Duration: We started Vrints-Kolsteren about three years ago.
Location: Antwerp, Belgium.
Education: Illustration at Sint Lucas Antwerpen (St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp) in Antwerp, Belgium.
Career path: Although we started Vrints-Kolsteren three years ago, we have been working together since university. When we were in school, we started a collective with other classmates. We experimented a lot! It was a way for us to get in touch with many different fields, and after a while, we knew which direction we wanted to go with our future work. After graduating, we worked at different studios. Vincent worked in the Netherlands at Studio Dumbar. Naomi went to Berlin for a few months to do an internship, and later she worked at a small graphic design studio in Antwerp and at a magazine in Brussels.
Artistic influences: During his time in the Netherlands at Studio Dumbar, Vincent discovered the legacy of Dutch designers like Wim Crouwel and Karel Martens. When Naomi was in school, she started becoming interested in photography. Later, when she worked at the magazine, she got the chance to do a lot of photo shoots. This mix between graphic design and photography has proven to be an asset in our work.
Favorite project: We recently finished the identity for the St Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp. We worked on it for almost a year, and it was the biggest project we’ve done so far. The whole identity was based on a modular grid that can be used in a dynamic way. It’s nice to see the identity come to life.
Work environment: Besides the two of us, we always have one intern. Though this started as a test, it has become an important part of the studio; now, we wouldn’t do it any other way. We enjoy that there are always new inclinations, which can be very inspiring for us. We have been lucky to work with very talented interns, and we love to give them assignments that bring out their best qualities.
At the moment, we are sharing a studio with Matthias Deckx. We work with him on all our online projects. For us, it is very important to work with a developer, and because of this close collaboration, we can translate what we do offline to online. Online is a whole new world in which there is still a lot to be discovered.
Approach: An important element of our work is having a good relationship with clients. We like to work with them in collaborative way, not just as a typical customer-studio relationship. For example, for Antwerp Art Weekend, we worked together with a friend of ours, Benny Van den Meulengracht-Vrancx, who co-organized Antwerp Art Weekend. We had studied together and know each other well. He trusted our judgment, and that’s why working together was so pleasant. It was also an interesting project because we have been working on the identity for a few years—and hopefully more to come. This gives us the opportunity to reinvent the design every year, but also make sure that it is consistent.
Aspirations: We are very happy with where we stand now, and we are very grateful to both be working in this field full-time. In the future, it would be interesting to have larger and more international projects.
Philosophy: Simplicity is key.
Fun fact: It had always been our dream to start our own studio, but it was necessary for us to gain some experience first. There is a lot you can’t learn in school.