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How Dutch became an Icon

Posted by Jolien Segers


It all started with a typical Dutchman; a sober-minded, blue-eyed and blonde-haired bargeman's child. Some call him Dutch, while others call him iconic. Growing up, he drew boats while other children drew houses. He became a member of a crew at sea and passionate about inline-skate ashore. But, even as a teen he never dropped his pencil.

To his father’s surprise, he had no ambition to become a Captain, not even a professional inline-Skater but rather wanted to become a Designer in a world of Dutch Design. His dad pleaded, “There’s no money to be made there.” Determined and fresh out of the Art Academy, he set out to follow his passion.

His Designer work life started with corporate identities, package designs, logos and such. Ambition to thrive and prosper resulted in the foundation of his first company. He vowed never to throw away any of his work, both good and bad. Also, he would save work by others that he admired, and put all his thoughts and aspirations in ink. He acquired design books from every corner of the world.

His personal library of inspiration:
His high-school sweetheart was to become his life-long partner. And his goal in life was to build her the house of her dreams. Blessed with two love children, a visual beauty filled life became his world. It seemed as if he was destined to reconstruct the similar beauty with colors and design.

One day, sketching away, Dutch found himself facing a challenge. How many strokes does it take to get to the center of visual language, he asked himself. Like symbols, it should be instantly recognizable and intuitive. Toddler Mila, playing nearby seemed like the perfect judge for this matter.

He showed her an icon. "Mila, what is this?"
"Polar bear,” she replied.
"And this?"
“Garbage bin.”

If she got it wrong, it wasn't good enough. That became the rule of thumb.

The obsession grew from there; an obsession with simplicity and perfection with vectors and pixels. This was about four years ago and is still very much alive to this day in the studio of Dutch Icon; an icon factory, a pioneer, and a team where everything is and always will be simple, quality, and fun.




Five year old Dutch drawing barges like crazy (7:20 - 7:29).

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