Emmy van Thiel | Graphic Design & Creative Concepts

Emmy van Thiel (NL) is a graphic designer currently based in Breda, The Netherlands. At the moment she combines her design practice with the Research Master in Graphic Design at AKV|St.Joost in Breda.

Reformulating questions are important to get to the core of a task. Emmy distinguishes herself by focussing on creative concepts, which often result in systems and a visual grammar based on the core of the question. The design is unique and fits to you and only you.

By incorporating the dynamics of a continually evolving society and its organizations (dynamic identities), and by not being afraid to experiment, this results in distinctive and contemporary designs with its own character.

Her work consists of visual identities, book design, publications, websites and self-initiated projects.

She works together with Interaction Designer Joost de Nooy on a regular basis for innovatory design solutions.

Together with Michelle Haak, Emmy van Thiel forms {em] Dutch Graphic Design Label. Emmy and Michelle both have their own distinctive qualities, which are quite the opposite of each other. They join forces so they can translate questions into conceptual and accessible design.

For further information and questions, please feel free to contact me: mail(at)emmyvanthiel.nl

Exhibitions & publicity:

Typism book One
Feature of typographic work
September 2013

Revealing The Network
Exhibition Breda, The Netherlands
March 2013

French Independent Design Magazine
Feature of graduation work
November 2012
Go to the article

Mister Motley
feature of graduation work
July 2012

Philosophy Magazine, VU Amsterdam
Feature of graduation work
September 2012

ArtEZ Finals,
Graduation Exhibition
Arnhem, The Netherlands
July 2012

Education & Experience:

Master Graphic Design
AKV|St. Joost, Breda, The Netherlands
2012 - ongoing

Open Set Dutch Graphic Design Summer School
Assistance during the summer school
& design of the identity
September 2013

Bachelor Graphic Design
ArtEZ Arnhem, The Netherlands
2009 - 2012

Intern at The International Office
Wellington, New Zealand
September - November 2011

The Typographic Voice
Minor Conceptional Type Design
ArtEZ Arnhem 2011

hairdressers' stationary
"Zegt u het maar!"

hairdressers' stationary | "Zegt u het maar!"

businesscards - A5 flyers

Stationary (concept and implementation) for "Zegt u het maar", a hairdresser based in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The famous, creative and quirky identity of the hairdresser is reflected in the design. Next to this both the buisinesscards and flyers introduce "MAF", the students' section of the hairdresser. Printed on silver and fluorescent orange paper.

book design
Heel de Wereld

book design | Heel de Wereld

book 140x210mm

A book about agro-ecological agriculture and how to handle the earth's resources in such a way that we can have sufficient healthy food for everyone. Heel de Wereld is built from layers; layers in the ground, layers in spatial scale, layers in ways of seeing/different points of view, layers in attitudes towards nature and layers in focus in which the reader is drawn into. The importance of layering translated itself in the design of the book. Every time the author focusses on a certain part, the paragraphs shift to another layer in the page. In cooperation with Joost de Nooy.

Utrecht University

identity | Utrecht University - BEUCitizen

identity design - stationary - folders

Exercising EU Citizenship about rights, duties and possible barriers to their realisation by European Citizens; That’s the research topic of bEUcitizen, an international research initiated by Utrecht University. In collaboration with Michelle Haak – under the Dutch Graphic Design label {EM] – we designed the identity and accompanying printed matter. We decided to use the logo as navigation so the logos developed for the project reflect the many aspects that in turn reflect the many ‘multiples’ of the project:
The elements of whole logo of our project symbolize: - the different colors and different directions of the triangles: our multidisciplinarity; - the gridlines: the borders around and within the EU across which its citizens (are supposed to) move; - the three colors of triangles: our three clusters that fit well together to form the large triangle: our integrated multidisciplinary research project.

The logo for Cluster I: The Multi-layered Character of Citizenship: Variations across Space and Time This cluster is visualised by the vertical hour-glass in lighter blue in the middle of the logo, indicating both the passage of time, and concentric layers of identities.

The logo for Cluster II: Multidimensional Rights of Citizenship This cluster is visualised by the horizontal scales in green, referring to the ideal of a balance between different rights.

The logo for Cluster III: Multitudinous Effects of Rights on Multiple Categories of Citizens This cluster is visualised by the solidly standing orange triangles, but located at some distance from each other, in the corners, representing different categories of citizens.

Schippers Optiek

identity | Schippers Optiek

identity design - all visual output

Schippers Optiek is a multifaceted optician whose goal is to offer its customers a complete set of services. In order to do so this dynamic shop provides optician-, hearing aid- and eye-specialisation services. In doing so they set themselves apart as a real contemporary and caring optician.

I developed an identity to mirror Schippers their multifaceted and dynamic approach. The resulting logo – which dynamically represents the 3 disciplines Schippers Optiek offers – and the recognizable additional style-elements such as stationary, brochures, posters, photography and advertisements make sure Schippers Optiek distinguishes itself as a unique optician.

