Gin from Utrecht, Label Design

From paper to digital, to paper
Encyclopaedia design and illustrations

This year I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bart Welzen and Paul Aelen of Online Publishing House Ensie from Nijmegen. Ever since their first published encyclopaedia’s in 1946, illustrations have always been of great important in clarifying difficult subjects. However, for the last couple of decades they haven’t been printing books. Instead, they have established a populair online platform with over 800,000 topics and 1000 authors writing about all kinds of topics. From the enthusiasm of Prof. Dr. Nico M. van Straalen (University of Amsterdam) for this platform Enie started thinking about bundling his popular topics in a book once again.

“We are an online platform on which we share knowledge. How great would it be to have a printed version again by one of our most popular contributors.”

During our meetings we discussed how we could elevate their dusty old image of printed encyclopaedia to one suited to the 21th century, while still maintaining the hand drawn engraving style elements they we are so fond of.

“For us it was a bit frightening to start such a project but from the very first moment on Viktor communicated clearly about the scope of work, timeline and what to expect in terms of feedback.”

Key features of the book would include that all 455 topics would each have no more than 250 words. Keeping it consistent and interesting for the reader was perhaps the biggest challenge in design.

In collaboration with the author I chose 26 topics to illustrate that where not self explanatory. They also needed to be anatomically correct without making it a book filled with disturbing pictures of bones and flesh. For this I chose to draw them in a modern line art style with horizontal lines to give them volume and small pointers to the different names of the elements. This linked them with the historic elements of previous publications while maintaining a modern look in their already established brand identity. 

 “Viktor is a true craftsman, with an incredible attention to detail, not only in illustrations but also in the way he guided us through the process. He truly lifted each step to a higher level.”

Matching with the book design, items such as custom postal boxes, bookmarks with gold foil, tissue paper for wrapping the book and stickers where added to the first 500 signed copies. 

100.000 words, divided over 455 topics, with over 26 illustrations form a 500+ pages thick hardcover book that is available September 1st in bookstores in the Netherlands and Belgium. You can order your edition on shop.ensie.nl.

Engraving style illustrations

Engraving style, most populair at the end of the 19th century has made a great comeback in modern design. Showing both heritage and history, these illustrations are a reflection of the time when you are looking for authentic design.
These illustrations are a compilation between different clients and personal projects. All drawn in Adobe Illustrator using a variety of techniques that imitate etching, engraving and woodcut styles.

Package design for The Flavour Co.

Eric & Martijn, two young aspiring entrepreneurs from Nijmegen where looking for an update of their branding and packaging of sample packs. I provided them with a range of different sleeves for the custom boxes, little booklets and 26 different labels.
On top of that I came up with a new logo and typography to match their brand story.

‘There is so much choice in whiskeys. It’s almost impossible to taste them all and to discover what you like the most. Start at the beginning. With these Starters Pack’s you will taste and discover the most common whisky’s: bourbon, blend and single malt.’

Looking for a way to tell your authentic brand story?

Feel free to contact me with your design questions