Toko is a multi-disciplinary design studio working for national and international clients in a broad range of fields. Concepts are derived from extensive research to develop contemporary, effective and coherent design solutions, regardless of scale and/or budget.
We create full-scale corporate identity, wayfinding/signage and environmental programs, logos, brand images, posters, books, magazines, websites, exhibition designs, annual reports, fabrics and much more...
Level 1, 80 Campbell Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia +61 (0)4 136 133 81
Toko is a design studio in Surry Hills Sydney, established in 2002 by Eva Dijkstra and Michael Lugmayr.
Tell us about your background. Are you originally from Rotterdam?
The last city (before Sydney) we lived and worked in was indeed Rotterdam, The Netherlands. But we lived and worked in other cities in The Netherlands and United States before landing in Rotterdam. We moved to Sydney about 4 years ago and haven't look back.
A lot of your work is still based over there, is that correct?
No not really, the majority of our work is produced for Australian clients. But yes, we are still working for Dutch clients like Code magazine in Amsterdam.
What kind of problems do you encounter over this distance?
Not too many really. It's all about planning things ahead. We design two different magazines for Dutch clients and planning is crucial especially in editorial design - but so far so good. Sometimes you would like to be present to touch, feel or select products but there's always a solution. Couriers, Skype and late (very) calls are essential elements of intercontinental relationships.
And the advantages?
Clients will come out of bed only to find a mailbox full of freshly designed goodies.
You were recently part of AGDA NSWs Young Lions. For those who don't know, what did that involve?
AGDA invited us to do a talk together with the Moffitt brothers and Sam Pemberton from Landor at the Surry Hills library. The event sold out rather fast so it generated some pressure on all of us to perform which (we think) turned out pretty well. We will be in Canberra next month (14 May) for another AGDA talk but this time we are working on a little project to involve locals and visitors. http://www.agdaactnow.com
I own two of your t-shirts. Any plans to bring back the range?
Thanks for supporting us! Probably not however. We really underestimated the amount of time it takes to get this kind of thing off the ground properly. We really like to do this well but so far we have not been able to allocate the time to do so, but hey, we might release some more in the future.... watch this space!
Does the studio have any other self initiated projects currently happening?
Yes we are working on several projects actually, all somewhat out of our comfort zone which is quit exciting and scary at the same time. Some of these projects are still very vague so we can't really discuss them at this stage... The only thing we can tell you is that it involves tactile handmade stuff in Thailand, some prototyping in Denmark and some seriously detailed material produced here in Sydney.
What makes a good work environment?
The people you work with are probably the main contributors to a healthy work environment. Obviously we are a very small team so we need to be tight, sharp and above all be honest to make things work. Some good tunes, proper light and great coffee also contribute big time.
What's on high rotation on the studio stereo?
Legowelt, Telefon Tel Aviv and Detroit's early techno releases, lovely!
Favorite piece of work this year?
The design for Code magazine #17. Concept and execution really came together in this particular issue of Code. It's also the last issue in this form and shape the next issue will be completely remodeled.