Matte: Interview (2009)
Posted on November 6, 2009 by michael
Please tell us about yourself and the founding of Matte.
I am a Singaporean based in the Netherlands currently running Matte, a multi-disciplinary lifestyle communication boutique based in the heart of Amsterdam.
I came to the Netherlands in 2000 as an intern at my favourite dutch design agency—Studio Dumbar. After working and freelancing for a few years I started Matte with the generous support of Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and HEMA. Now Matte is a multi-disciplinary communications boutique specialising in visual materials and strategic positioning of products and services targeting the emotions of consumers. In other words, we help make our clients’ products as desirable and “sexy” as possible in a relevant and contemporary manner.
What is the current design community like in Amsterdam?
Very vibrant and diverse. From the very autonomous and experimental to commercial and communicative to anything in between. I think the Dutch design community has set a benchmark for good design in the world now especially architecture, product design and visual communication. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the huge amount of international creative talents in Amsterdam.
Nike ~ Magic Walls : Please describe the brief and the creative/design process executed.
Brief: To redesign the transitional space between the carpark entrance and the reception area at Nike European Headquarters’ Bill Bowerman Center reflecting the heritage of Nike.
Creative/design process executed: Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman created the first Nike footwear in 1966 which is a running shoe known as the “Cortez” in 1968. Inspired by the heritage and using reflective foil seen on contemporary running shoes as the core medium, the walls featured a selection of Nike athletes through the years and iconic quotes from Bill Bowerman. Due to the light reflective quality of the stickers on the wall, the athlete illustrations and typography appear and disappear, responding “magically” to the lighting of the surrounding as you walk through the space.
YOUR TURN 90 MINUTES INTO A MASTERCLASS
Nike ~ You Turn 90 Minutes Into A Masterclass : Please describe the brief and the creative/design process executed.
Brief: Nike Football invited a handful of design agencies around the world to create an experimental “mood board” poster collection for internal use. Matte was given the quote “You Turn 90 Minutes into a Masterclass” to visualise.
Creative/design process executed: We took the formation of a football team as inspiration and interpreted the quote as a shield/gem of glory.
Tommy Hilfiger ~ TH2 : Please describe the brief and the creative/design process executed.
Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with french football star Thierry Henry on a capsule menswear collection for England and France. The power of 2 contemporary icons with the initials “TH” formed the theme and logo for the collection—“TH2”.
Matte worked closely with the Tommy Hilfiger in-house team to create the “TH2” identity and media applications to promote the unique collection.
Who is your ideal client? What is your dream project?
Not trying to sound polite, every one of my client is my ideal client so far. The support of my clients has been enormous. My dream project is to work with my favourites designers, artists, architects and charity organisations to create a chain of hospitals around the world for everybody which is well designed, humane and sustainable.
What has been your greatest project challenge?
To balance relevance, originality, “edginess”, clarity and communication in every project.
Can you tell us about your up-coming projects? What are you currently working on?
Matte is working closely with Nike on several projects, the details of which I cannot disclose at the moment. We are also developing a series of labels for a new dutch skincare line. We have just started our sister department—Matte+Ziegler headed by my business partner Meike Ziegler specialising in social/cultural projects with a Lifestyle twist. We are working with different creatives on a cultural exhibition, an identity of an education institution in the Netherlands and an experimental hospitality space. The space will be an exciting experience for all the senses. Stay tuned to our website: matte.nl for more news.
What was the last great movie you have seen?
The last great movie I have seen is “Lars and the Real Girl” directed by Craig Gillespie