Born and raised in Toulouse, France, Thomas Buxó graduated from the Rietveld Academy and spent the last two decades working as an independent graphic designer in Amsterdam for a range of cultural institutions. Since establishing his Amsterdam-based studio, he has collaborated with clients in the field of art, design, or architecture. He has lectured at the ECAL in Lausanne and the Werkplaats Typografie, juried in Valence school of Arts, and visited the MICA in Baltimore as a Guest Professor. In addition to guiding the work of the studio, Thomas has taught at ArtEZ in Arnhem and is currently final degree tutor at the KABK Royal Academy in the Hague. Whether he is hired by art foundations or by artists, whether he initiates projects himself or in collaboration with others, Buxó’s work grows out of the same intense research process. Aesthetics are, in his opinion, a by-product: “designing is telling a story with multiple meanings, out of which a coherent editorial concept can arise.” He is also an avid amateur coder, and tireless FLOSS advocate. Irma Boom: “One of my favorite projects of his is the book Gijs Bakker: Objects to Use. It has a super-clear design concept: the design objects are mixed with candid photographs on a yellow background. The dust jacket has big holes in it to reference Bakker’s work. It is an intelligent and beautifully made book.”

Graphic Design
+Code

ResetOnline/Offline

A Complex Newspaper

Collaboration with Juul Hondius

This oversized newspaper is my reaction to the photographs of Juul Hondius (1970, NL). I asked Juul to send me a list of key words that he associated with his photographs. Randomly picked words were assembled by a software, which then generated sentences, closely following rules of syntax. ’Confusion considers absence’ and ’Some glossy traffics, perhaps’ are just some of the mysterious headlines resulting from the automated editorial process.

ResetOnline/Offline

Jane

A self-referential image

Sinds de ontwikkeling van stromingen zoals conceptuele kunst, body art en performance art in de late jaren zestig, is het domein van de actuele kunst drastisch uitgebreid. In de jaren negentig werd het ‘territorium’van de beeldende kunst nog verder opgerekt en konden niet alleen immateriële ideeën en concepten maar ook dagdagelijkse handelingen zoals diners, voetwassingen en gesprekken tot het domein van de ‘visuele’kunst gerekend worden. Algemeen kan gesteld worden dat dit bij het brede publiek tot een zekere ‘verwarring’ leidt en dat heel wat mensen zich van de hedendaagse kunst afkeren omdat ze simpelweg niet langer begrijpen wat de essentie ervan uitmaakt. Die vraag wil ‘vormgever’ Thomas Buxó aankaarten met zijn project voor de Inkijk. Hij wil hierbij gebruik maken van strategieën en beelden die wel door iedereen onmiddellijk begrepen worden. Sinds korte tijd is in Amsterdam immers het gebruik van grote reclamebanieren op steigers toegestaan en die bepalen op een ingrijpende manier het straatbeeld. Gigantische publiciteitsbanners waarop beeldschone vrouwen en aantrekkelijke mannen parfum, diverse cosmeticaproducten, i-pods en snelle auto’s aanprijzen, domineren de binnenstad. Buxó wil een ‘banner’ontwerpen die qua stijl en beeldgebruik bij deze vorm van publiciteitscampagnes aansluit maar die een van de meest wezenlijke artistieke vragen adresseert namelijk ‘Wat is kunst?’. Het is een welhaast retorische vraag aangezien weinigen – zelfs niet de specialisten binnen het vakgebied – hierop een adequaat antwoord weten te formuleren. Buxó – die hiervoor gaat samenwerken met fotografe Martine Stig – maakt een ontwerp dat onmiddellijk de aandacht trekt, net zo opvallend en aantrekkelijk is als een reclamebeeld en dat tegelijkertijd refereert aan de wezenlijke vraag ‘wat is kunst’. Tegelijkertijd verwijst Buxó op een subtiele manier naar het complexe vergunningenbeleid van de Gemeente Amsterdam met betrekking tot het plaatsen van kunst in de openbare ruimte. De regels en regelingen – wat de Engelsen met de term ‘red tape’ omschrijven – die het realiseren van interessante project in de publieke ruimte vaak omslachtig en moeizaam maken. In the Fall of 2004, during two months, I made the tiny exhibition space de inkijk disappear behind scaffoldings. Lately gigantic advertising banners depicting beautiful women and attractive men, accessories to campaigns for products ranging from cosmetics to i-Pods, are beginning to dominate the city’s landscape. Martine Stig and I reacted by designing a large banner which was spanned across the scaffoldings with an image conform with the prevailing archetypes — except for one big difference: there isn’t any product on sale. Jane, a young model whom at the time hardly had any professional experience, represents nothing but herself. Her oversized portrait by Martine Stig is stripped of any references to a product. It resists interpretation in an urban context subjected to increasing commercialization.

ResetOnline/Offline

Looking At The Other

The video installations of Julika Rudelius (1968, D) combine conventional film and television formats (such as interviews and reality TV). No fictional characters appear in Rudelius’ films yet the scripts read like regular hollywood movie scripts. The lay-out reproduces the monitors set-up, each column representing a monitor. Library Mono, the typeface used for the pages of script, was designed by Laurenz Brunner.

ResetOnline/Offline

Testing The Surface of The Real

A compilation of texts from a series of lectures on the representations and mediations of reality. The book’s cover design hijacks the cover of Surface, an american lifestyle magazine.

ResetOnline/Offline

La Cinca DTE

ResetOnline/Offline

La Cinca AIR

Collaboration with Miklós beyer

A series of shows and performances held between 2002 and 2004 in three different locations in Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, de Veemvloer and Stadschouwburg. Participating artists include Pascale Gatzen, Nira Zaït, Hendrik-Jan Hunneman, Julika Rudelius and Amsterdam-based photographers Anushka Blommers and Niels Schumm.
Self-initiated, collaboration with Miklós Beyer.

ResetOnline/Offline

Material World

400 pages encyclopaedic survey of 150 materials. The cover underlines the materiality of the industrialized bookmaking process. It consists of a transparent plastic film glued directly to the book block resulting in a book apparently left at an unfinished stage.
In collaboration with Sarah Infanger

Lorem Ipsum

Aristotle, Rhetoric 269b

Dolores sic Amet.

Aristotle, Rhetoric 1354a

ResetOnline/Offline

Open

Cahier about Art and the Public Domain

Open (2004–2012) was a cahier about art and the public domain published twice a year in a Dutch and an English edition. Each essay is set in a different typeface. The idea stems from a wire-o bound reader I stumbled upon which consisted of photocopied pages of a seemingly random selection of 20th century novels. Despite the changing fonts – a practically stealth device which the reader is unlikely to notice – Open manages to remain highly legible.
With the assistance of Klaartje van Eijk.

ResetOnline/Offline

Forefront

Shop Window Culture

This book offers an overview of today’s shop window culture. I approached Forefront as if I were putting together an imaginary newspaper, complete with enlarged clippings and double-page spreads. One striking art-direction device enhances the content: chapters end with documentary photographs of windows shattered in protest or looting. The pictures suggest that Forefront’s displays of creativity and consumption are also symbols of power that taunt the deprived.