‘A boutique design studio specialized in illustrating authentic & heritage brand stories. Creating bespoke packaging, brand identity and editorial design’
Whether you are a business owner or a designer, looking for timeless packaging, illustrations or brand design.
I’d love to meet up with you and help you create something beautiful.
Encyclopedia design & illustrations
In September 2019, this 500+ page thick book on Evolution Theory by Publishing House Ensie will be released. Take a look at some of the key features I designed for them, including 26 illustrations, a portrait and all the layout.
ENGRAVING STYLE ILLUSTRATIONS
These illustrations are a compilation between free work and client work. All drawn in Adobe Illustrator using a variety of techniques.
About Viktor Baltus
‘Authentic illustrations & lettering for you,
or your branding project’
You are unique, so your branding, packaging or labels should be too. I specialize in partnering with businesses just like you who just started or have established a reputation over the years but find that your business could use a facelift, to really emphasize on the heritage story and quality you want to show.
It’s my goal to make your company tell an established story and help you to feel proud of your brand. Together, we can make this happen. You with your industry experience and understanding of your customers’ needs, and me with my knowledge of design, typography and history, concept development and marketing expertise.
My clients range from start-ups and 150 year old family-run shops, to Swiss wineries and high-end chocolate makers in New York. While I work with clients from all over the world one thing stays the same. I’m committed to create unique brand identities, on- or offline, that fit your business story and meet your customers needs.
Based in the little town of Zeist in the middle of the Netherlands, on the edge of a large forest, I have my boutique design studio. I don’t concider myself a hipster but do have a beard and like good coffee and wine. My favourite days are those where I find gems in antique shops, can work on the nitty-gritty little details of lettering, can teach people all about typography or make long strolls through the forest.
My background in graphic design, typography and contemporary art gives me the possibility to think outside the box and I can easily switch between mediums and techniques. It allows me to work on and offline and help you in an approachable way.
Ever since I was introduced to history lessons I’m fascinated by antique shops and printed paper; old packaging, labels and the backsides of photo’s from the late 19th century. In 2012 I started the company ‘Chalkboard’ as the request for custom lettering on chalkboards in restaurants and coffee shops skyrocketed. What started out by drawing chalkboards for some of the biggest companies in the Dutch food and coffee industry, like Douwe Egberts, Coffee Company and Albert Heijn has grown in to a creative design studio where I tell stories with illustrations and lettering, because that is what I love to do most.
The Process of creating an Authentic Design
Design is about a feeling and connection that people have when they get in touch with your business.
Has your company been around for a while or did you just started?
Do you want to tell an established story but are you not sure how to do that?
Reach out to me by filling out the contact form and tell me all about you company so we can plan a discovery call. I’ll give you more info on the process, we will discuss your goals and I’ll answer any question you have. After this I will send you a detailed design proposal based on your needs, which includes a price quote and timeline.
Step 1. Research
Telling a cohesive story starts with picking a year and place. Perhaps your company was founded in a specific year or you love to show it as an established brand that has been around for 100+ years. With period correct design it is possible to tell that story. To design the most authentic look for your company, I start with an in-depth research, where I gain insight in to what kind of typefaces, colours and elements were used during the founding of your company or the portrayed time period. In other words, if we are telling a 1920’s story, other typefaces and illustrations where used than in the 1880’s or 1450’s. This research is all combined in a comprehensive document which combines all my insights, the brand story and a visual timeline.
Step 2. Creating your User profiles
Let’s get to know you and your costumer. Perfect fitted design does not only reflect your company but also matches the costumer’s needs. By looking and listening to your side of the story, your primary and secondary customers, their jobs, challenges and pain points we define your brand through key attributes including tone of voice, look and feel, customers/tribe and cultural trend. These user profiles form the base on which we can reflect our design.
Step 3. Style guides
Concepts, sketches and observations, all based on the research and user profiles are put to paper in the form of 3 style guides. A Style guide, or mood board, is a visual encapsulation of your brand’s tone of voice and look and feel through three prompts. This essential step will help us set the compass in the right direction for your design and allow you to collaborate with our process.
Step 4. Concepts & Design
In this stage I design for you the concept that best addresses your challenges and business needs. Depending on your needs, this may include package design, logotype, colour palette, primary and secondary typefaces and illustration’s. Each proposal is reviewed, validated and refined in 3 rounds of revisions to make sure you are getting the best result.
Step 5. Implementation
After approval of the final design I deliver all documents and project details to you for marketing implementation and when needed I get involved in the production process to get the best possible result when printed. Both to make sure every little detail is an accurate translation of your design into reality. With this final stage of telling an authentic story I will make a full Brand Style Guide which contains guidelines for primary and secondary font specifications, colour palette, usage, patters/textures, clear space, style rules and common errors.
Think we’d make a good fit?
Frequently Asked Questions
How many projects do you work on?
Being a boutique design studio I only take on 1 to 2 projects at a time to ensure I have compete focus on your project and can deliver the highest quality.
How long does a project take?
Every project is different and has different assets so a project timeline can vary from weeks to several months. At the start of your project you will recieve a personal timeline.
I’m not based in the same city/country, can you help me?
Absolutely. Most of my clients aren’t even based in the EU and come from all around the world.
What’s a boutique design studio?
Just like a small clothing shop that only sells handmade limited clothing, a boutique design studio is a smaller creative agency that focuses on specialized work for a limited client list.
Can you make an illustration ASAP?
If ‘As Soon As Possible’ means I can fit it within my current projects? Sure. I’m mostly booked one to two month in advance. but give me a call and I’ll see what I can do for you.
How much do you charge an hour?
I never charge hourly, every project I take on starts with a project based price.
Those fees depend on the scope of work your project needs. I am happy to provide you with a quote once I find out more about your questions.
Add an authentic touch to your
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Are you a graphic designer or creative professionals and want to make your designs feel authentic?
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50 Authentic etching brushes for adobe illustrator
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Ready to be heard?
Let’s talk …
Please email me with as much detail as possible so that I’m able to understand the specific needs for your business.
If you prefer to chat on the phone, please email me to schedule a call.
Warm regards, Viktor Baltus
+31 6 4406 0144
My native language is Dutch, but English works just as well.
3708 JA Zeist
M-F 9am - 5pm
What time is it in The Netherlands?
Closed during holidays and weekends