Design Amid : Design + Lifestyle Magazine




Login / Register
Home / Cover | Masthead | Categories | Advertise | DA Awards | Contents | + Submit an Article or News December 5, 2022

Joel Derksen Designs

Joel Derksen Designs

Today's featured designer is Joel Derksen. Joel Derksen is the creator of iconic designs such as Honey of the Messestadt and Poetic Hotel.

We had the rare opportunity to interview the exalted designer Joel Derksen who was recently announced as the Designer of the Day by the A' Design Award and Competition. Joel Derksen is the creator of iconic designs such as Honey of the Messestadt and Poetic Hotel. We got exclusive answers to our questions about Joel Derksen designs and design philosophy.
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, how did you become a designer?
Joel Derksen : I studied in Nova Scotia (Canada) before transferring to Toronto, and after working in a variety of roles there, I moved to Munich to join IDEO; and then to London and to freelance....
Joel Derksen, what are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
Joel Derksen : I originally believed that a good designer should have a lot of flexibility in approach, to be able to handle a range of accounts and styles. Now I'm starting to care less, and focus on parts of the process that matter to me: deep research, a focus on concept and uniqueness, and then tenacity in the craftsmanship to constantly improve the concept....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, which emotions do you feel when designing?
Joel Derksen : Candidly - I agonise. I want to exceed my own skills every time, to develop something new and relevant; something that no one else would dare to claim. Sometimes I try to feel good about it, but this idea design being "fun" eludes me. This is hard-wrought love, like kneading a very stiff dough. ...
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what is your growth path? what are your future plans? what is your dream design project?
Joel Derksen : I'm looking to work more with arts and cultures clients, and split my time more evenly between personal development and my art practice....
Joel Derksen, what are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
Joel Derksen : Don't get stuck to one location or place if it doesn't suit you. And if you haven't moved around - on an exchange, for an internship, etc - then you don't know if it suits you. Take as many new perspectives into your practice as possible....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, you are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
Joel Derksen : Don't slouch on strategy. Take time to really understand what is a good strategy - and who is a good strategist. There's a lot of snake oil out there. You owe your clients better....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what is your day to day look like?
Joel Derksen : Ideally it starts at 9:00 with a bit of exercise and going to the gym (or just a walk to a cafe), and by 11:00 then into design work and replying to emails. I try to do the creative heavy lifting from 11:00 to about 17:00. Usually the evening is filled with calls, but I'll stop work around 24:00 - and usually with administrative tasks or RFPs. If I have energy left i may set up a shoot or move into personal work until 2:00....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, how do you keep up with latest design trends? to what extent do design trends matter?
Joel Derksen : Looking not-dated is important, but the idea and strategy is more important. ...
Joel Derksen, how do you know if a product or project is well designed? how do you define good design?
Joel Derksen : Have I seen it on Dribbble? Is it an actual concept, or is someone just copying some trend they saw? Is that a plausible concept or strategy? Does the design meet the strategy that's been proposed? It's always surprising for me to see designers promise a concept, or talk about it, but then to not see it materialise in the work....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what is your biggest design work?
Joel Derksen : I think my biggest projects are yet to come....
Joel Derksen, who is your favourite designer?
Joel Derksen : It changes frequently depending on the projects I'm working on. ...
Joel Derksen, would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
Joel Derksen : I currently live in Amsterdam, and prior to that lived in London, Munich and Toronto. And I have to say absolutely. I've actively sought to live in places with strong design traditions - and I can see the fingerprints of each of these cities on my thinking, my stylistic choices, and my idea of what "excellence" is. I actively chose the Netherlands as a place to start building my business, because of the access to an incredible typographic history and the ability to improve myself through the people I meet. The classes, casual conversations, and other opportunities here and in the area are incredible. ...
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
Joel Derksen : When looking to work with a new client, I'm looking to see if they understand their target market and have an imperative to make an impact with good design. That they are not piecemeal thinkers, instead willing to look at a whole issue from a variety of angles.In partners, I expect good communication and a process that allows for input and refinement....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Joel Derksen : I'm currently a partner at The Canadian Design Resource, the only cultural-critical Canadian design magazine. Our goal is to challenge and shape Canada's design dialogue....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Joel Derksen : As a solo designer, I work with a wide range of both studios and companies. More commonly, I work with clients directly who are looking to rebrand or assert themselves in a competitive market. For me, this involves a heavy research component as well as writing, where the spirit of the times is linked to who the brand is becoming. This often is a very rich and rewarding experience, that leads to new territories that a brand can develop in. On the more practical side, the focus is on branding, strategy, and starting brands off on the right foot: from the first package design to the first website....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what is "design" for you?
