Amsterdam Ad Blog

Wendy van Santen

Computer Virus Catalog

July 18, 2014, AAB

Computer Virus Catalog - July 2014Bas van de Poel, creative at Anomaly, has always been intrigued by the dark side of computing. When, a few months ago, he found out that the Melissa virus is named after the author’s favorite exotic dancer, he was triggered to do something with the computer virus stories. Computer Virus Catalog is an illustrated guide to the worst viruses in computer history. Van de Poel invited over 20 artists from around the world to interpret a virus in their own unique style. Each virus is accompanied by a short paragraph summarising its evil plot. We thought the viruses were fictional – because their effects sound rather bizar – but Van de Poel assured us they are “100%” real. Participating artists include Anthony Burrill, HORT, Jonathan Zawada, Marc Kremers, Michael Willis, Saiman Chow, Felipe Pantone, Sarah Mazzetti, Mike Perry and Mel Nguyen.

Creative Ties & Mad Hatters breakfast

July 16, 2014, AAB

Dolly Rogers Creative Ties and Mad Hatters Breakfast - July 2014Creative Ties & Mad Hatters is an initiative by Jennette Snape, founder of Dolly Rogers. “It calls all creatives and visionaries, makers and doers, artists and artisans, boys and girls and offers the proper playground to flaunt your super awesome talent, and show some of Amsterdam’s top industry hats just how bright you shine in the spotlight. It’s gonna turn our fun spot into a melting pot, so no talent or discipline is too big, too small or too weird.” The idea is simple: you should wear a tie to match your personality, bring a folio to illuminate your skills, and style yourself with enthusiasm to match your flair. In exchange Dolly Rogers will mix up a jury of various industry mad-hatters to review your work. Be it an opera director, a violinist, sneaker designer or writer extraordinaire. The 4th edition is due. So, if you dare go down the rabbit hole, you can send a short folio to along with a letter that spells out why you’re brave enough to join. Places are limited. If you’re selected, mark your calendar for the 7th of August, and buckle up for an enchanting creative journey. You can find out more info here and check out some pics of the past editions here.

World cup colours to lick

July 11, 2014,

Maan Design Studio - Worldcupstamps July 2014More World Cup inspired design. This time from Maan Design Studio based in Portugal. Maan (Moon in Dutch) designed stamps representing the 32 national teams competing in the World Cup. You can take a closer look here. The agency put the different countries together in an envelope based on their respective playing Groups. The patterns work really well. Are nicely minimalistic. That’s why it’s sometimes even hard to guess some of the countries. Others are easy. It would have been nice if they made the stamps ‘restickable’ and included a playing schedule showing the quarter-finals and final. Or maybe found another way to make the stamps besides beautiful also useful.

Dutch Designed Football Shirts

July 9, 2014,

Dutch away and England home Nike - July 2014The World Cup keeps inspiring designers. Last week I wrote about the Tricolor font. Since Holland is playing in the semi-finals tonight (against Argentina), I want to share a piece about the beautiful font on their shirts. Nike collaborated with the famous Dutch designer Wim Crouwel – a legend when it comes to Dutch Design. It is a really tasteful project. And a win win; Nike will have a unique selling point and their owners will be proud to wear them. The English shirts fonts were done by Neville Brody. And I personally like the French home shirt. A deeper insight in this project can be found here.

Tripper Tricolor

July 4, 2014,

2014 07 - tripper_tricolor_font_underwareTo stay in the atmosphere of FIFA World Cup, something soccery. Johan Cruyff is famous for his football and his witty remarks. The latter gave him the nickname: ‘The Oracle of Betondorp’ – a neighborhood near the old Ajax stadium, where he grew up. There is a nice ticker-tape now in the colors of the World Cup teams with quotes by Cruyff. A nice little way by avid type foundry Underware to promote their Tripper Tricolor font. I am not sure the font will be a succes in German though. A Dutch jeans brand named Tripper tried to get on the German market without succes. The reason being that tripper means gonorrhea there. But that is besides the font.

PanicRoom, Edition 9

June 26, 2014, AAB

Terence-NealeThe PanicRoom returns for Edition 9 next Thursday, 3rd July, with another eclectic line-up sharing what’s currently making them tick. The inspiration evening curated and hosted by PostPanic is ‘most definitely not a portfolio night’ and has championed exposing the Amsterdam creative community to some of the best international creative minds out there. Past guests have included Pleix, Shynola, Vincent Fournier, Kristoffer Borgli, Andrew T Huang, Aaron Duffy and Si Scott. This edition sees South African Terence Neale, director of some of the best music videos to come out of the country in the past few years (Baby’s on Fire – Die Antwoord, Ragga Bomb – Skrillex), Amsterdam’s own creative Irish gentlemen The Stone Twins and Berlin’s ground-breaking animation studio, Polynoid (responsible for the Emmy nominated Halo4: FUD Opener). The PanicRoom is invite-only for mainly senior players in our industry but Amsterdam Ad Blog always manages to blag some tickets for young creatives who also want a look-in. The first 10 names to send an email with AAB in the subject line will get 2 tickets for themselves and a friend.

