BNO Packaging Talent Award winner Lennaert t’Loo

An interview by Connie Fluhme, PR at VBAT

BNO NEXTpack is the platform for all around Dutch Packaging Design and therefore also supports the BNO Packaging Talent Award since years. Making packaging as a discipline more attractive to young designers and students is one of the goals of this initiative, which has been started by the major packaging design agencies of The Netherlands. VBAT is a proud member of this initiative.

In the beginning it was not easy to find ‘real’ clients who would come up with ‘real’ cases, but in recent years the assignments became more and more interesting. This year the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn came up with a great one.

The Brief

Last June 2016, Albert Heijn re-introduced the brand Brouwers, a lager with a new flavor and a new identity. Now, a year later, Albert Heijn wants to expand the Brouwers assortment with a new beer: IPA — India Pale Ale.

The participants of the BNO PTA 2017 became the assignment to develop a new packaging design and translate this identity to the label, cap, 6-pack, 0.33 cl can and the corresponding shrink film.

The Winner

Meet Lennaert Bob van t’ Loo, winner of this year’s BNO Packaging Talent Award. The 19 year-old lives in Gouda and is currently extremely busy with his final design exam project at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam (GLR).

Lennaert Bob van t’Loo

Q: When did you first find out about your love for packaging design?
A: The first time I got in touch with packaging design was in my first year at the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam.We were given the assignment to re-design the packaging of Beats by Dre in a more 80s style. Within one hour I had made a complete new die cutter of a box in illustrator, and at the end of the day my design was finished. I can still remember the first time that I put that box together and it felt amazing!

All my artwork went seamless around every corner, and the box itself fitted on the first try. On top of that my professor was really impressed and he recommended me the course ‘study of packaging design’.

The fact that even a packaging design professor thought my work looked good, was the moment I knew I wanted to study packaging design.

I have never regretted my decision and I love the profession. A big part about packaging design what I like is the 3D aspect of it.

Q: Why did you choose to study at Het Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam?
A: I chose for the GLR because I really wanted to do something creative with my life. I went to a lot of open days from different schools but the Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam really stood out.
The environment felt really good and they had so much to offer, from graphic design, to packaging, to animation, game art, web design and a whole lot more.

I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to study, but I was pretty sure that I would found it on the GLR. And I was right.

Q: How did you find out about the BNO Packaging Talent Award?
A: I found out about the Talent Award through the design company (Brum Design) I was interning at. They are a amazing packaging design company, full of wonderful and creative people. Brum is also part of NEXTpack.

Q: How did you get the idea for your winning design?
A: I got the idea after a lot of research about India Pale Ale beer and even more sketching. I found it really interesting what the reason behind IPA beer was and how it was stored over such a long journey from England to India. So I built my concept around that.

Q: What design choices have you made?
A: I really showed the Brouwers identity in my design.

I kept the oblique color plane on the packaging, and made it a bright color that I associated with India. Also, I wanted to honor the journey the beer had to take in order to get toIndia. I did that by making the cans and the paper wrapped around the bottle look like a beer barrel, because that’s how they shipped the IPA across the ocean.

Q: What does the award mean to you?
A. It means a lot, it really does.
All the designs looked really good, and then hearing that the jury chose yours as the winner feels amazing.

The award is something that I proudly present in my portfolio, and something I can look back at and think “ha, that’s a big accomplishment Lennaert, keep making stuff like that.”

Q: Would you advise others to join the awards next year?
A: Yes definitely! It is a great way to take a peek into “the business world”.

Q: What other Brouwers submissions did you like, and why?
A: The only other Browser submissions I have seen were those from the other nominees. And I must say that they all looked really good.

The one that I thought was really really good was the #2 design. The illustration looked amazing and they used a nice color. I think if they had kept to the briefing they could have been #1.

Lennaert’s favourite of other submissions he had seen. IPA by Tijs KRamer (dBOD)

Q: You are a young ‘entrepreneur’ with your own studio Chrome Graphics. When you have finished your studies, will you go on being self-employed, or are you looking for work in an agency?
A: Haha Yes I am. I started Chrome Graphics when I turned 18.
I wanted some more challenges, outside the school assignment, so I registered myself at “de Kamer van Koophandel” and started taking on design assignments. Then I went on a 8-month internship. I didn’t really have the time to do both, so I didn’t put much time in Chrome.

I am currently in my last 3 months of my education, and when I have my diploma I’d like to start again putting more time in my company.

Chrome Graphics is really something I like to do on the side. I had such a great time at Brum design that I would love to keep working for a big packaging design company. At least until I start my next education somewhere in September.

Q: How could we make packaging design as a discipline more attractive to students like yourself?
A: I already think that it’s a great profession. If I had to do this for the rest of my life you wouldn’t hear me complain.

If you want to get the attention of young designers I’d recommend visiting them in schools with presentations from people from the business, and show those students what a great profession it is.

Q: And finally: Do you want to continue work in packaging design?
A: Definitely! I think that packaging design is so much fun to do and I’d love to keep working in this industry.

Only there is something I like to learn as well, and that is product design. That is why in 2018 I want start an education in product design. After I have finished that, my dream is to work at a company that designs products as well as the packaging.

A little bit like VBAT ;)

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An interview by Connie Fluhme, PR at VBAT