Interview Designboom: 
onze visie op Design

Buro Reng Portret Hans Gerritsen en Pascal Rumph

Designboom is een dagelijkse webmagazine over design, industrieel ontwerp, architectuur en kunst. Gelanceerd in 1999, en het eerste webmagazine dat zich richt op deze onderwerpen. Het bevat nieuws over internationale design beurzen en wedstrijden, aanstormend talent, nieuwe projecten en interviews met gerenommeerde ontwerpers en architecten. Het online magazine werd uitgeroepen tot een van de top 100 ontwerp beïnvloeders in de wereld door Time Magazine.


Je kunt het interview ook bekijken op de website van Designboom.



Please could you tell us briefly about the evolution of Buro Reng?

We we’re colleagues for years at the design agency we both worked, together on several projects, it felt good. This year a monograph about Buro Reng is going to be published, that’s a big milestone for us! Besides that our attitude and skills are more and more embraced by new clients. That means more business and growth. We – ourselves – want to strive for a more autonomic approach in our work, with strong concepts and distinctive designs. in our own projects and for our clients.

How do you share / divide your workload?

We work together with illustrators, editors, programmers, copywriters, photographers on projects when needed but it’s mainly the two of us. Just recently we scaled up our studio and arranged workspace for two more designers, mainly trainees.

Buro Reng poster balloons
Buro Reng balloons

Balloon project

Which have been your most significant and satisfying projects to date?

When we started buro reng – five years ago – we had no clients, some money, to much ideas and time. So we started our first own project ‘balloons’. we hired a studio for a week, bought balloons, helium and started. We only had some vague ideas and the confidence that the creative process would guide us. After a week we had a load of material and started making animations, a font, posters, etc. It felt so good, as if we were back on art school! It grew out to a more or less blueprint for the way we tackle projects. Experimenting, collecting, analysing, labour, mistakes, fun, are important key words in the process. We worked the same way on projects like the VDP-identity, PJUK-identity, dag van de architectuur-identity , artphy-identity and the penduka-identity. All these projects work across a variety of media. There is stationary, animations, an bespoke typeface, stop-motion images, collages, handprints and stamps or 3D type. Most often these things are not asked for by the client but afterwards warmly accepted and it’s an approach that satisfies the client and ourselves.

Buro Reng balloon font Avantura

Balloon font

What do you think the most significant developments in graphic design have been in recent years?

With the introduction of the internet the world is now our playground. That impact is huge! It results in a ‘everything is happening everywhere constantly’ feeling. There’s is no longer a leading culture, trend or hype. It throws one back on its self, you’re own principals and attitude. You have to be strong to hold on and ask who am I? What is there for me to ad? The benefits of this phenomena are clear, this interview is an example. As a small design agency – as we are – it’s possible to be seen and heard internationally. We’ve had several invitations to feature our work in design publications from in asia and trainees from all over the world get in touch asking for an internship or to work with us. Our website shows visitors from all over the world – which is nice but confusing as well; we get more attention internationally than locally!

VSG Congres huisstijl logo
VSG Congres huisstijl map
VSG Congres huisstijl Bijeenkomst
VSG Congres huisstijl affiche

How do you think popular online design resources have influenced design being produced today?

In both good and bad ways. good: as the existence of all kind of designers and agencies is spread, we can see their designs, their attitude and learn from them. Bad: it’s mainly focused on the image at the end of the process and just the image. Most blogs just show the images and we might think that making images or eye candy is our profession. For us the images are always the result of a thorough research. The translation of the research results to a creative concept leads to these final images. You can not tear them apart unless you want to discuss aesthetics and only that!

Huisstijl Artphy stempel logo 1
Huisstijl Artphy stempel logo 3

A circle was chosen as the key element in the identity but was rendered through many different prints from natural produce (the center is surrounded by vegetable fields)

Huisstijl Artphy overzicht groenten 2

Some of the veggies post printing…

Huisstijl Artphy rode kool
Huisstijl Artphy ui

Meer lezen over project Artphy?

Besides your professional work – what do you have a passion for and why?

We love to cycle because and the sense of freedom we get from it. It’s such a wonderful and simple concept; the bicycle.

What lessons have you learned from your work that have changed your outlook on life?

That experiment and failure can lead to great new insights, results and satisfaction!

Penduka identity logo
Penduka identity logo white

Penduka is the name of a development organization for women in Namibia and means wake up! The women of Penduka embroider stories in the typical imagery of the ethnic groups to which the women belong. The embroidery is made in Africa and sold in Europe: by purchasing a Penduka product, you not only have a wonderful and unique product for yourself, but you are also contributing to improving the lives of women in Namibia.

Penduka identity embroidery bag
Penduka identity embroidery lettering
Penduka identity businesscards
Penduka identity example typography

Meer lezen over project Penduka?

What mistakes or 'traps' should a young graphic designer avoid?

Don't think only about the end result, the final 'image'. Research, processes and concepts are important and give solutions more weight and value.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

To be honest.

What is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?

Go for the money.