Featured Studio

Studio Bureau

March 2020

We caught up with Thijs van Dalen & Frans van Ditzhuijzen, founders at Studio Bureau, to chat about how they named their practice something memorable, some amazing creative people and spaces to look up in Rotterdam, and how not to get stuck in a metaphorical traffic jam with your ideas.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

We both studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. After our graduation we worked separately from each other, working for some different companies to gain experience in the field of graphic design. Thijs worked in the infographics and art direction department of the Dutch newspaper Trouw, and Frans worked as a graphic designer for branding agency Dutchy Design in Amsterdam. Outside of our jobs, we started working together on projects in our spare time. After some time the projects became bigger and bigger, so we decided to quit our jobs and start our own design practice, named Studio Bureau.

How did you name your practice and what does the name represent to you?

Firstly, we think that the name Studio Bureau sounds great. The name Studio Bureau has no deep meaning, but for us, it symbolises working together as a duo. We've noticed that the name also has something humorous about it, which helps people remember us. We decided not to work under our own (last) names because there are already a lot of those kinds of studio names; we wanted something new.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Studio Bureau is an all-round creative agency that believes in the power of great ideas. We use these ideas to move our clients forward. Through a consistent approach, we ensure the best balance between aesthetics and communication.

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We ensure the best balance between aesthetics and communication.

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What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When we started working together, we both were interested in a metaphor by Erik Kessels, from the Dutch newspaper Parool:

“Everyone is driving on the highway with their ideas and getting stuck in traffic jams, while there are many more interesting ideas to be found on the side roads.” Erik Kessels (05-11-2016, Het Parool).

We still think that this is a great angle to look at new projects or ideas from.

Is there an active design community in your city and who are your favorite top 5 designers/studios/organizations our readers can check out?

Rotterdam is booming in the last few years — we think that's because this city houses a lot of great creative people and institutions. So it's hard to make a choice! But five things from Rotterdam to have a look at are:

The architects at ZUS

het Nieuwe Instituut (They also host the interesting lecture series ‘Thursday Night Live!’)

The designers/artists of Rotganzen

Discover the city during the festivals Motel Mozaïque or Rotterdamse Daken Dagen

Contemporary art space TENT

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Our best work is made in close collaboration with our clients. An example of a great collaboration is the work that we make for the Conservatory of Rotterdam. A great client to work for, and of course every designer loves to work on a project that is related to music.

We'd also like to mention is the poster campaign we developed for the Brand New Jazz Festival. The campaign image is a visual encounter between old and new jazz. We used the concept of improvisation to give each individual poster a unique (handmade) visual and rhythmic appearance.

Website: studiobureau.nl

Instagram: @studio.bureau

Twitter: @StudioBureau1

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