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What’s going on

What’s going on

The latest news and products from FLEX.

24 Oct 2018

Meet us at the Dutch Design Week (DDW)

Don’t miss us when you’re visiting the Dutch Design Week the next couple of days! With almost 400 expositions, seminars and presentations the 17th edition of the DDW again offers lots of innovative ideas and inspiration. Enjoy our innovative designs and listen to our inspirational talks at various locations.

In HAL 4 of the ‘Klok building,’ you can admire three of our GIO (Dutch equivalent for Excellent Industrial Design) winning designs at the GIO award-winners exposition. For Lely, we designed the latest version of their milking robot, the Lely Astronaut A5, a new milestone in automatic milking. For Unilever supported start-up LESS, we developed a smart dosing system for liquid laundry detergents. The Harvest House tomato dispenser at this exposition is also a FLEX design.

On Thursday, October 25th at 13:30 our Managing Director Jeroen Verbrugge joins the panel discussion at the DRIVE Festival. This session will focus on the deliberate choices designers can make to create FMCG for a circular economy. Our packaging for Seepje detergents is one of the cases to be discussed. DRIVE will take over the Natlab in Eindhoven.

At ‘Het Veem’ in Strijp-S is the exhibition for the Dutch Design Awards finalists. Earlier this year the Dutch Design Awards (DDA) jury awarded our ‘Augmented Blueware’ with a Dutch Design Award 2018 in the category Best Client. The jury praised the close collaboration of Royal Delft, TWNKLS|augmented reality and FLEX/design in creating this unique concept; an exclusive tableware collection with precisely the same decoration as a unique, hand-painted Delft Blue vase.

Or, last but not least, join the fifth edition of SUPERFAST on Friday, October 26th, an annual event at the Dutch Design Week (DDW). It’s all about packaging, innovation, and design and organized by VNV (packaging experts) and BNO NEXTpack (brand & packaging design agencies). Specialists in the world of packaging inspire the audience with short, informative presentations. This year’s theme for Superfast is transparency. Sergio Ooijens, Head of International Marketing & Communications at Lely International, will inspire the audience with the ‘Mijn Melk’ case, an innovative concept our designers contributed to. Save the date: October 26th from 09:30 – 14:30 and buy your ticket for this inspiring event.

The Dutch Design Week 2018 is from October 20th – 28th 2018 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Cynth 150 150

Contact Cynthia in case of any questions

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08 Nov 2018

Double GIO Special Award

Yesterday evening we joined the official GIO (Dutch equivalent for Excellent Industrial Design) awards ceremony at the beautiful Cube design museum in Kerkrade, The Netherlands. All GIO award winners gathered to celebrate and to learn which seven designs are awarded best of category: The Special Awards. We’re proud that two out of three of our GIO award-winning designs are the winner of a Special Award. The tomato dispenser we designed for Harvest House won a Special Award for Ergonomics. The jury rewarded the Lely Astronaut A5 with a Special Award for Excellence for its technical complexity, animal and user-friendliness and excellent industrial design that embodied it.

Lely builds machines and automated systems for dairy farming. We collaborate already for years and enthusiastically designed also the latest version of their milking robot, the Lely Astronaut A5, a new milestone in automatic milking. The A5 focusses on an even better cow comfort and user-friendliness for the farmer. For its design, we chose for a flowing shape and a gentle look-and-feel according to the ‘Lely Red Rule design guidelines.’ It brings a professional atmosphere and tranquillity in the stables.

For Harvest House, one of the largest growers associations specializing in salads, we designed a tomato dispenser. With the new dispenser, consumers can tap the exact right quantity of tomatoes, a big portion or just a few. In the transparent container, the tomatoes roll down via the cascade, which prevents them from damaging when they are on top of one another. The rubber conveyor belt with a diagonal pattern of studs enables consumers to dispense very accurately. For Harvest house a better continuity in tomato sales.

CUBE design museum in Kerkrade exhibits all award-winning designs for the next coming months, from November 8th 2018 to April 14th 2019.

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Contact Jeroen for our innovative solutions

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06 Nov 2018

Scouting the Dutch Design Week

End of October we were scouting the Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven in two teams on trends, new insights and inspiration to share later with our clients and to integrate into our projects. We enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere at this latest edition, with lots of sustainable solutions for a better future.

Our Managing Director Jeroen Verbrugge’s first and foremost impression was the many outspoken colors and shapes of designs exhibited at this year’s edition. Lots of bright colors in striking products and fabrics.

Our IoT specialist, Christiaan Lammens, was very enthusiastic about new ways to interact with technology: fewer LCD displays and more physical interactions with products, for instance through facial recognition, motion, touch or temperature.

