Interview & images by Sarah Blake
As I entered the Vormlust studio, I immediately resonated with the bright , and boldly coloured interior, displayed with trinkets, work from their past projects, and some Spice Girls posters (for good measure). Their studio was brilliantly cohesive with what I knew of their work, and their 90’s inspired style, which brought a sense of nostalgic comfort, as I sat down to chat with Vormlust duo, Romy Brand and Boyd Koers.
Romy and Boyd started their graphic design studio, Vormlust, 3 years ago. After working long hours alongside their other jobs, they are now full time with it.
I asked how they got themselves out there, and started to get clients and projects. Romy and Boyd started; ‘Straight out of interning for Rotterdam’s creative firm ‘75b’, we were asked to work on projects for ‘Revolt’ and very quickly, we were designing the artwork for multiple parties and festivals including ‘Vrije Volk’.
They continued in saying; ‘We took a very direct approach in getting clients, using contacts, and going to people with confidence saying, ‘we want to work on this project’. We wanted to see our work everywhere’.
Now, Vormlust’s signature eye-catching style is being seen in various campaigns for parties, festivals, big companies (such are their latest campaign with Lebara) and one for The Gemeente Utrecht. The variation of these project shows what the reiterated, that they do not not want to just go down one avenue. ‘We are still coming into our style, we want to be adaptive and continue to grow’.
I asked about the artwork of the pigeons that the duo created for We Own Rotterdam. Romy and Boyd responded by telling ‘ the pigeon idea, was originally pitched to be the artwork for Expedition festival, when we worked on that in 2016. However, the organisers wanted to run with a more mature theme for the festival. We still really liked the idea, and we weren’t sure what to submit for We Own Rotterdam, but we went with that idea again, and we’ve gotten great reactions from it’.
Boyd and Romy continued to explain ‘pigeons are very representative of the city of Rotterdam, with all of the grey concrete, and pigeons are a kind of ‘symbol’ of the city. The outfits worn by the pigeons represent the people you meet in Rotterdam’ . Romy explained; ‘we drew inspirations from people we saw when out on the streets, scanning crowds forideas and and analysing the people around us. Always being alert’. Boyd called Rotterdam a ‘city of contradictions’ which is represented in the artwork. ‘In Rotterdam you see so many different people, with alternating cultures, mentalites and lifestyles. The Gays next to the Muslims, all nationalities, all living together’.
We all agreed that there was also a comical aspect to the design, The Feyenoord fan, the Susan Bijl bag and the pigeon with fries. Romy and Boyd; ‘Everyone can recognise themselves in the pigeons and that makes it fun for people’.
In talking about the inspiration for their style for Vormlust, Romy and Boyd told me ‘We are both 90’s kids, so you could say that style is in our DNA. The times of using Paint, going on MSN, watching VPRO. To us, that time was more fun for style. More colourful, the toys, the tv, the clothes’.
I asked was this more to do with the era of the 90’s, or of their childhood. They expressed, ‘It’s a bit of both. There was a freedom of thinking to do whatever you want, to go crazy. Which is what we want to be able to do with our design. Children want to be constantly entertained, and discovering new things, and we want to continue that feeling. Design shouldn’t be boring’.
We went on to discuss their work for BAR Rotterdam and how their designs were seen all across the city for that project. Also, I disclaimed that I, along with many others took their posters down from the walls of Bar on the closing weekender, to take home as memorabilia of the beloved venue. Romy continued ‘We hung those posters ourselves, we told ourselves we had to, for the last weekend. So, having the idea very last minute, we ran down with them, and hung all of the posters we made for the year, on the wall’. They then Kindly offered to give me a fresh poster, and disclosed, ‘We are now busy working on a new project for Bar, which will be seen soon’.
I went on to ask what they were planning for the future, and if they were going to work on any autonomous projects soon. ‘Right now, we don’t have any time to work on autonomous projects, but that is a goal of the future, to make some merch, videos and other stuff’. Boyd went on to say, ‘Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be so busy. This is what I dreamed of, but it’s definitely a goal to work on some of our own stuff.
Thanks to Romy and Boyd for the interview, it was a blast to chat with you both. We’ll be keeping an eye out for Vormlust, you can check their website here to see more of what they are working on http://vormlust.com/ or check out their instagram