Vincent van Herk: Driven by Design

 Vincent van Herk

Vincent van Herk

Vincent van Herk was introduced to me via Robin Sprong as a really inspiring and experienced believer in the creative power of digital printing. After years running Faber Exposize, a leading Dutch wide format printer, Vincent has recently launched Driven by Design, a business dedicated to bringing organisations and the creatively minded designers together to create new or better value.                

So what is ‘Driven by Design’?

Through my work experience, I am truly captivated by the field of design. I have learned to understand the amazing flow of energy that creativity thrives on. The powerful potential to change things. I am a true believer in what design can do. That is what motivates me to connect the right kinds of energy to the right kind of people. You will be amazed what change it can bring to your future.

What is your background and how did you get involved with digital printing?

I was always into a combination of business and creativity. Had my education in both ways as well. In the beginning, I sometimes found that very frustrating, because I couldn’t make a decision of which way to go: creative or business. But, at some point, I found a way of putting these two together and create one strong talent for it. In my younger years, I was working with a bigger sign maker, where I had my office filled with 2 desks: 1 for meetings and 1 with an iMac and a PC.  So I could switch between the meeting-point to talk to business & design, the Apple-drawing board to fill the creative part and the calculating and PR/marketing side on my PC.

Actually, my specialism still is in the work of translation. To translate both the creative and business ways to help them both understand each other.

What do you feel are the key drivers that are responsible for the growth of digital print?

Digital print enables you to express yourself in a small and in a big way: an easily accessible way of showing who you are or want to be seen as.

What are the projects you have worked on that you are particularly proud of?

I always liked the projects that involved new ideas and creativity.

For example 7 years ago I did my first fashion show for Viktor & Rolf in Paris. The stage design by Studio Job was created in such a new way that covered the complete catwalk and back walls with Studio Job’s Industry pattern design. Completely printed scenography was quite new in this way. 

Another great way of translating the design into “print” are the projects I did with the Dutch designers-couple “Kiki and Joost”. Her aquarellic watercolour paintings were translated into huge interior decorations for Hermes and Rijksmuseum. Imagine: a 20-centimetre wide drawing translated to wall art of 25 meters wide and 6 meters high. Just think about the paper fibres that are blown-up to large-scale “cables”. Marvellous!

So projects that build with a successful connection with the designer, those are the ones that make blood run faster!

 Vincent Presenting at a recent HP event

Vincent Presenting at a recent HP event

You work with many designers – what is it they want from their digital print suppliers?

They want partnership in the project, understanding of the content and intrinsically passion from the persons they work with, and a helping translator from their design to the end result.

Also, the designer is always looking for new ways. Instead of business-wise approach where growth and continuity is the main focus, the designers’ approach is often to find new ways constantly. So, if you lend a helping hand in the research stage of the designers’ project, you will build relationships that will likely be long-lasting. 

As a matter of fact, in my opinion, it still is far from what is necessary to build businesses. That is to have the creative minded designer on your drawing board. The creativity works as a catalyst for innovation. And I think innovation is the real powerhouse of our businesses and complete economy?!

For many organisations (perhaps all?) if they want to stay relevant in the next 5 years they need to act now. The future is now! 

Pure Digital Show is designed to connect digital print with the creative industry – would you agree that there is a divide between the print industry and the creative industry – and why do you think this is?

See my recaps above. It is a matter of translation and finding the new ways of working in this rapidly changing era we live in.

Tell us more about Driven by Design and what you aim to achieve with the new business?

With “Driven by Design”, it is my job, and my privilege, to help both the business side and the creatively minded designers to work together in a collaborative way to shape their future. Because of them both speaking different languages, but have the intense need of working together, I am there to help them translate and manage the project. I can do that in different ways: guiding them through design weeks is one of the great ways of connecting with a lot of them in a short time. Or, we can start a project with a designers-collective and have them research your company for new values. During Dutch Design Week we saw some great examples of how the designers-research was translated into an inspiring expo that helped them to rise up to the next level.

Like the project FINSA that the design collective Envisions showed. Check out this video below!

For more information on Driven by Design go to www.drivenbydesign.nl