tonique is visual and spacial communication agency here in Frankfurt.  Behind the name is the dynamic duo, Alex and Lukas, who are taking the creative space by storm!  Not only nice guys (who have great coffee as they will tell you) but who are also incredibly talented!  Over the past few years they have picked up their fair share of awards but they continue to stay humble and full of humour!

Visual communication in the most basic terms (as I am no expert) is writing with pictures. Which includes using but are not limited to signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation and electronic resources

1.  Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

We (Alex and Lukas) met at the Design Faculty of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences where we studied and also taught. Around 2013. That was lucky! Quickly we noticed that we are designing in a similar way. And so we checked whether we could also work together well. WE CAN!

2.  Tell us about tonique and how it started?

Originally we both worked as freelancers in the area. In addition to his work in agencies, Alex began to practice under the name “Studio Tonique”.  After working together more and more often in 2015, we started a studio room in the Bahnhofsviertel. Smaller, regional jobs turned into bigger ones – we focused on spatial communication. In 2017 we moved to Sachsenhausen, shortened our name to “tonique” and recently founded a joint business form. So here we are, following this path.

communication design

3.  You are a visual communication studio, can you explain this a little more?  

Visual communication is an amplifier! We give content from authors, small to medium-sized businesses and cultural institutions a form and make it tangible. Content is always the focus of our work, dealing with it sensitively and in close coordination with its authors. 

What does the client want to convey to his audience? – Most of the content we deal with is generated by curators and businesses in the cultural field published as spatial communication, printed or digital media. 

We always enjoy new ideas and an uncomplicated exchange, so call us! We do have nice coffee, too.

4.  What is your creative process?

Sometimes people say we are too methodical. But it suits us like that. We like to go through each parameter step by step, there are few impulsive decisions. Otherwise design would have too many parameters!

5.  Where do you find inspiration?

Exchange in and far outside our industry, old books, new books, “random” typography in the room, shop windows, machines and logical systems, generativity, games with complex rules, material samples, exhibition stands, album artworks, installations, hardware stores 

6.  You have won a number of amazing awards, tell us the project that you are most proud of and why?

It’s difficult to name a single project – like having to choose your favourite child. The “Making Van Gogh” exhibition was something special for us, as we were able to communicate the subject matter both in space and in a catalog. Transferring between different types of media is something we enjoy doing.

We were both nominated as newcomers and newcomer finalists by the German Design Council, which is a huge honour since the award does not just refer to a single project, so no faves!

7.  If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?  Why?

Lernert & Sander, they have the smartest ideas and pursue them with such earnestness! They also seem to be such nice guys (funny, too!).

8.  Who is your dream client?

Anyone with exciting content and intention.

9. What do you love about Frankfurt?

Miniature metropolis. Lots of green, too!

10. Where is your favourite place in Frankfurt?

Somewhere by the river Main, which looks different every time. And the feeling that it spatially connects the whole city.

11. Finally, “you’ve been given an elephant.  You can’t give it away or sell it.  What would you do with the elephant?”

Let him make a few drawings that we’d turn into an elephant catalog. Then take him to a china shop of course.