Iris van der Heide, our senior designer, and packaging expert was impressed by the story Ira van Eelen presented at SUPERFAST ‘Transparency’ about Cultured (Clean) Meat as a sustainable solution for our world food problem.  It gave her food for thought

Our visit at DDW brought us lots of inspiration and new insights to integrate into our projects and share with our clients. DDW we’ll meet again next year!

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Contact Christiaan for our connected solutions

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31 Oct 2018

Teaching Design Thinking for successful innovation

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In the past few weeks, Managing Director Jeroen Verbrugge and Creative Director Robin Hoenderdos taught 35 ambitious MBA students about Design Thinking. The elective course Design Thinking, developed for the MBA Program of the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, gives the students hands-on experience to use for successful innovation in their organizations.

In their everyday practice, Jeroen and Robin collaborate with a wide variety of companies to develop successful business solutions using a Design Thinking approach: human-centered, integrated, learning by doing.

Together with Dirk Deichmann of RSM, they guided a group of students from entirely different backgrounds (Marketing, Medical, Finance, Engineering, etcetera) through a rich variety of Design Thinking tools and techniques. In seven sessions they got familiar with: What is Design Thinking and when to use it? How to use design research to gather meaningful insights? How to use creativity techniques to generate innovative solutions? The students were treated to a mix of theory and practical exercises and coached on case studies from their own experience. Inspiring days with a great vibe!

Robin: “It was a joy to teach these talented people, all eager to learn new ways to innovate their industries. Some of the exercises were real eye-openers for them. We had stimulating discussions! It’s great to have this opportunity to pass on our experience to a group of future leaders. The case studies, in particular, made us realize once more that Design Thinking as an approach has so much potential – beyond just products – in any industry.”

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Contact Robin if you’d like to know what Design Thinking can do for your organization.

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16 Oct 2018

Join SUPERFAST #5 and get inspired

Join the fifth edition of SUPERFAST, an annual event at the Dutch Design Week (DDW). It’s all about packaging, innovation, and design and organized by VNV (packaging experts) and BNO NEXTpack (brand & packaging design agencies). Specialists in the world of packaging inspire the audience with short, informative presentations. This year’s theme for Superfast is transparency.

The morning will be filled with 10-minute transparency presentations around a product, service or supply chain. The speakers will lead the audience ‘superfast’ through their expertise, and in between, there are interviews with experts. Keynote speakers from amongst others: Fairtrade Original, Partners in Innovations, Massive Music, Albert Heijn, Slow Fashion, Kweekvlees, Oerlemans Packaging, and Mijn Melk.

We’re proud that we could contribute to the milk revolution ‘Mijn Melk.’ From now on consumers can buy this pure, fair and honest dairy product simply at their local Albert Heijn supermarket. Mijn Melk does not come from a large dairy factory but directly from a farmer and even a specific cow family. Consumers buy milk from Aukje, Kitty or Cootje, with its unique taste and composition. The Lely Orbiter makes it all possible, which is, in fact, an innovative on-farm mini dairy factory..  Sergio Ooijens, Head of International Marketing & Communications at Lely International, will tell you all about it at SUPERFAST #5.

Save the date: October 26th from 09:30 – 14:30 at DDW in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and buy your tickets (please note the presentations are all in Dutch).  We’ll meet you at SUPERFAST!

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12 Oct 2018

3 GIO awards for our designs

We’re proud that the jury rewarded three of our designs with a GIO 2018 (Dutch equivalent for Excellent Industrial Design). We enjoyed the collaboration with our clients on each of these projects, facing quite different challenges. Admire all GIO 2018 award-winning designs at the Dutch Design Week (DDW) from October 20th – 28th in Eindhoven!

For Unilever supported start-up LESS, we developed a smart dosing system for liquid laundry detergents. 90% of all consumers overdose detergents, thinking it gets their laundry cleaner and better smelling. The opposite is true. They are not only wasting money but also harms their washing machine and our environment. We developed an easy operating system with a clean and friendly design. Just place the bottle with a unique valve upside down in the dispensing unit and push 1,2 or 3 times depending on the amount of washing and how dirty it is. LESS is an ‘online only’ concept, which cannot be found on the shelves at retailers.

Lely builds machines and automated systems for dairy farming. We collaborate for already more than 20 years and enthusiastically designed also the latest version of their milking robot, the Lely Astronaut A5, a new milestone in automatic milking. The A5 focusses on an even better cow comfort and user-friendliness for the farmer. For its design, we chose for a flowing shape and a gentle look-and-feel according to the ‘Lely Red Rule design guidelines.’ It brings a professional atmosphere and tranquillity in the stables.