Joel Derksen : Insight, emotion, and diligent research put together....
Joel Derksen, what kinds of works do you like designing most?
Joel Derksen : In the recent past I've done plenty of work with beer, liquors, foods and spirits, cosmetics. This year, I am also focusing on other competitive industries, such as fashion, architecture firms, and cultural initiatives....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Joel Derksen : I can't say that I have one. I am more interested in the crossing of these things (material / platform / technology), and the edges where they have to define themselves...
Joel Derksen, when do you feel the most creative?
Joel Derksen : Very painfully, probably around 21:30. I am not a morning person....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Joel Derksen : Always a bit mixed, depending on the project. Either odd that it's not part of my life anymore, or excited to get it all photographed and properly documented...
Joel Derksen, how do you think the "design field" is evolving? what is the future of design?
Joel Derksen : I used to be very involved in this discussion (during my time at IDEO) but I have stepped out of it. I worry for its future because of its relationship to advertising, and graphic design's inability to grapple with the ethical ramifications of being just another advertising entity. (Graphic Design culturally always wants to distance itself from advertising, but they are deeply interlinked). What I hope the future of design is - is a building of the ethical backbone of the graphic design community. Because now it seems that the brains are leaving the room, and I worry we only have "pixel perfect ninjas".Beyond that, graphic design must grapple with its global gentrification strategies, such as premiumisation and the legacy of Swiss Design. It's so boring and such a pity to see brands in Singapore look the same as Brooklyn; and to have a grid be the "right" way to design a page....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? how can companies select a good designer?
Joel Derksen : This is such a hard question, because so many designers are different, and have different skills and capabilities. A designer who can handle an open-ended brief might suffer at making 90 icons in a set, and a designer who makes amazing letter forms might crumble when getting a strategy briefing. So, I would say the hardest thing to be would assess what type of designer you are working with, and if they are a good match for the job - and that's not just matching work in the sector or seeing something you like. More look at the soft skills, their ability to question something. Not just challenge or push back - but question. ...
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, from your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Joel Derksen : Pros - designers are some of the few people who can see the fruits of their labour, for real, in the world.Cons - It's a very competitive industry, and I think the hours can get pretty long. Burn out is real....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, what skills are most important for a designer?
Joel Derksen : Self-reflection and communication....
Joel Derksen, designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Joel Derksen : It's always a struggle, I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask. I'm still learning this skill....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, who are some of your clients?
Joel Derksen : A range - from companies directly to agencies. A lot of small businesses....
Joel Derksen, what type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
Joel Derksen : Branding and packaging, but I'd love to do a bit more editorial and print....
Joel Derksen Designs
Joel Derksen, thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you... To learn more about Joel Derksen and check more designs by Joel Derksen as well as to see more Joel Derksen designs such as Honey of the Messestadt and Poetic Hotel visit
Joel Derksen Designs
We hope you enjoyed our interview of Joel Derksen. This interview was made possible by the contributions of A' Design Award and Competition - The World's largest and most influential design accolade. A' Design Award is an annual, international design award open to both concept stage and realized works by designers, artists, architects and brands worldwide. A' Design Award and Competition aims to create a public awareness and understanding of good design by promoting the best designers such as Joel Derksen and their design works worldwide. Visit to learn more.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of August, 2018 at 07.06 am by author Frank Scott Tags: Joel Derksen, Joel Derksen Designs, Joel Derksen Interview, Honey of the Messestadt and Poetic Hotel.. Read our copyright policy here.




Gao Xiong Designs

Julia Hell Designs

In de-sign of FuoriSalone

Lu Li Designs

A walk through Zona Tortona Fuorisalone 2015: insight from a Product Design student

Fuorisalone 2016 - A pleasant walk

Design Competition Survey for Award Winners

10 Sustainable Design Insights

Ingrid Kulper Designs

Organic Design Series - Drawer Handles

Promoting Designers

Echoes of Light in Galaxies

Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues in Design Competitions

Salone del Mobile 2016: to the search of the good design.

