Because of the 2020 Pandemic, the Olympic games got postponed . And so is the reveal of the new Belgian Olympic outfits for Tokyo2020, designed by Studio WillemsPeeters. The Olympic Games will now take place in the summer of 2021, 23 july-8th august.
Studio WillemsPeeters featured twice in 'Win Out - The best of sports graphic design and branding'-book by Ginkgo Press.
Really proud that our branding work for Kristallijn Ice Rink and The Royal Belgian Speedskating Federation got featured in this great book filled with giants and alltime design heroes like Interbrand, Bruce Mau Design, Anagrama, Bold Scandinavia, Future Design, Dragon Rouge, Rosie Lee, Strichpunktdesign, Studio Build and many more. The book also features an interview with Jelena who still was skating for Belgium at the Winter Olympics in PyeonChang while designing her own new speedskating suit, which she wore at those Wintergames in 2018.
1. How did your experience as a speed skater influence your design?
As a 9-year-old child, 1 started roller skating. So, I have seen and used lots of sportswear since then. And as a 16-year old, I made my first designs tor the local skating club. This must have had its influence. In this particular design project, the Winter Olympics 2018 speed skating outfit and RBSF rebranding, it was, tor me, the combination of being an Olympic athlete on the one hand and being a designer on the other hand. lt turned out that both jobs complemented each other really well in this job.
2. What are the basic steps you would take to start a sports graphic design project?
As in any project, it is about finding ways to express what you want to teil. lt is a search tor ideas, you come to a stream of inspiration and you start making designs. In this case, we wanted to express passion, movement and guts. My collaborator, Henk Willems, and I started this project by viewing all the craziest sports suits ever.
3. How did you get ideas for the RBSF rebranding project and the Winter Olympics 2018 speed skating outfit design?
The idea grew from the letter "B" of Belgium. We started with a logo. We wanted it distinctly strong, proud, fast and, of course, to have a Belgian touch. We arrived at an angular B, which was the start of everything. We made patterns that were combined in the logo. These logo variants were brought together in a new pattern. We passed this project on to each other several times and worked on each other's designs. In this way, you always take steps that you would not immediately expect. This worked very smoothly and inspiringly tor us.
4. Did you have a big team for the RBSF rebranding and Winter Olympics 2018 speed skating outfit project?
Henk and I collaborated with the Belgian Speed Skating Federation and with the clothing manufacturer, AGU. The collaboration with the clothing manufacturer was not easy. We received little technica! support, so, eventually, we had to use paper to cut out the patterns and
imagine what the design would do in 3D. Also, the color yellow w as not bright enough on the fabric. Fortunately the lighting on the Olympic ice rink was so bright that the yellow turned out very nice.
5. The outfit design is just one part of the broade Olympic Games design. What advantages and limits did you meet when you were designing for such a global and prestigious design project?
The fabric of the skate suits is really difficult to print and it was, theretore, only possible to print certain parts of the suit. lt is a difficult fa bric that should, of course, be aerodynamic in the first place. The short-track speed skating suits had an additional obligation, namely that the flag of the country needed to be printed large on the chest. Of course, we were limited to the Belgian colors, but, otherwise, we got freedom. The re is a lot of global interest in the Olympic Games. So, we seized the opportunity and made a suit that is special and striking and shows guts.
6. You made many posters for speed skating games held around the world and they were more or less integrated into the local culture.
How did you do that?
I already held a master's degree in graphic design before I started a professional skating career. One day, I got injured and I was torced to take a rest. Because of this, I took my pencil and started working on a poster series. lt would be one poster per tournament. We traveled continuously from tournament to tournament. Together with my coach, we were always thinking about what the next poster could be. lt was especially fun and relaxing to do this during the many hours of rest in between training sessions and during the long travels. Of course, there was a lot of looking around and inspiration was gained by the traveling itself.
7. What's the main difference between Olympic design and other sports-themed commercial projects?
The enormous interest of the audience is exceptional. lt is an honor to be allowed to design tor such an event. At this very moment, we're working on the design of all sportswear tor the Belgian athletes tor Tokyo 2020. I think designing tor the Olympics is very addictive.
