broos stoffels

Broos Stoffels

22 June, 2015

How would you sum up what you do in a sentence?

I’m a graphic designer with a strong focus on poster, identity and information design.

What’s the most exciting thing about the design industry today?

The fact that technology is evolving so fast makes designers be able to work with a lot of new media, and evolve with it. This opens up the boundaries in-between design disciplines.

You have a range of personal projects and professional work, what are the differences in the way you approach them?

When I work on something personal I can keep shaping it. As I am my own client in a way, it’s difficult to be strict and call a project finished. I’d say I prefer assigned projects as I have input of an outsider, mostly people who have no knowledge of design at all. These collaborations pull me out my comfort zone and give a lot of inspiration.

What are some challenges you face? 

There’s currently an overload of graphic designers. It’s of course an awesome job and logically a lot of people are willing to become one. That creates a lot of competition in the industry and drives designers to pitch-based or low-budget assignments. The main challenge is to stand out and create something new each time, to surprise both the client and yourself in the end.

What drives your creative process?

It may sound cheesy but I like to add some sort of beauty to things. I find it important to see typography well used in the street. The fact that I can shape something is already very rewarding but doesn’t fully satisfy me. I like to create new forms with a witty angle.

How do you feel your practice has changed or evolved over time? 

I’d say I tend to use more illustrations in my work instead of photography as I feel more in control when I’m drawing. I have narrowed my key interests in graphic design as well.

I’m also exploring different new media and try to involve these in my practice. I also really liked working hands-on while I was working on my Decap Drawing Device and will definitely go back to this.

broos stoffels
broos stoffels

What tools do you use?

I always start with pen and paper, in form of a sketchbook or just a piece of scrap paper that’s lying around. It’s an easy and effective way to visualise my first thoughts and see whether they’re working well. After sketching, I develop my designs with the Adobe Creative Suite.

I’m working with Illustrator a lot and try to master as much of its tools as possible. In this way my ideas won’t be blocked by technical limits.

broos stoffels

What up-and-coming artists/designers should we be looking at?

One of my ambitions is to draw a graphic novel once, unfortunately I’m not a very good storyteller. In this way I look up to illustrators and graphic novelists mainly. Belgium has a great comic culture luckily, starting with my all time hero, Hergé, the author of Tintin. I’m really fond of his ‘Clear line’ style, which inspires me to reduce shapes to the essence of the form.

For up-and-coming artist I’d recommend my friend Lukas Verstraete, he’s a Belgian illustrator, who graduated last year at St. Lucas together with me. His illustrations are fluid and dynamic and very colorful. I’m also fond of the work of the Dutch illustrator Tim Enthoven, his drawings are absolutely flawless. Every detail is taken care of, a big contrast to another hero of mine Olivier Schrauwen whose illustrations are rough and wild.

In graphic design, I look up to Daniel Eatock, a British graphic designer. Although he’s not up-and-coming, his work keeps evolving and super innovative. What he does is really humorous and clever. Last summer at the student Biennial of graphic design in BRNO, I saw the work of Jan Novak. He’s a Czech type and graphic designer. His type design is super great, check it out!

What’s coming up?

I just finished some projects and recently started working at a design studio called Knight Moves in Ghent, Belgium. Besides this I’m starting to develop a new visual identity for an art gallery in the neighbourhood called RAAM and I’m working on a typeface in-between.

broos stoffels
broos stoffels
broos stoffels

Broos Stoffels is Belgian-based graphic designer. Interview part of on-going series looking at various creatives’ working practice.