The latest news and products from FLEX.
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.
Ask Robin for more information
We appointed Senior Designer Robin Hoenderdos as Creative Director. He has been working with us for years, creating value for many of our clients, including multinationals like AB InBev, Tefal and Philips. In his new position, he will be responsible for the creative output of his team. Time for a chat about his ideas!
Robin: “In the end, it’s all about delivering a consistently high level of creativity for our clients.” We are strong conceptual thinkers, he says. Together with our clients we carefully consider their opportunities in often complex, saturated markets. Design driven innovation helps them to introduce successful new products. Our challenge is to come up with concepts with a twist, offering the end-user real added value, rather than just making it more beautiful. A great example is the de-humidifier we created for Bison. Because of our design solutions, this moisture absorber goes beyond the garage and fits perfectly in consumers’ home interior, which has led to a significant impact on market share and turnover for Bison.
In today’s complex world, the most successful products tell a very straightforward and clear message, which immediately explains benefits to the users. “We should challenge ourselves in becoming even better storytellers than we are today,” says Robin, “a smart translation of our concepts into distinctive, innovative design that consumers immediately embrace.” In our teams, designers and engineers work closely together to get this job done. Our juniors develop these skills on the job to meet our high standards.
Creating a seamless user experience will become more and more important. Nowadays designing is so much more than just creating an excellent product. In this era of smart connected products, we have to make new choices on how to create value and gain competitive advantage. Our design solutions should ensure that every interaction between customer and brand is carefully orchestrated. That’s why we are very keen on an intensive collaboration with our clients and every discipline involved. We can connect all the dots and create essential products for our fast changing world.
Contact Robin for innovative design solutions
Our team proudly received a ‘Silver Lamp’ at the official ADCN Award ceremony at Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam. Each year the platform Advertising Design Creativity Netherlands (ADCN) awards creativity and craft in advertising and design with a Bronze, Silver or Golden Lamp. These Lamps are a symbol of the highest creative achievement in the Netherlands.
The jury awarded our packaging design for Ultimaker’s 2 Go 3D-printer in the category Packaging Design.
The design isn’t only a great transport solution, but it also challenges the creative maker community to develop accessories to upgrade their Ultimaker 2 Go packaging. Makers can turn the packaging into a transport trolley or a backpack, or they can add a coffee cup holder, handy while waiting for your next 3D-print to be finished. The 3D enthusiasts share their add-ons in the online community.
Congratulations to our client Ultimaker and the project team Abke, Marcel and Iris for a great job!
Contact Abke for our innovative packaging solutions
We’re proud that the Red Dot Award jury awarded our Single Serve Steamers with a ‘Red Dot’ 2017 for outstanding design. This year the jury went over more than 5.500 entries from 54 countries, which makes it one of the world’s largest design competitions. On July 3, we will receive the official award at the Red Dot Gala award ceremony in Essen, Germany.
We developed the Single Serve Steamers in close cooperation with the International Innovation Company (IIC), for their brand Tomorrow’s Kitchen. In today’s modern families, everyone has different time schedules due to late meetings, sports or other activities. Additionally, consumers develop more individual tastes. Our Single Serve Steamers facilitate modern lifestyles. They allow every family member to prepare a healthy dinner that meets their personal preferences in portion, taste, diet or moment of consumption.
The glass bowl and lid with pressure valve steams vegetables, meat, fish or poultry in no-time, preserving nutrition and flavor. The silicone lid provides safe use and easy straining, simply by lifting the opening of the lid into a higher position and pour out the remaining water. Its triangular shape allows combining up to 3 steamers together in a microwave.
This ’healthy tool’ easily facilitates a family dinner or a single meal. The elegant bowls can be used to steam, to serve and eat from, but also to store leftovers in the fridge. This new way of cooking saves time, energy, dishes, and nutrients. It embodies the brand name Tomorrow’s Kitchen that makes innovative kitchen items for preparing, serving and storing food. Enthusiastic consumers share their recipes online.
Contact Ronald if you would like to know more about this project
As of the beginning of this year, Michel Wittenberg is Technical Director of one of our teams. Michel has been a senior engineer for many years and was technically responsible for many successful products. Recently he has worked on the development of IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for our clients.
His new responsibility as Technical Director is to lead his team in the engineering of our products. He will make sure that as a design agency, we have all the necessary technical capabilities and tools to deliver our clients the optimal solution.
From surface modeling to FEM analysis, and from material specification to complex mechanics or built-in electronics he can find the right answers.
Michel will also play an instrumental role in the training of young engineers, teaching them the ‘tricks of the trade’ and making sure they maintain a curious state of mind when it comes to technology.
