before the studio

Hugo Herrera Tobón was born in Bogotá (CO), but transferred to Madrid (ES) in 2000, and lived for extended periods in New York (US), Ulaan Bataar (MN), Malabo (GQ), Athens (GR) and Lisbon (PT), where he worked for the London-based agency IPS as an interviewer for government officials and top executives producing global country-branding socioeconomic reports for EU and US magazines including Fortune, Forbes and Newsweek. He then relocated to Amsterdam (NL) to pursue studies at the Rietveld Academie in 2008, and assisted graphic designer Annelys de Vet and industrial designer Vincent de Rijk.

about the studio

Hugo Herrera Tobón’s Art Direction studio was established in Amsterdam in 2009.

The studio follows a conceptual design approach that is usually guided by a close dialog with the people it works with. That translates into dynamic identities, editorial productions, custom typefaces, different printing techniques, installations, exhibitions, stage design elements, even lighting. Every project has specific needs and requires a tailor-made approach. The studio specializes in communication design for the music and performing arts fields as well as for cultural institutions and commercial clients. The works include not only graphic commissioned work, but also self-initiated projects and autonomous artistic collaborations, where boundaries between different creative disciplines constantly overlap.

Herrera Tobón works across several mediums including printed matter, type and digital design, but also in the making artworks, installations, collages, small editions and photography. Further, Herrera Tobón is also commissioned for the (graphic) production of artworks by visual artists.


Hugo Herrera Tobon’s  artistic work has been shown in art institutions in The Netherlands such as Mediamatic (2009), where he was guest curator of the Bogotá pavilion during the Amsterdam Biennial exhibition, or De Appel Arts Center (2011), where he was guest artist of a program curated by collective The Living Room(s). He was also curator of the general exhibition «Subjective Atlas of Colombia» in Artecámara (2015, Bogotá – CO), that collected works by around 50 Colombian artists in a cartographical, ethnographic and subjective cabinet-like exhibition that mapped local identity.

Further, he designed and co-curated «PAND7090 – mobile gallery & pop-up performance» where boundaries between art and music, audience and stage are explored, in collaboration with 7090’s sound artists and music performers (touring in NL, South Africa & the UK, 2014-15). He has also been working closely with visual artists Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar in the production of artworks for exhibitions in Paris, the US, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Hugo Herrera Tobón’s autonomous practice works around the notions of dilettantism, craftsmanship and identity, and is concerned with the crossings between the art and design fields. His interest lays in sociopolitical issues like consumerism, cultural exchange and collective values.

subjective atlas

In 2012, Herrera Tobón initiated a collaboration with Dutch designers Annelys de Vet & Moniek Driesse as curator, executive producer and co-editor of  the «Subjective Atlas of Colombia» (Published by Semana Libros in 2015).

In collaboration with de Vet, Hugo Herrera Tobón is also executive producer and curator of Subjective Atlas Editions, a rhizomatic publishing initiative that develops bottom-up engaged mapping publications. These volumes are mapping a country, region, geo-political entity or concern in a personal way and by the inhabitants themselves. For more information on this project please visit


You are welcome to apply as an intern at Hugo Herrera Tobón by sending a letter of motivation and a portfolio of works or a link to your website.

grants & awards

Stimuleringsfonds (NL), travel grant, internationalization, «29th International Book fair of Bogotá – FilBo, Dutch pavillion», 2016

Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dutch Embassy in Bogotá & Washington, «Subjective Atlas of Colombia», 2015

Stimuleringsfonds (NL), travel grant, internationalization, 2015

Fringe Festival Amsterdam, Dioraphte Award – 1st prize, «PAND7090 – mobile gallery & pop-up performance», 2014

Ministry of Culture of Colombia (CO), international circulation grant for art and cultural agents, 2014