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What’s going on

What’s going on

The latest news and products from FLEX.

Creative Director Robin Hoenderdos argues for Design driven innovation

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25
Nov
2016

On Thursday afternoon November 24, world famous interior design studio Gispen hosted a PDMA (Product Development and Management Association) meeting about design-driven innovation.

Despite many examples of design effectiveness for successful product innovation, it’s often still considered to be the icing on the cake. Extensive research, however, shows that companies that involve design professionals already at an early stage of product development create more successful products and make 20% more profit.

In interactive sessions, three respected creatives shared their thoughts on design-driven innovations with the audience: Anke Bernotat (‎Professor at Folkwang University and Owner design studio Bernotat&Co ), Jan Jacob Borstlap (Studio Bernotat & Co) and our Robin Hoenderdos. Robin spoke about Connecting the Dots and explained how design could help in creating essential products for our fast-changing, complex world.

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Ask Robin for more information

Design mission to Kampala, Uganda

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21
Feb
2017

Design Hub Kampala (DHK) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda joined forces and organized the first Dutch Design Mission from February 12 to 17.

During this week seven Dutch creative companies closely work together with their Ugandan counterparts. Mark Assies, one of our creative directors, joined in together with Steven de Cleen from ProudDesign. They explored the possibilities of the local creatives and tried to strengthen them by co-creation. Their aim was to help them creating ‘valuable’ design and stimulate the development of the Ugandan creative industry. It should ultimately lead to recognition of the economic value of design in Uganda. The first big step: a change in mindset from creativity as an art form into ‘design thinking,’ using the unique capacity of designers to solve problems.

In a sizzling hot Kampala, the Dutch designers worked hard on various projects.

Our Ultimaker 2 Go mobile 3D-Printer, for which we created the award winning packaging solution, proved to be helpful!

Mark says:’ I am amazed by their knowledge of human-centered design methodology, which they mainly gained from the internet. Their practical design skills need a quality boost, which is not that odd looking at today’s educational level of design studies’. He describes the trip a great experience, which enriches and deepens his view on design.

DHK, a co-working space for Ugandan creatives, aim to grow by collaborating within Uganda, but also through partnerships with international creative companies. The Dutch Design Mission is their first step to their ultimate goal to stimulate the Ugandan creative industry using the collaboration with the famous Dutch Creative Industry.

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If you would like to know more, get in touch with Mark

Introducing a young new talented designer

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16
Feb
2017

We are very pleased to welcome a young talent: Edward van Grol recently joined our team, directly after his graduation at Bang & Olufsen’s automotive division.

He completed his Master degree in Integrated Product Design at the University of Delft. Edward prefers to start projects open minded, analyzing project’s environment. During the process, this abstractness turns into concrete and successful design solutions for clients.

Edward likes to create designs that matter, rather than just creating something beautiful. Ideally, his creations should make our world a little better, which immediately explains why he was attracted to our studio.

In his valuable spare time, he freelances as a graphic designer creating layouts for books, illustrations, and works on corporate identities. He loves to play a game of squash, highly appreciates to listen to great sounds (B&O!), enjoys exploring cities and having picknicks in the park.

It’s great to have you at our studio Edward, good luck!

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We love to meet talented people to join our team. If you’re interested, check with Jeroen

Double nominee for NL Packaging Award 2017

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14
Feb
2017

The NL Packaging Awards jury nominated two of our designs for the final round of this relatively new packaging design competition. They chose our FLEXA Creations Color Testers and the ‘Seepje’ laundry detergents packaging solution in different categories. The jury will announce the award winners at the official award ceremony at Studio 21 in Hilversum on March 16.

Afraid of making the wrong choice, consumers often refrain from painting their walls. The innovative FLEXA Creations Color Testers allow users to try out different paint colors on their home’s walls and help them find a color scheme that best suits their taste and interior. Available in a wide range of shades, each pack contains 30 ml of paint. Unique is the integrated mini paint roller that ensures an easy application and a truly representative result. Despite considerable differences, our team managed to find one solution that suits AkzoNobel’s International markets and E-commerce worldwide.

The colorful design stands out in all different retail spaces and offers the client a future proof multi-channel solution. First introduced in The Netherlands, it resulted in a great impact on sales of ready-mix wall paint and made the jury pick our innovation as a nominee in the category Design Accountability.