Together with Ghent-based agency Bigtrees, Studio WillemsPeeters designed the new visual identity for Argenta Bank, one of belgium's oldest en biggest banks. After a set of workshops conducted with several Argenta teams, we rolled out a full new visual brand identity for Argenta. We've created a coherent and consistent visual system, based upon their company beliefs. A new set of colours, a solid typography system, extensive photography guidelines, and a strong lock-up system for their logo makes Argenta ready for a strong online and offline presence. Full case will be featured soon on this website.
Studio WillemsPeeters was tasked a few months ago with the development of a brand new identity for the Gazet van Antwerpen (Mediahuis). In addition, Studio WillemsPeeters also worked closely with Ghent based agency Bigtrees to provide Argenta bank with a full remake of their visual communication. We're really excited to see both jobs come to life this year. The reveal of these new cases will follow soon. Stay tuned.
Studio WillemsPeeters designs a new identity for TRAINM
TRAINM is one of the world’s most innovative neuro rehabilitation center. TRAINM uses breakthrough evidence-based technologies like robotics to help children and adults with neurological deficits achieve measurable recoveries, and to do this even for patients who have been told no further recovery is possible. The N-symbol stands for TRAINM’s Neuro rehabilitation treatment that gives people better recoveries and helps them to exceed their own limitations. Full case soon online.
After a successful cooperation on the Belgian Olympic skating suits (PyeongChang 2018) we decided to join forces. Today Studio WillemsPeeters is a branding & design studio, led by designers Henk Willems and Jelena Peeters
We specialize in building brand identities, by working with clients early on to help them define their brand, and partnering all the way through execution across all touch points. We believe that a successful relationship is born out of collaboration and partnership with clients. Listening to them carefully and digging deep to understand their objectives and audience. We’re in constant pursuit of differentiation. We want our clients to stand out, not just fit in.
We have a selected network of expert individuals who we work with to meet the specific needs of a project, including writers, strategists, photographers, animators, filmmakers…. This approach allows us to stay nimble while delivering top-class creative work.
Henk Willems speaks at Let's talk Design in Ghent
Let’s Talk Design is a one evening conference (held multiple times a year) on the subject of Design & Creativity.
Let's Talk Design is a series of evenings with speakers from the creative sector talking about their work. At our events we let established creatives talk about their work next to young & upcoming talent.
• Milk and Cookies
• Charlotte Dumortier
• Henk Willems
Let’s Talk Design is made possible with the support of Design Museum Gent and Flanders DC
Need for Speed.
Koninklijke Belgische Snelschaats Federatie (KBSF for short; Royal Belgian Speedskating Federation in English and RBSF for short) is the organization in Belgium responsible for coordinating long-range speed skating and short track speed skating at the national level and bringing athletes to the Winter Olympics and other international events. In 2017, RBSF introduced a new identity designed by Ghent, Belgium-based Henk Willems and Wuustwezel, Belgium-based Jelena Peeters (who, aside from being a graphic designer, happens to be an Olympic speed skater for Belgium) and their work culminated at this year’s Winter Olympics with their design of the country’s speed skating uniform.
"The new logo brings the organization quickly into this new century with an angled “B” monogram that, although I’m not sure I completely see the “actual shape a speedskater takes while skating”, conveys a sense of speed and sharpness. The monogram works best when the patterns inside look clearly masked as opposed to the one directly above where the graphics look like they could be separate pieces making the “B” and the one in the wireframe style looks very awkward. The wordmark is a condensed monospace that looks good — if a little static and heavy — but does a good job in minimizing the space needed to present the organization’s full name." — Armin Vit, Founder of BrandNew.
Belgian skaters will appear in brand new speedskating suits, at the start of the Winter Olympics in Korea. The design of the new aerodynamic hightech suits was conceived and elaborated by Jelena Peeters, who will skate the 1,500 and 5,000 meters in South Korea. Peeters graduated as a graphic designer. She designed the suits in collaboration with Henk Willems.
The Royal Belgian Speedskating Federation (KBSF) has developed the suits in the colors red, black, yellow and white with the official clothing partner AGU. The suits were tested both on the track and in the wind tunnel. Four Belgian speed skaters will come into action during the Wintergames. Besides Peeters, Bart Swings (long track), Jens Almey and Ward Pétré (both short track).
"We are proud that now skaters from smaller skating countries can also benefit from Dutch know-how in the field of aerodynamics," says Björn Jeurissen, managing director of AGU. "The producer has been at the absolute top for years and also makes the suits for the Dutch team."