Summer School Open Set

identity | Summer School Open Set

A0 posters - digital advertisements - website

The Dutch Graphic Design Summer School "Open Set" is a two-week intensive series of workshops that emphasize on the interaction between noted Dutch– and International Graphic Designers within a studio environment. Open Set is structured to offer participants the opportunity to experiment with different design approaches as well as share their ideas with colleagues from around the world. www.openset.nl

The theme the 2013 edition of Open Set questions the role of “Autonomy” in a completely pre-designed culture and its influence on social values. We assembled this idea under a single term called “Commonomy”. The starting point for discussion is the crucial role of the designer within the cultural, political and technological development and the designer’s influence on social change. The main focus is on what design can do for a community and how social processes can influence design.

Is there a place for the traditional definition of Autonomy within the field of design or should it be redefined? Open Set will examine the methods, aesthetics and techniques of critical, social engaged, contemporary design.

In cooperation with Studio Squash, Luísa Vieira and Adrien Borderie.

poetry publication
De geest moet waaien

poetry publication | De geest moet waaien

tabloid publication- broadsheet posters

Publication in honour of 10 years 'Johnny van Doornprijs for spoken poetry' for 'de Wintertuin' (in collaboration with Kris Tan). We've made 10 posters – one for each winner – wich can be combined and make new combinations in titles, poems and portraits. Inspired by Johnny van Doorn and the way he performed his poetry, we've created on the back of each poster a soundpoem, generated by the name of the poet.

graduation poster
MA Graphic Design

graduation poster | MA Graphic Design

A5 fold – A1 poster

This poster is a teaser and an addition to the Master Graphic Design graduation exhibition at AKV|St.Joost, 2012. The poster shows focuspoints and some fragments of the process from the four graduated Master students.

De Zwengel

identity De Zwengel

identity design - stationary - annual report

De Zwengel is a school for children with special educational needs, where every student has the possibility to completely be him/herself. Every student is unique, should be proud of this, and act upon this. For this reason the Dutch Graphic Design Label {EM] - a cooperation between Michelle Haak and myself - has designed an identity to represent the school their point of view. Every student is given the opportunity to personalize the logo. Furthermore, structured and clear design is combined throughout the identity with hand drawn details.

book design
Bewustzijn in Bedrijf

book design | Bewustzijn in Bedrijf

book 150x235mm

After the succes of the first edition of Bewustzijn in Bedrijf, the author decided to publish a second, reversed edition. In cooperation with Joost de Nooy I redesigned the book. Playful elements combined with structure make for an accessible and refreshing edition.

workshop Karel Martens
A split effect of motion

workshop Karel Martens | A split effect of motion

A4 book contribution

8-page contribution to a book on the subject time, made during a workshop with Karel Martens. The result is a split effect of motion by reproducing a print of the word time. This reproduction is spread out over 8 pages.

self-initiated project
Beautiful New Zealand...

self-initiated project | Beautiful New Zealand...


Once in a while the DOC (Department of Conservation) in New Zealand publishes a summary of the pesticides used throughout New Zealand. These pesticides are deployed to prevent possums, rats, deer, and other animals from destroying the natural landscape. The online area you see is a visualization of the pesticide summary published on the 15th of February 2013. It covers the notification period 1 March 2013 – 30 June 2013 (Source). My aesthetic landscapes show the double-sidedness of the treatment of New-Zealands nature; the more pesticides used, the 'prettier' the area becomes.
This project was initiated as during the Master course Graphic Design.

Go to the online area

Many thanks to Joost de Nooy

self-initiated project
Frog Kings

self-initiated project | Frog Kings


A research on how time and culture influences a story. Inspired by Michael Nedo (director of the Wittgenstein Archives, Cambridge) I did research on 6 version of the classic fairytale 'Frog Kings'.

This resulted in an interactive story that allows the user to experience the changes this ancient tale has undergone. It all starts from the original primary notation by the Brothers Grimm called ‘Iron Heinrich’, written in 1812. This interactive story contains, next to ‘Iron Heinrich’, 5 newer, concurrent versions from different times and cultures.
This project was initiated during the Master course Graphic Design and is ongoing. Go to the online area.

Many thanks to Joost de Nooy

bachelor thesis

bachelor thesis

A4 publication - print installation

Thesis on generative design. During the exhibition of the Artez Finals the thesis was generated. 90 participants are needed to generate one thesis. I've created the typeface 'Grid' consisting of three versions (rounded, half rounded and straight) within a self-created grid. Every participant can generate and print-on-demand a page by choosing one version of 'Grid'.

Day of Philosophy

identity | day of Philosophy

A1 posters - movie

Inspired by guilt and punishment (the theme of 2013); There is never one fixed representation since the value of both principles is ever-changing and can have a different definition for each and everyone. Inspired by the fact that both guilt and punishment want to increase their own world at the expense of the other I took the kaleidoscope as a metaphor.

A kaleidoscope creates a unique world by obscuring one element to reveal the next. I pointed it directly on the words guilt, (written in black)(schuld) and punishment (in red)(boete). The kaleidoscope allowed me to generate a series of images and movies to create an identity proposal for The Day Of Philosophy (De Dag van de Filosofie). This resulted in a series of posters with frames of this unique world. The black stickers with basic information can be collaged upon the posters.