Our design solution for Seepje is a finalist in the category Non-Food and quite a different project. For the wonderful young laundry enthusiasts of fair- trade brand Seepje, we created a sustainable packaging design for their new range of liquid laundry detergents. The key ingredient of these detergents is an extract of the peels of the Sapindus mukurossi fruits from Nepal. These peelings contain a natural kind of soap, which is released when exposed to water.  We came up with the iconic shape of soap, of course, a wink to clean. It ensures a secure grip for the users and reduces the use of material compared to regular detergent handles. The ‘soap’ shape, pastel colors and soft touch refer to softness. At the bottom of the bottle, you can read that they are made out of recycled plastic milk bottles. The labels consist of waste products of sugar cane production and easily detachable, to help consumers separate waste. Seepje intends to ‘wash the world cleaner and more beautiful.’

It is the second time that this Dutch packaging award competition takes place, awarding packaging solutions in 11 different categories. On Thursday, March 16, the jury will announce the winners in each category during the gala awards dinner at Studio 21 in Hilversum. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

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Contact Cynthia for more information about these nominations

New kids on the soap block

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08
Feb
2017

Jasper and Melvin, the laundry enthusiasts and founders of fair-trade brand Seepje, introduce a new range of liquid laundry detergents. These products are available in their webshop and in 1000 shops around The Netherlands. We created packaging for these new kids on the soap block.

The detergents are made of the peels of the Sapindus Mukorossi fruits from Nepal. They contain a natural kind of soap, that is released when exposed to water. Pulverized by Nepalese farmers, the Dutch team turns it into a liquid extract once it arrives in The Netherlands. Liquid ‘Seepjes’ exist for 80% of this extract. They add other ‘clean’ ingredients for more cleaning power and a delicious scent.

Available for white and colored laundry, your wash smells great and feels super soft.They asked us to create a sustainable packaging solution that stands out on the shelf. We came up with the iconic shape of soap, of course, a wink to clean.

This typical shape ensures a secure grip for the user and reduces material use compared to regular detergent handles. The shape, pastel colors and the soft touch all refer to softness. As you can read on the bottom of the bottle, they are made out of recycled plastic milk bottles. Generous Minds created the labels that consist of waste products of sugar cane production. Sustainable use of materials!

To help users recycle, even more, we choose for labels that are easily detachable, enabling consumers to separate materials. Seepje is collaborating with farmers in Nepal, who take care of harvesting and processing these peelings in a socially responsible way. In 2016, Seepje products regenerated an income for 60 Nepalese families. Seepje intends to ‘wash our world cleaner en more beautiful.’

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Contact Eric if you would like to know more about this project

FLEXA Color Testers Best Product of the Year 2016–2017

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19
Dec
2016

This year more than 19.500 consumers participated in the Dutch consumer survey for ‘Best Product of the Year’ and selected their favorites. Our FLEXA Color Testers are one of the winners for 2016 -2017.

For AkzoNobel, we developed an innovative color tester that is the ultimate solution for consumers’ color anxiety. It allows them to try out different paint colors on their home walls and help them find a color scheme and style that best suits their taste and interior. Available in many different shades, each pack contains 30 ml of paint. Unique is the integrated paint roller that ensures easy application and a representative result. Despite considerable differences in markets, retail environments, and logistic requirements, we met AkzoNobel’s primary objective. We found one solution that suits all the retail channels, in the different countries, both online and offline.

Earlier this year our innovative concept also won a renowned ‘Gouden Noot’. Once every two years this design competition’s jury selects three packaging innovations that stand out and rewards them with a Bronzen (bronze), Zilveren (silver) or Gouden (golden) Noot. The competition was named after the unique trophy with a solid golden walnut; that stands for a sustainable, efficient and innovative packaging.

The election ‘Best Product of the Year’ was first held two years ago and already is one of the largest consumer polls in The Netherlands. These surveys are also in Belgium, Germany, Austria, France and Austria. Spain will follow next year.

It’s great to see that both consumers and professionals highly appreciate our innovative concept.

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Ask Abke about this exciting project or explore the case

Single serve Steamers for households of today

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06
Dec
2016

In close cooperation with the International Innovation Company (IIC), we developed the Single Serve Steamers for their brand Tomorrow’s Kitchen. These steamers enable consumers to prepare great family meals and allow every family member’s individual needs in portion, taste, diet or moment of consumption.

The relatively new brand Tomorrow’s Kitchen makes innovative kitchen items for preparing, serving and storing food. ‘Tomorrow’ in the brand name has a double meaning: It emphasizes the brand’s innovative character and embraces the social values to make our world a better place for future generations.

In today’s modern families, everyone has different time schedules due to late meetings, sports or other activities. Additionally, consumers have developed more individual tastes and food awareness.

Our Single Serve Steamers facilitate modern lifestyles and allow everyone to prepare their dinner exactly how they like it: a little spicier, a bigger portion, low fat or allergen free. The steamers can be heated, all together or one by one, in the microwave or the oven. So coming home a little late, your meal will also be freshly prepared.

