Philipp Thoni (Blackyard) (CH)

Philipp Thoni (Blackyard) (CH) (French Version - en cours)

Blackyard consists of four swiss graphic designers/illustrators, and, as it not that easy to interveiw 4 peoples together, Philipp has beeen kind enough to answer ou questions. If, by popular demand, you would like to read what the other 3 have to answer to some of the questions, just let me know and be sure the crew(koos) will do his best in order not to forget anybody. Grab your cheese and snowboard, welcome in Switzerland !!!

As usual on the blog, what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

That depends on what we're working on. When it's going well you might hear something like "Kid Congo Powers And The Pink Monkeybirds", sometimes we listen to an audio play. Sometimes Swing, Silvio likes to listen to Electronica when layout a brochure. I personally like Metal while cooking, something like "Baroness".

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

BlackYard consists of four graphic designers/illustrators in our best age. We acquired our abilities through different professional careers. In 2009 we teamed up and settled our business location in the pictoresque part of the small neighbourhood “Matte” in downtown Bern. Our primary area of occupation is illustration and graphic design, executed with much care for detail. BlackYard likes to sketch, draw and ink by hand, before utilising machines to merge together all textures and layers preparing the artwork for the offset- and screenprinting process. Posters, illustrations, logos, cover artwork as well as original art and customized objects are our main concerns.


Silvio, Graphic Designer

After co-founding “Bewegungsmelder” – now a leading city and event guide – he entered the world of advertising business and its agencies, leading to a title as art director. Weariness and curiosity urged him to become self-employed.

Jared, Illustrator

His passion for comics drove him towards pen and ink at young age. After an apprenticeship as interior designer he successfully stepped into self-employment as an acclaimed illustrator.

Philipp, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

During the scholar apprenticeship as a graphic designer he suspected that self-employment might be the only way to unfold and persue one’s objectives. Through his work on numerous concert posters and record covers he gained reputation as “the sparkplugs” beyond Switzerland and was featured in various international publications.

Christian, Illustrator

After graduation in Illustration at Hochshule Luzern his thirst for knowledge impelled him to study History of arts and education before he joined Blackyard as the last member.

When did you start drawing?

As a kid, drawing papa's auto.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

I think both would be correct answer. In school i left drawings of bandlogos on the desk for my buddy who had a class in the same room just after me. I carved letters in my school slippers. I found opposing the restrictions given by authority a great propulsion to creativity, in school and later when i studied graphic design.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

We proudly make a living of it, but we wouldn't show every piece of "art" we make in order to accomplish that goal.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

We are loosely connected to some magazines, we would like to point out "amateur", a street art/illustration magazine here in switzerland.

Where does your influence come from, Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like ?

 People like Moebius, Geof Darrow, Brian "Pushead" Schroeder, Dirk Bonsma, Alfred Duerer. We also dig young cats like Vania, John Dyer Baizley.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

Sketch, Ink, Assemble, Send, Drink!

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

Most basics are done by hand (Outline, shadings), then goes into the computer, where it gets colored, cropped, merged & mangled. Most typography is also done in the computer. we also like to do lino cuts or other low-fi printing techniques.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

A good one? 2-3 days.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

We try to keep working for people we like who dig our "thing" and let us do whatever we like. But everyday life isn't allways like that… you know kids?

For which band have you already worked for?

Mastodon, Gutbucket, Trencher

For which band would you love to work?

Any band who truly digs our work and wants us to mess around!

Do you choose the artists yourself?

No, not particullary. Maybe we should.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Too much adoration can become an obstacle. Not overdoing the obvious & literal.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

Yeah i think we tap in to a certain type of fellow artists, illustrators & designers. The kind that doesn't really give damn about the "scene". There's a pool of really cool artists who come together for exhibitions, poster shows etc.

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work, on the web or in real life?

Visit, we'll also participate at the 5th independant graphic and design convention at the Théâtre 2.21 in Lausanne (Switzerland)

The best praise you received lately?

Neurosis used our poster design for their tour badges. We dig that.

What can we wish you for the future?

Good health and clients with a good sense of art & humor.

Last question : Do you know anything about french rock posters scene ?

Not that much, i must confess. I know the work of "Tanxxx".

Can you tell us a little bit more about switzerland rock poster artists ?

We can run down a few names for you:

Michel Casarramona (,
Märt Infanger (,
Dirk Bonsma (,
Robert Butler (,
Markus Staehli (look him up on gigposters).

Thanx a lot for your answers !

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