work from Roy on his website or Instagram.