Jona Rotting from Studio Jona has different approach to design than the other designers we have interviewed before. He tends to create tension between the title and the image he designs and art directs similar to advertising with a humorous twist. Mostly he works with photographer Arjan Benning. A productive partnership that is lasting for many years now. Which started by Jona calling Arjan because he really liked the work Arjan had done for a poster for the Rozen Theater.
What made you start as a designer?
When I was a kid, I loved watching the animated TV bumpers made by Max Kisman. Another influence when growing up is the painter Magritte, he always comes back to me, just like the music of The Beatles. They are just amazing. The simpleness and directness of their work has a huge impact on me.
What do you like about designing posters?
Obviously I love the fact you can see your own work in the city, this makes you feel right at home wherever you are.
When making a concept for a poster, it's a fun puzzle how to make the title and the image work together. As a result I love it when a poster makes your eyes stumble and lets you wonder. I always hope to succeed in this when making one.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything can be inspiration I guess, you can play with anything for that matter right. For me personally it's daily life and the human body, because that's what I feel the most closest to.
What makes a poster a good poster?
I really love it when a poster is visually surprising and has a contrast. This contrast can be purely on the surface, like the use of color or type. But also content wise, for me there has to be a tension somewhere. But then again, there is unfortunately no formula for this...
What are your three favourite (series of) posters - done by someone else?
The Holland Festival and NES posters of Laboratorivm.
Toneelgroep Amsterdam by Anton Beeke.
The collaboration of Anne de Vries and VandeJong for Filmmuseum
They all worked surprising on the streets, hitting your eye and creating a lot of car and bike accidents.
Which designer do you admire and why?
Naming all designers would become way too long for this interview, so I'll just mention the ones that come in mind right now:
- Parra for putting his happy making color and craziness on the street.
- Undog for his intelligent bite with visual precision
- Martin Pyper for his diverse playfulness, continuous high quality and use of esthethics.
- Simon Wald-Lasowski for his incredible humor, straightforwardness and experimental attitude.
What's the most exciting design project you ever worked on?
The most surprising for me was the outcome of the poster for the cabaretduo Droog Brood 'Dat wordt Oorlog' ('This will be war'). The concept was intended to be completley something else; an old woman waiting at home on her birthday for her two sons.
Everything went great during the photoshoot, with nice styling, a perfect model etc. However, at the end of the day the caberatduo came in for a small insert; a little picture of them hanging at the wall behind the woman. Then it happened. The way this duo was suddenly able to smile.... so incredible cheesy and fake... I couldn't help saying out loud that this image itself was maybe enough for the poster. And actually a lot better. So that's what we did, we boldy ignored our previous work and went from there. Less is more right?
What design project are you currently working on?
Currently I'm finishing a poster campaign for the VPRO, a poster for a new cabaret group and I'm developing a new campaign for the Uitmarkt Amsterdam.
See more of Jona Rotting's work at studiojona.nl
This poster project is
an initiative by
He works together with Kim Triesscheijn as
NotJustAnotherTeam . Most of the time they
make communication for brands at Selmore
Besides that they do a lot of other creative stuff.
Like Taaltintels their twitter account. But that is
in Dutch. Check their site.