Meet Esther Noben of TOYKYO
Esther Noben (@esther_toykyo) is the Art Director of @toykyo, a graphic studio based in Ghent, Belgium. We spoke to her about the birth of TOYKYO, her personal design inspiration, and her dream projects.
Check out Esther's awesome giveaway here.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello’s Social Media & Email Manager. If she’s not at the office, she’s probably swimming, getting muddy with her dogs, or baking cookies. The best cookies.
Tell us a little bit about how TOYKYO came to be.
Creative studio TOYKYO was founded in 2006, Ghent, Belgium. It delivers multidisciplinary design and occasionally collaborates with artists on limited-edition art objects.
In 2012 it was time to separate the goods from the graphics to give both passions dedicated focus. Case Studyo was born, led by Mathieu Van Damme. TOYKYO was then a studio set up by a couple of freelancers with a strong background in graffiti and street art. They developed a distinguished recognizable style and were very hands on.
In 2015 I crossed paths with Pointdextr, the main designer in TOYKYO. After a good while working together we decided to establish TOYKYO as a triple partnership between Mathieu, Pointdextr & me.
How did you develop your very distinct aesthetic?
Before TOYKYO I worked by the name EJLN. During a design process for a client, I liked to step away from the briefing to go crazy and excited with the fails & errors in illustrator, making interesting forms and wavy
lines. I started to use it as a style, which I think is forever in process. At TOYKYO we captured that idea of playing. It became our philosophy.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I’m very much inspired by the designers that surround me; Pointdextr, my partner in TOYKYO. His influence definitely made my work a lot bolder and cleaner. Eltipographic, my partner in life. A genius typographer and all-knowing nerd when it comes to tips & tricks in Illustrator.
On Instagram, of course, here are a couple of artists I follow with deep appreciation:
@hansjevanhalem, @dia_studio, @jessedraxler, @hattiestewart, @sergidelgado
What advice do you have for beginning designers?
Stay inspired, open your eyes and keep on failing, ‘cause if you stop failing, you’re not moving the limits.
You do a lot of work with type and quotes – does the quote inspire the font treatment or vice versa?
When a quote is interesting enough to work with, I explore the way it should be presented. I like to work with the wavy type but it doesn't always turn out nice. Then I try something different. The design has to trigger the eye like the words trigger the mind.
What’s a dream project that you’d like TOYKYO to work on?
I’d like to collaborate with a fashion designer, like making a small collection of items we design together stylized with graphics.
What’s something about you that would surprise our readers?
I graduated in Architecture.
You can follow Esther and TOYKYO on Ello, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Behance and LinkedIn.