come sail your ships around me


Our large typographic mural is part of the Biennale 2022 in the Polish city of Gdynia. The initiator of the Biennale, the Polish multidisciplinary studio Traffic design, asked six national and international studios to create an intervention in the Gdynia area.

For Thonik, that was the harbour. The industrial environment of the Gdynia shipyard and its history were the source of inspiration, although we did not take it literally. We took an indirect approach to our mural by quoting a song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “The Ship Song”, in which the ship is a poetic metaphor.


The font used is De Fernhout, which previously played the leading role in the visual identity developed by Thonik for Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The font refers directly to Wim Couwel’s typographical poster from 1963, which was designed to promote a solo exhibition by Edgar Fernhout.

v2_panoramavthonik insta 3kwadraty copy

While the font is simple and playful, the basic shapes presented us with challenges. Crouwel’s carefully designed grid with diagonal strokes needed to be simplified. To have more freedom in creating the letterforms we introduced new elements, such as the square.

Biennale 2022, with work by: Thonik (NL), The New Raw (NL), Studio Feixen (CH), Olia Hordiienko (UA), Malwina Konopacka & Janek Walesiak (PL) and Blanka Byrwa (PL)