Also interested in a career at our design agency? Feel free to contact us!
We enjoy having three new interns at our studio. Three ‘Dutchies’ this time, all with a different background, but sharing a passion for great design and eagerness to learn. During their six months internship, they get the chance to work in our inspiring and professional environment and learn about various aspects of the design process.
Nina is in the fourth year of her study Product Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and intends to specialize in packaging and brand design. She loves to delve deeply into matters and come up with great solutions. During her study, she was a board member of different bodies. Her passion for good food combines wonderfully with that for gardening.
Victor studies Industrial Product Design at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. His challenge is to create products that are bright and useful, rather than just beautiful. For his internship he was triggered by our pay-off: Connecting the dots between people, technology, and business. He has a passion for sports, especially scuba diving. He hopes to go to Australia next year, becoming a PADI Divemaster.
Wahid chose to study Industrial Product Design to combine his love for technology and gadgets. Photography is his biggest passion! After attending Mark’s presentation about smart packaging, he was eager to do his 3rd-year internship at our studio. Wahid says: “Every day I learn new things. I am very curious how my time at FLEX will change me as a designer”.
Good luck the three of you. It’s great to have you around!
Also interested in an internship at our studio? Send us your portfolio!
We’re extremely proud that the NL Packaging Awards jury awarded no less than two of our packaging concepts with an award. Congratulations to our clients’ teams and our designers and engineers, who closely collaborated to create these distinctive designs! Our Seepje packaging is the winner in the category Non-Food. The FLEXA Creations Color Testers won the award for Design Accountability.
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. Generous Minds helped Seepje with its strategy and asked us to develop a new iconic bottle that would also help Seepje to scale up for retailers like Albert Heijn. 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 is collaborating with farmers in Nepal, who take care of harvesting and processing these peelings in a socially responsible way. Seepje intends to ‘wash the world cleaner and more beautiful.’ The Jury: “This concept shows that sustainability can be fun.”
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 the winner in the category Design Accountability.
Our proud team received the awards during the official award ceremony at Studio 21 in Hilversum on March 16. It was the second time that this Dutch packaging award competition took place, awarding packaging solutions in 11 different categories.
Check with Cynthia for more detailed information or high-res images
ADCN (Art Directors Club Netherlands) nominated our Ultimaker 2 Go packaging solution for a prestigious ADCN Award 2017, in the category Packaging Design. For this year’s special 50th edition 229 submissions are nominated in 33 different categories. On April 13, the jury will announce the winners of a Bronze, Silver or Golden Lamp at the official award ceremony at Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam.
The Ultimaker 2 Go is currently one of the most powerful little 3D-printers around, great for makers on the go. Our packaging concept lets the machine fully live up to its name. The core of our solution is an elegant, grey EPP box that plays two roles. First, it protects the printer during transport from factory to user. After unboxing, it doubles as a lightweight and shock resistant carry-case, held together by durable nylon straps for lifting and transport.
Once at its destination, the printer is ready for use in no time: unlace the belt, lift off the upper part of the packaging and you are immediately face to face with this mighty mini printer. The case holds the printer with the filament spool already in place. Just take out the printer, plug, and play. Last year The Dieline awarded our packaging design with the Editor’s Choice Award 2016.
ADCN is the club and platform for creativity in advertising and design in the Netherlands. ADCN’s mission is to unleash Dutch creativity. Each year they award exceptional creativity and craft in advertising and design with the Lamps. These ADCN Awards (Lamps) are recognized as a symbol of the very highest creative achievement in the Netherlands. This particular 50th award show will take place in Royal Theater Carré in Amsterdam on April 13th.
At the 17th edition of the Industrial Design Business Fair (IOB) on March 15 and 16, our team will be present to meet design students and share our passion for creativity.
You can’t miss us at the stand one, immediately at the entrance, where our designers and engineers will tell you all about working at our design consultancy. They share their experience on projects we realize, brands we work for, our method of working and how we cooperate in our international design team. You’ll also have a chance to chat with this semester’s interns, telling you all about their internship at our studio.
At IOB we will give you an idea of the Flex atmosphere. For you to find out if you would fit in. Check our site for more information.
The IOB 2017 will be at the IDE faculty of TU Delft. Students looking for an internship, job or just out of curiosity can meet design agencies and other companies. During the two-day fair, you will be able to stroll around the stands of about 30 different companies. Check the IOB site for more information and the address.
Contact Willemijn for more information about an internship at our studio
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.
If you would like to know more, get in touch with Mark
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!
We love to meet talented people to join our team. If you’re interested, check with Jeroen