Interview with Richard Niessen, from Niessen&DeVries

HdB: Around two months ago I invited you to make a design for this blog. How would you like to introduce your practice to the readers of this blog?

RN: We are Richard Niessen and Esther de Vries, and we officially collaborate as graphic designers from 2008. We both studied graphic design and live and work in Amsterdam. Even though our individual work is visually quite different, we share a strong interest in close collaborations with commissioners – as a way to challenge ourselves to explore new paths. Our work varies from printed matter, exhibitions, textile, and ceramics to other objects, such as coins. Apart from creating commissioned work for (mainly) cultural entrepreneurs we also initiate our own projects, and Esther also runs a small publishing house.
In my own work I go against the grain of the dogma of unambiguity in concept which is prevalent in ‘Dutch Design’. Instead, I am trying to search for multiple layers, I would call it ‘lyrical design’: expressive and fantastic, making use of a rich visual language to address the senses and the intellect. My work is engaged, subjective and personal. It is also spontaneous, I would even say interactive and the meaning is usually ‘sedimented’ in layers. Just like in t