The bowls can be used to steam the ingredients maintaining all valuable nutrients, to serve and eat from, but also to store any leftovers in the fridge. This new way of cooking saves time, energy, dishes, and nutrients. Perhaps you wonder why we gave the bowls their triangular shape? The answer is simple: so you can fit three of them efficiently on the turntable of your microwave. For your own Single Serve Steamer check this site.

 

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Ask Ronald about this exciting project

Jeroen Verbrugge represents Holland at World Industrial Design Conference

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01
Dec
2016

At this moment our founder and Managing Director Jeroen Verbrugge proudly represents The Netherlands at this year’s World Industrial Design Conference (WIDC) in Hangzhou, China.

Together with many other leaders of design from all over the world, they are discussing the future of design and how different countries and cultures could learn from one another and cooperate in this field.

Jeroen will inspire the audience with his lecture about his view on design.

He will appoint the general conditions, like countries’ design histories, cultural differences, and education. He explains his vision on a creative process, which he rather sees as a ‘chaordic’ one instead of a neatly linear process in which one thing follows another. Creativity by its very nature is much more random and less logical. There are lots of great opportunities for the future of design, like Design Thinking, enabling designers to be active in different fields. Let’s also focus on possibilities that smart/connected products and product-service combinations bring us as designers.

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Contact Jeroen if you would like to know more

Gouden Noot for innovative paint color testers

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25
Nov
2016

We’re extremely proud that the jury of the Packaging Innovation Competition De Gouden Noot awarded our packaging concept for the AkzoNobel Color Testers with GOLD. Once every two years the jury selects three packaging innovations that stand out and rewards them with a Bronzen (bronze), Zilveren (silver) or Gouden (golden) Noot. The competition was named after the unique trophy with a solid golden walnut; that stands for a sustainable, efficient and innovative packaging. Our packaging solution for the Ultimaker 2 Go 3D-printer was also one of the ten finalists for this prestigious award.

For AkzoNobel, we developed an innovative color tester that is the ultimate solution for consumers’ color anxiety. It allows them to try out different paint colors on their home walls and help them find a color scheme and style that best suits their taste and interior. Available in many different shades, each pack contains 30 ml of paint. Unique is the integrated paint roller that ensures easy application and a representative result.

Despite considerable differences in markets, retail environments, and logistic requirements, we met AkzoNobel’s primary objective. We found one solution that suits all the retail channels, in the different countries, both online and offline.

The Ultimaker 2 Go printer is one of the most powerful little 3D-printers around. With a compact design, it’s excellent for makers on the go. We designed the packaging concept that let the machine live up to its name. The ‘add-on’ concept makes this packaging unique: it challenges users to clip on their 3D-printed parts. The idea strikes beautifully with Ultimaker’s open source philosophy.

De Gouden Noot is a competition for innovative packaging design. With this award, organizer NVC (Netherlands Packaging Center) stimulates innovation of packaging and packaged products. The NVC will exhibit all finalists at the NVC stand at the Interpack 2017 in Germany.

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Ask Abke if you would like to know more about this packaging solution

Jeroen Verbrugge honorary member of BNO

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09
Nov
2016

We are proud that our Managing and Creative Director Jeroen Verbrugge will officially be appointed an honorary member of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO). It’s a great recognition for Jeroen’s work for the BNO and the design profession in general.

Next to successfully leading our agency, together with co-founder Ronald Lewerissa, Jeroen was a member of many committees and platforms to promote the strategic value of design.

He helped to get the Creative Industry on the Dutch political agenda. In parallel, he wrote his dissertation at the University of Twente on design methodology in innovation processes. He’s also a frequently asked lecturer.

For this occasion, the gathering ‘Design met Beleid’ will be held at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam on Thursday, November 10.

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Get in touch with Jeroen

Circular Carrier Seat

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31
Oct
2016

In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Schiphol airport, Vanderlande presented the board of directors of Schiphol the ‘Circular Carrier Seat.’ This takes place at the Airports Going Green conference October 31 – November 2 in Amsterdam.

WeBeatTheMountain and FLEX developed the seats based on the carriers that are used for the baggage handling at the Amsterdam airport. Each carrier is re-shaped to give it the functionality of a comfortable seat.

We combined it with a wooden frame to make it a beautiful and extremely durable object for public spaces. On average each carrier has connected 30.000 passengers with their baggage throughout its life cycle. As of today, the carriers can be enjoyed again for many years to come by thousands of passengers to sit down for a little rest.

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Contact Ronald for more information about this upcycling project


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