Kees Bakker: Having Fun With Design
Founder of Kees Bakker Studio
by Elizabeth Lavis|
25 Jan 2022
One of Kees Bakker’s core principles is that the best designs are fun. As a result, his design approach is relatively straightforward. “I try to look for ‘clever’ solutions with a bit of fun in them,” he said.
Bakker’s company, Kees Bakker Studio, works with start-ups, design studios, and larger brands, all with the same approach; be innovative and original, and have a good time doing it.
One of Kees Bakker’s core principles is that the best designs are fun. As a result, his design approach is relatively straightforward. “I try to look for ‘clever’ solutions with a bit of fun in them,” he said. Bakker’s company, Kees Bakker Studio, works with start-ups, design studios, and larger brands, all with the same approach; be innovative and original, and have a good time doing it.
Bakker is an Amsterdam native who spent seven years in New York before returning to his home city. He credits his time in New York with coloring is design in exciting and fresh ways. “Having worked abroad resulted in a mix of Dutch and international design,” he said.
Kees Bakker might rely on fun to propel his projects, but his planning process is very serious. It involves research, sketching, managing client expectations, and selecting the right prototype to present to the client. Throughout the entire process, Bakker checks in with and takes direction from the client.
By harnessing the power of collaboration, Bakker is able to temper his creativity with client directions and create a fantastic product. Through working with the client, he is able to get them to trust him more and use his expertise to create impressive work. One of the best pieces of advice that Bakker ever heard was “solve the design in black and white first before ‘adding’ color.” Bakker can generally produce an excellent first draft by ticking off all the boxes.
While this meticulous process generally nets a positive result, Bakker and his team occasionally run into some criticism. Fortunately, Bakker sees harsh criticism as a positive way to grow, putting his optimistic spin on even the most cutting critiques.
“As a freelance designer, it’s important to be flexible and keep the interest of the client in mind,” he said. “Harsh criticism is great, as long as there is respect and a way to get to the core “why” the design received the criticism.” Once Bakker gets what the root problem is, he’s able to get the project right back on track and satisfy the client.
Bakker’s favorite aspect of his job is the ability to be creative and manage his own time. He also loves knowing that he can share what he’s learned with others. His professional and personal goals for the future include passing on his knowledge to the next generation of designers and supporting them in becoming the best versions of themselves.
When he’s not creating cutting-edge design, Bakker enjoys soaking in art and culture and keeping an open mind. His ability to derive joy and inspiration from his life and surroundings, plus out-of-the-box thinking, helps Bakker’s work to stay competitive and fresh. We expect to see more great things from him.
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