For Harvest House, one of the largest growers associations specializing in salads, we designed a tomato dispenser. As an innovator, they closely monitor new fresh concepts trends at retailers and develop their products and solutions accordingly. With the new dispenser, consumers can tap the exact right quantity of tomatoes, a big portion or just a few. In the transparent container the tomatoes roll down via the cascade, which prevents them from damaging when they are on top of one another. The rubber conveyor belt with a diagonal pattern of studs enables consumers to dispense very accurately. For Harvest house a better continuity in tomato sales.

We’re ready to join the official awards ceremony at Cube design museum in Kerkrade The Netherlands on November 7th, 2018. On that evening the jury also officially announces the winners of a Special Award of Excellence in the different categories.  From November 8th the GIO winners will be exhibited at Cube.

Cynth 150 150

Any questions on PR related matters? Ask Cynthia

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02 Oct 2018

Jeroen Verbrugge keynote speaker at Gildedag 2018

On Friday, October 5th our Managing Director Jeroen Verbrugge is one of the three ‘maestros’ to inspire the audience of Gildedag 2018 in becoming even better entrepreneurs. This year’s edition is all about teambuilding; what’s the magic in building a team that thrives without the entrepreneur’s direct daily efforts.

At Gildedag’s 4th edition starting and experienced entrepreneurs gather to learn from one another. It’s a ‘pitch-free zone,’ not to do business, but a focus to invest in themselves and become better leaders to their companies, helping their teams to grow without their daily involvement. A splendid combination of three maestros from different industries will inspire the audience: Eveline Wu, owner of some flourishing restaurants, master of dance Jan Pieter van Lieshout and our Jeroen Verbrugge.

Gildedag is a yearly event organized by Gilde van Ondernemers – mastering growth, a network of enthusiastic entrepreneurs that aim to get the best out of themselves and their employees. This year’s edition is at Eemlandhoeve in Bunschoten, The Netherlands on October 5th.

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Contact Jeroen for more information

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10 Sep 2018

Silver Pentaward for A-dam Underwear packaging

We’re proud that the international Pentaward jury awarded our packaging concept for A-dam Underwear with a Silver Pentaward 2018. Our Creative Director Marcel Verkaik and Designer Henriëtte Lauridsen attended the official ceremony at the great Guggenheim Museum in New York on September 6th, 2018.

Our team enjoyed collaborating with the A-dam guys creating this packaging. The five young entrepreneurs of A-dam Underwear strive to make the best men’s underwear ever made: handmade, premium quality, perfect fit and made of organic cotton only. Their former pack wasn’t good enough to support this ambition and realize significant growth. We created the new ‘tongue-in-cheek’ packaging design, which reflects and reinforces A-dam’s brand identity: stylish, modest and responsible outside, but with a brave, naughty and humorous spirit inside. Next, to a key creative conceptual spark, we managed to solve some practical issues on the structural side of the pack. On top of these quality improvements, we realized a considerable cost reduction compared to this packaging’s predecessor.

The Pentawards is recognized as the most prestigious worldwide competition exclusively devoted to packaging design. No less than 55 different categories allow any packaging to compete and be judged against similar creations. The jury selects the winners based on the creative quality and the marketing relevance. Their recently announced partnership with Easyfairs will allow them to expand the reach of the Pentawards.

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Ask Marcel if you would like to know more

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31 Aug 2018

‘Mijn Melk’ welcome to the milk revolution

As of September 9th, you can choose your favorite taste of milk simply at your local Albert Heijn supermarket. Buying a bottle of ‘Mijn Melk’, you buy the milk of your favorite the cow family with its specific taste, not from a large dairy factory, but direct from a farmer. Consumers buy a fair, direct and pure dairy product.  Earlier this week Lely, the agricultural innovator, unveiled their latest revolution which makes it all possible: The Lely Orbiter. The Orbiter is an innovative on-farm dairy processing system. We’re proud that we could contribute to this milk revolution in creating the milk bottle’s packaging design and design of the Orbiter housing.  Thanks everyone for a great collaboration!

The Orbiter processes the milk directly from the milking robots to the bottle. It is, in fact, a mini dairy factory on the farm, designed with the latest food safety standards in mind.  The smart system can process the milk of each cow separately with a unique end product in mind.  It contributes in a fair, direct and pure way to a sustainable future for farmers as well as consumers. Biological farmer Guus van Roessel from Udenhout, The Netherlands is the first entrepreneur that installed an Orbiter. They supply milk from their selected cow families Aukje, Kitty, Cootje and Moevchen, all slightly different in taste and characteristics. The bottle’s label proudly mentions their names, immediately recognizable for consumers. We enjoyed creating the structural packaging design and being part of this revolutionary development. Danny Klein, the owner of FiftyEightWest, helped us in creating the graphic design of the bottle’s label.