Marktplaats Magic

June 6, 2014,

Marktplaats Magic by Reuben AlexanderMarktplaats (the Dutch e-Bay) is magic. Everyday millions of people search Marktplaats for (amongst other things) curiosities, cars or crap. I really love Marktplaats. Why? Because of the feeling you get in your belly when you find something you really like (before anyone else does) and decide to try to get it. Then: the bidding process starts. The first moment of interaction when you contact the seller. Very exciting because you never know what kind of person it is on the other side of the phone/ internet. After you have closed the deal the highlight: the pick up. Unique every time. Julien & Samir do Marktplaats differently. They search Marktplaats on a daily basis for cool stuff and curate a blog (‘Found on Marktplaats’). For four days they expose their finds from the last couple of years in a 700 m2 warehouse in Amsterdam. Everything you see is handpicked by them and is for sale. So if you are in need of some inspiration: go there. And be quick. De Gevonden Op Marktplaats Salon; June 5, 6, 7, 8th.

Rafaël Rozendaal

May 12, 2014,

2014-05-Rafaël-RozendaalVisual artist Rafaël Rozendaal usually uses the internet as his canvas. The screenshot above is taken from one of his web-based works into I was already a fan of his websites, but since recently he is also making very impressive ‘lenticular paintings.’ Some of his lenticulars are exhibited in a solo show called “External Memory” at Upstream Gallery till May 23rd. His websites though, are always on show.


May 2, 2014,

PauseA word reminiscent of long gone schooldays. At least for us Dutchies. A break between mornings and afternoons packed with dusty schoolbooks and gazing at your French teacher’s luscious cleavage. A moment to ease the brain and process the algebra of a squashed cheese sandwich. A relic from the past.

We hardly pause anymore. We scan the surface. We read headlines, we extract meaning from flipping through Pinterest. But we hardly ever dive in and immerse in a topic or story, unless perhaps in the form of binge viewing. More…

Wendy van Santen

May 2, 2014,

Wendy van SantenAbout 8 years ago I had a quiet account colleague at BSUR. Her name is Wendy van Santen. She dreamt of becoming a photographer. And then she took the leap. I am really glad she did. To me she is a heroine. Have a look on her wonderful work at her personal website.

Art School’s out!

April 25, 2014,

2014 04 HKU School is outWell almost. First the season of exam exhibitions will start. One of the first to kick off their campaign is the HKU. With help of Jona Rotting from Superglue Creatives and photographed by Léon Hendrickx they created these very clear images to come and see exam work. Every year there are special gems of talent to be found at these exhibitions. Take these three HKU alumni who exhibited work at the ‘Salone Internazionale del Mobile’ in Milan earlier this month: Sweep by Mark Schevers, Time injected Circles by Boele Zwanenburg and Stacked Objects by Emiel Remmelts.
Here are some exam exhibition dates to keep in mind (if you’d like to discover new talent):
St.Joost: 28 juni t/m 2 July
KABK: 6 t/m 13 July
Gerrit Rietveld: 2 t/m 6 July
HKU: May, June and July (exact dates:
Willem de Koning: 25 t/m 29 June

The Art of Imperfection

April 16, 2014,

The Art of ImperfectionLast week I – Philip Brink – went on a holiday with my girlfriend Marieke. Destination: New Amsterdam. At Schiphol I bought a book: ‘The Gift of Imperfection – Let go who you think you supposed to be and embrace who you are,’ by Brené Brown. I don’t know about you, but I am a perfectionist, to put it mildly. People tell me it makes me good at what I do. Clients love my perfectionism, because they know I will go all the way to make something special. And it does seem like an essential element for making good creative work. But it’s not. It’s the opposite. The book explains how it creates a fake feeling of security. A feeling that if everything is perfect, people will like you for it and all will be good. But there’s no such thing as perfect. It shows that perfectionism stands in the way of creativity (and happiness). How it’s the enemy of ‘let’s try something, we’ll see where we end up.’ It narrows the possibilities, works paralysing and makes you miss beautiful opportunities in life. O.K., the book may look like a self-help book (with an ugly cover) and Oprah calls it her ‘new Super Soulmate’. Still, I like it. And I like the idea of embracing imperfection. In work and life. So, now I have to find a great conclusion to this blog posts. But to be honest I have no clue. And that’s O.K too…
PS Here’s a link to one of René Brown’s Ted Talks about vulnerability.