Salone satellite milano design week 2012




Random Article
» Gao Xiong Designs
A' Design Award


Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
Packaging Design
Architecture, Building and Structure Design
Fashion, Apparel and Garment Design
Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design
Toy, Games and Hobby Products Design
Digital and Electronic Devices Design
Interior Space and Exhibition Design
Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design
Interface and Interaction Design
Home Appliances Design
Graphics and Visual Communication Design
Computer Graphics and 3D Model Design
Photography and Photo Manipulation Design
Engineering and Technical Design
Scientific Instruments, Medical Devices and Research Equipment Design
Movie and Animation Design
Food, Beverage and Culinary Arts Design
Building Materials, Construction Components, Structures & Systems Design
Social Design
Idea Design
Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design
Meta, Strategic and Service Design
Unexpected Design
Information Technologies Design
Hardware, Power and Hand Tools Design
Young Design
Heavy Machinery Design
Performing Arts, Style and Scenery Design
Music, Audio and Sound Design
Writing, Literature and Content Design
Excellence in Design
Diligence and Intelligence in Design
Actor, Talent and Model Design
Hospitality, Recreation, Travel and Tourism Design
Futuristic Design
Social and Behavioral Sciences Design
Natural Sciences and Mathematics Design
Awards, Prize and Competitions Design
Event and Happening Design
Sports, Entertainment and Recreation Equipment Design
Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns and Cloth Design
Safety Clothing and Personal Protective Equipment Design
Beauty, Personal Care and Cosmetic Products Design
Chemical Products and Consumables Design
Sales, Contact Center and Customer Service Design
Pet Supplies and Products for Animals Design
Banking and Finance Instruments Design
Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design
Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design
Baby, Kids' and Children's Products Design
Fashion and Travel Accessories Design
Art Materials, Stationery Supplies and Gift Items Design
Prosumer Products, Tools, and Machinery Design
Security and Surveillance Products Design
Bathroom Furniture and Sanitary Ware Design
Manufacturing and Processing Machinery Design
Energy Products and Devices Design
Business Plan and Corporate Operational Plans Design
Information Processing Tools Design
Street Furniture Design
Landscape Planning and Garden Design
Urban Planning and Urban Design
Human Resources and HR Programs Design
Education and Training Content Design
Yacht and Marine Vessels Design
Car and Land Based Motor Vehicles Design
Agriculture, Horticulture and Fisheries Design
Aerospace and Aircraft Design
Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Design
Core Resources Manufacturing and Extraction Design
Spacecraft, Spaceplanes and Spaceship Design
Generative, Algorithmic and Parametric Design
Digital and Broadcasting Media Design
Print and Published Media Design
Construction and Real Estate Projects Design
Musical Instruments Design
Differently Abled and Seniors' Assistance Design
Public Awareness, Volunteerism, and Society Design
Governance and Public Services Design
Creative Legacy, Retro and Evergreen Design
Cultural Heritage and Culture Industry Design
Luxury Design
Mobile Technologies, Applications and Software Design
Advertising, Marketing and Communication Design
Creative Industry and Lifelong Design
Cybernetics, Prosthesis and Bio-Engineering Design
Radical Innovation and New Technologies Design
Wearable Technologies Design
Engineering, Construction and Infrastructure Design
Footwear, Shoes and Boots Design
Furniture Accessories, Hardware and Materials Design
Limited Edition and Custom Design
Design Quality and Innovation
Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design
Design for X
3D Printed Forms and Products Design
Disposable and Single-Use Product Design
Website and Web Design
Ease of Use and Universal Design
Adult Toys and Products Design
Methods, Techniques and Strategies Design
Legwear, Pantyhose and Hosiery Design
Industrial Design
Spatial Design
Graphics Design
Strategic Design
Interaction Design
Structured Product Design
Advanced Design and Design Research
Concealed, Hidden and Secret Design


1018.Article #1018
For Index, click here.
Google Advertisements
More Advertisements
Design Competition
Design Mega Store
OMC Design Studios
Copyrights ©2022 | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | RSS Feed | Register | Login