This innovation is beneficial to the farmer, the cow, the environment and modern consumer. It helps to  bring consumers closer to the farmers.

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Ask Jeroen about this exciting new project

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16 Aug 2018

Red Dot Award for Seepje

We’re proud that the Seepje laundry detergent packaging is again awarded! The Red Dot jury awards Seepje with a Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2018 in category Packaging Design. Each year the international jury judges many submissions from all over the world and rewards the best creative work with this renowned award. We developed the packaging for the wonderful young laundry enthusiasts of fairtrade brand Seepje. On October 26th the entrepreneurs Melvin and Jasper will officially receive the award at the Red Dot Gala at the ‘Konzerthaus’ in Berlin.

Generous Minds helped Seepje’s young entrepreneurs with their business strategy and asked us to develop an iconic bottle that would help Seepje to scale up for retailers like Albert Heijn. We came up with the archetypical shape of a soap block, of course, a wink to clean. Its plain design stands out on the shelves, which are filled with a profusion of shapes and colors. The soap block shape, pastel colors and soft touch all refer to softness.

In line with the packaging’s content: a sustainably produced detergent, we made deliberate choices in our design process. The bottle’s shape ensures a secure grip for users and reduces the use of material compared to regular detergent handles. At the bottom, you can read that they are made out of recycled HDPE plastic. The labels are easily detachable, to help consumers separate waste.

The key ingredient of these detergents is an extract of the peels of the Sapindus Mukurossi fruits from India and Nepal. These ‘super peelings’ contain a natural kind of soap, which is released when exposed to water. Pulverized by the farmers, it’s turned into a liquid extract once it’s in The Netherlands. Seepje is collaborating with the local farmers , who take care of harvesting and processing these peelings in a socially responsible way. Seepje aims to ‘wash the world cleaner and more beautiful.’

In 2017 the Seepje packaging won an NL Packaging Award 2017 and a Silver Pentaward 2017. Furthermore, we recently  learned that we are nominated for a ‘Gouden Noot’ 2018.

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Contact Iris for more information about innovative packaging solutions

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20 Jul 2018

Seepje packaging nominated for Gouden Noot

The ‘Gouden Noot’ jury nominated our sustainable packaging design for Seepje for the final round of this renowned packaging innovation competition, together with nine other finalists. On October 17th, our team will present our packaging design, made for a circular economy, in front of the jury. On November 22nd, the jury will announce who takes home the bronze, silver or gold award at the official award ceremony at the A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam.

We designed this sustainable packaging for Seepje’s new range of liquid detergents. The key ingredient of these detergents is an extract of the peels of the Sapindus Mukurossi fruits from Nepal. These ‘super peelings’ contain a natural kind of soap, which is released when exposed to water. Pulverized by the farmers, it’s turned into a liquid extract once it’s in The Netherlands. Generous Minds helped Seepje with its strategy and asked us to develop an iconic bottle that would help Seepje to scale up for retailers like Albert Heijn.

We came up with the archetypical shape of a bar of soap, of course, a wink to clean. The shape offers the functionality that is needed but also gives the brand a visual imprint that is powerful. The ‘soap’ shape, pastel colors and soft touch all refer to softness. Other surprising details help this bottle stand out from the crowd: the embossing immediately shows the type of detergent, once the easily detachable sleeve (waste separation) has been taken off. In line with its sustainably produced ingredients, the bottles are made of Dutch recycled HDPE plastic. At the bottom, it says: ‘I’m made from recycled plastic.’

They are now available in more than 1400 stores in Belgium and The Netherlands, while distribution to German retailers is in the pipeline. Based on their laundry detergent success, they launched all-purpose cleaners and recently a dishwashing detergent. The growth in retail outlets selling Seepje brings an increase in sales but also brand recognition. The young entrepreneurs are collaborating with farmers in Nepal, who take care of harvesting and processing these peelings in a socially responsible way. In 2017 Seepje won a NL Packaging Award and a Silver Pentaward.

‘De Gouden Noot’ is a Dutch packaging innovation contest that is organized every two years. Organizer NVC’s (the association of Dutch packaging experts) goal is to stimulate innovation in packaging and packaged products. The award is named after the unique solid golden walnut trophy that represents sustainable, effective and innovative packaging. At its latest edition in 2016, we won a gold award for the mini paint rollers we created for AkzoNobel and our Ultimaker 2 Go packaging was a runner-up. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this year!

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Enthusiastic about this packaging design? Get in touch with Iris

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