Karin van Iterson - Shaping the creative identity of Marginpar since 2012
'Time to take a trip down memory lane'
Let’s go back in time for a moment. Karin has been working for Marginpar since 2012 and has felt connected to the company since her very first assignment. She has shaped Marginpar's creative identity and designed numerous expressions in the meantime. Karin: "It's nice to be involved in the main lines, in developing the strategy. But also in smaller things, such as designing the birth announcement for the Clematis Amazing® Havana."
Never just any design
What exactly does Karin do? Karin: "My studio develops distinctive identities for brands and environments. We carefully examine the values of an organization and translate them into stories that align with the character of the organization. This way, the character becomes tangible and results in a positive experience and interaction.” In 1994, Karin graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht (HKU) (school of arts). Here she developed into a designer with a conceptual approach. For each design, she immerses herself in the subject matter and conducts extensive research. "That's what makes it interesting for me. Otherwise, it would just be about creating beautiful things. That's not what you want. At least, not me. You want to go deeper, find the connection with the company and be able to visualize it again."
"So much has happened since 2012. I've seen Marginpar develop, and by growing along in this process, you really start to feel connected. Sometimes I even feel like I work at Marginpar myself. In 2012, I started designing the logo and from that moment on, I started getting involved with the identity. In the meantime, this identity has been further developed and we have come a long way in terms of designs. For example, a new series of flower sleeves and boxes, the website, various exhibition stands, the magazine but also the signing and branding of Marginpar's new headquarters."
So much has happened since 2012. I've seen Marginpar develop, and by growing along in this process, you really start to feel connected.
One big project that Karin was involved in is the branding of the new Marginpar headquarters, completely 'from scratch'. "I like to tell stories through imagery, but also leave room for the viewer’s own interpretation. You achieve this by designing with a certain level of abstraction. While designing the packaging, we chose an abstract and illustrative style, sympathetic shapes that can form patterns together. Shapes that are easy to associate with Marginpar. When designing the new headquarters, we continued with this illustrative approach, making the identity of Marginpar tangible in every space.”
An organic process
Simplicity and abstraction play an important role in Karin's work. The inspiration for the branding of the new headquarters was an organic process for her. "Having been involved in developments within Marginpar for years, you know exactly what the next step should be. The ideas are a response to what is happening at Marginpar. Although, it is also something intuitive. When I design, I often know whether it fits and is right."
Attention to detail
"Implementing the design down to the smallest detail is a digital craft process. You start with a rough sketch and then work on it in detail." We notice that Karin is very precise. It's a great quality, but it can also be challenging when it comes to designing wallpaper and glass walls. "Since many designs are symmetrical in nature, you can't smuggle a few millimetres to the left or right when applying them. Ultimately, it has to be spot on to the millimetre. It’s a task that requires attention to detail.”
Each space tells its own story
What stories are actually being told in the new headquarters? Karin: "Different stories that all tell something about Marginpar. It starts at the entrance, where we tell you about the entire cycle as you walk up the stairs. From breeding a seed, testing in the Flower Lab, trials in the field and so on... We end with an amazing portfolio of summer flowers. Each glass wall also tells a story. In the marketing department, we depict sharing of information about products, while in the board rooms, the focus is on connecting with other parts of the world.” Karin tells us that each design is unique and has its own theme. The designs of the new headquarters represent sustainable relationships, being progressive, integrity, transparency, and, of course, being colourful."
Looking to the future
Are there any great projects in the pipeline? "The magazine, The Story of M, is coming up again! I'm already looking forward to that. Working with beautiful images and interesting stories. It’s a real joy to create a new issue!". But besides her work for Marginpar, Karin doesn’t sit still. "This year, I'm going to work on developing a new identity for a parking garage. In addition, I hope to find a beautiful spot for my art object 'Connect,' an interactive bench. There's plenty of exciting things to look forward to!"