In this one, we have a Designer Interview With Jord Riekwel who is a logo designer for Rotterdam in the Netherlands and he has been designing logos since he took the plunge to go freelance in 2010.
— The Logo Creative™ (@thelogocreative) November 27, 2019
Jord went to a design-oriented high school growing up where he learned design programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Quack Express the programs he would later rely on and become so accustomed to for his career as a logo and brand identity designer.
Jord later studied marketing & communication studies at university, and while doing this he would do occasional vector artwork for his younger brother Jonno who is a web designer.
When Jord graduated from university his brother continued to refer clients to him for design work Jord made the decision and took that leap of faith into full-time freelance as a designer. As a freelancer, Jord offered different design services other than logo design such as app design, icons, and websites but later realised that being a jack of all trades is a master of none, he decided to focus on logo and brand identity design.
Thanks for agreeing to take part in the designer interviews it’s great to have you on board.
Jord Riekwel – Thanks, mate. for sure! honored to be taking part.
The Logo Creative – What was the turning point in your life when you decided to become a designer and how did you proceed?
Jord Riekwel – I can’t say there was a specific moment. It’s more a combination of different circumstances working together that resulted in me starting my freelance career in 2010. I’ve always been visually inclined so I went to a design-oriented high school where I learned Illustrator, Photoshop, and Quack Express (remember that app?). While I was doing my marketing & communication study at university I would do the occasional vector work for Jonno Riekwel, my younger brother who is a web designer.
When I graduated he continued to refer clients to me for design work so I decided to take a leap of faith and become a full-time freelance designer.
For a few I years I did almost any job I could get my hands on; logo, icon, website, and app design. Realising a jack of all trades is a master of none, I decided to specialise in logo and brand design.
The Logo Creative – What does your day consist of?
Jord Riekwel – Dropping the kids off at school, lifting some weights at the gym (3x a week), getting my email done, and catching up on social media. Then usually a lot of logo sketching and then turning them into actual logos in Illustrator. During my lunch hour, I often play some FPS games and then it’s back to some more sketching and tweaking Bézier curves in Illustrator.
The Logo Creative – What was the first logo you ever designed?
Jord Riekwel – This Clockingbird logo for a never-launched side project by my before mentioned brother
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo you have designed?
Jord Riekwel – Though I don’t really have a favourite, a recent one I’m really proud of is this logo for Gray Wolf Games because it contains a lot of what I’ve learned over the last seven years.
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite Logo of all time?
Jord Riekwel – Tough one, there are too many to choose from. One that is definitely in my top-3 is the blue lion logo the Postbank used before they merged and changed their name and logo.
The Logo Creative – Can you describe or give us an overview of your logo design process?
Jord Riekwel – I always follow three steps: sketching, concepting, finalising. Based on the client brief I do a lot of researching, brainstorming, and then sketching. Then I take the best sketches, based on the client feedback, and turn them in to actual digital logo concepts. After a few rounds of feedback, I take the best concept and finalise it by doing a few rounds of iterations to get the logo just right.
The Logo Creative – In your opinion regarding Logo Design pricing do you prefer working on a fixed rate or customer budget and can you explain why?
Jord Riekwel – I always charge fixed rates, billed 50% at the start, 50% at the end. The rates depend on the scope, timeline, deliverables, and other details of the project. Beforehand I tell my clients exactly how many rounds of sketches, digital concepts, and final iterations to expect. This way I have peace of mind, and enough time to really focus on the project.
The Logo Creative – How long does it take to complete the average logo design project from start to finish?
Jord Riekwel – Usually between 15 and 30 hours.
The Logo Creative – Are you a MAC or PC User and is there a reason for your choice?
Jord Riekwel – A Mac user because I’ve been using once since long before they were cool: 1997. I was the only one in high school that knew how to use one. I stuck to them because I enjoyed the operating system and because they ran a lot more design focussed apps.
The Logo Creative – Which software do you use frequently?
Jord Riekwel – Scanner Pro on my iPhone to quickly scan my sketches and upload them to Dropbox. Adobe Illustrator (with many of the Astute Graphics plugins www.astutegraphics.com ) to turn those rough ideas into actual vector shapes. Font Explorer X Pro to manage and select the best typeface for the project. Skype and Slack to chat with clients, iTunes with Apple Music to provide me with some tunes to keep going. And some Tweetbot to keep in touch online (and tweet silly things…)
The Logo Creative – What is your favourite style of logo design? And why?
Jord Riekwel – I prefer logos that combine two or more different metaphors into a strong and visually pleasing symbol.
The Logo Creative – What is your daily inspiration when you design?
Jord Riekwel – I follow a lot of amazing (logo) designers on Dribbble so I make sure I visit it a few times a week. I also have a paid LogoLounge subscription to access their library of 300.000+ (!) logos.
The Logo Creative – In your opinion what’s the best and worst part of your job being a designer?
Jord Riekwel – The best part is that with your own hands and imagination you create something that didn’t exist yet. The hardest part is (for me) that the the process of creating a logo never comes easy. I often have a sense of dread before starting a new project. The round of sketches is often the biggest hurdle, it all gets better once you just start.
The Logo Creative – Who is the most inspiring person to you and why?
Jord Riekwel – I have a lot of people I admire, talented designers with stunning portfolios, friends with admirable characters, loving family members to whom I owe a lot, and religious examples that I look up to.
The Logo Creative – Who is your favourite Graphic Designer and why?
Jord Riekwel – I’ll have to go with Alen Pavlovic. His skill set is extremely diverse and all his work looks amazing. He makes it looks like logo design is just super easy for him.
The Logo Creative – What’s your favourite design quote?
Jord Riekwel – It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. – Antoine de Saint Exupéry
The Logo Creative – In less than 10 words what is graphic design?
Jord Riekwel – Design is making sure things look and work great.
The Logo Creative – What steps did you take to start your graphic design business? Did you have to make any sacrifices on your journey?
Jord Riekwel – I registered as freelancer, got a VAT number, and started on taking projects I got via word of mouth. It was a scary choice, and a bit of a risk, but I simply got lucky that I always had enough work to pay the bills. One of the big factors was that I got access to Dribbble quite early, which is been a big source of income ever since.
The Logo Creative – Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you would have changed early on in your career?
Jord Riekwel – Not really. I’ve just been really lucky. I would like to go back in time and change my character to be a bit more productive and focussed.
The Logo Creative – If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Jord Riekwel – Stop playing computer games and learn something new on www.skillshare.com
The Logo Creative – What’s the most important piece of advice you have received as a designer that’s helped you?
Jord Riekwel – “Your first idea’s are usually the worst.” Don’t settle for what comes to mind first. Keep sketching and iterating to give you enough time and ideas to create something amazing.
The Logo Creative – What would be your advice for new Logo and Graphic Designers?
Jord Riekwel – Don’t try to do all the finances and taxes yourself; get an accountant. Also, don’t try to make a logo in Illustrator before having spent a few hours on sketching.
Also published on Medium.