So i decided to draw them myself in Adobe Illustrator with the Google Map as a template layer as a starting point.
I found some good, short video tutorials on how to create roads, rivers and labels in your maps:

With a brand new school year starting within a few days, i watched again this brilliant talk by Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Talks at Google: Michael Bierut about graphic design.

Short and comprehensive tutorial on vector graphics versus bitmap

Designer Tobias van Schneider gives his thoughts after many people ventilated their opinion on Twitter on the new icon and Instagram design refinements.
This is a quick video about this. Sums up my idea about it.

I was experimenting with scanned drawings in Illustrator, and this resulted in a new collection brushes I created.
These can be used to add some bister borders to illustrations.

The brushes are made for vector border work, they have a bister, brown ink look. The brushes are great to use for strokes in elements in illustrations. This is a set Bister Brushes and all illustrations come with the brushes applied.

How to create a perfect palette? In this brief tutorial Google Design experts lead us through an smart approach to design effectively with color.

With the new version of Adobe Creative Cloud, it is now possible to create vector designs on the iPad or the iPhone with Adobe Illustrator Draw.
You can connect with your content and upload your vectors to the community.
Let’s watch this video on how to start using Illustrator Draw

Yasmine Mustafa talks about her incredible way of becoming an entrepreneur in Philadelphia.

Dan Mall’s talk from the Beyond Tellerrand conference in Dusseldorf last year.

I was experimenting with scanned scribbles in Illustrator, and this resulted in a new collection brushes, this time these are scatter brushes.
These can be used to add some texture in a flat background, like a sky or a sea.

The brushes are made for illustration work, they have a pencil, handmade feeling. The brushes are great to use for strokes in elements in illustrations. In the set are 18 vector Scatter Brushes and 5 illustrations in PNG with the brushes applied.

For some time now, I have been working on brushes to give a handdrawn pencil effect on vector drawn illustrations. I have created a bunch of brushes in Illustrator. In case you are looking for a handdrawn, ink brush, check out the brushes i created.

I have been working on Wasco brushes to have an effect on vector drawn illustrations. I have created some wasco brushes in Illustrator. These brushes are meant to have a handdrawn look and feel on your illustrations.

Bene wishes everyone a happy new year!

We are closed from monday July 21th until friday August 8 2014

Lately i have been working on stitches for fashion design, patterns for summer clothing and pencil style illustrations. I have created a bunch of brush and pattern sets in Illustrator.
I made a little shop on Creative Market, it’s a super friendly community of people sharing their creative ideas in products for low prices.
In case you are looking for a unique brush, action, pattern, label, picture, illustration, font, style, template or anything in particular for your creative production, the answer is probably on this market.
I created a short summary of the products i sell on Creative Market, i’m in the middle of building my little shop, so come back regularly to discover more ...

Back in time: the first time i created a logo (sort of) on a Mac with Adobe Illustrator was late in the nineties in a friend's studio. It was my first experience with Illustrator and since then it has captured me till today in my daily work. My friend had her own studio at that time and I was eager to learn how she made all these beautiful stuff so i asked her to introduce me to the basics of drawing on a computer. It took me some time to learn these drawing skills and i am still finding new ways to accomplish certain drawing tasks but it quickly became a tool that i use on a daily basis. In that period of time, i used Freehand and learned most of vector drawing in that tool, later on i switched to Illustrator. I was watching these wonderful short movieclips about the history of Illustrator and want to share them with you - i particularly like the story about the logo and the Botticelli "The Birth of Venus" painting in the Chapter 2.

For Designmodo - a popular blog about design topics - I wrote a step-by-step tutorial on how to design a splash screen for mobile.

Better spam protection for our mailserver using RPD from Cyren

In this tutorial, i’m showing some text effects that can be applied using the effects panel in Photoshop. First, i’m giving some research tips and references, next i’ll show the final result of the text effect and give step-by-step instructions on how to apply the text effects. Resources, fonts and textures that are showcased in the effects are listed at the end in References.

I wrote a step-by-step tutorial on how to convert your sketch to a full vector app icon.

RetroInk is a massive Illustrator pack with a bundle of Graphic Styles from RetroSupply. These add-ons can be used for textures, for type, brushes, swatches etc.. I bought this huge Illustrator Kit from Creative Market and am experimenting with it now. It looks a great way to spice up your designs.

Jonathan Hoefler or Tobias Frere-Jones: before their recent split, they collectively ran the most successful and well respected type design studio in the world, creating fonts used by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the President of the United States.

Jérémy Paul posted a animated gif on Dribbble demonstrating a collection of Photoshop Actions to create iOS 7 iPhone mockups. No need to download a PSD and alter.
You can watch and read about the actions here

Bene is taking a winter break from 28th of February till the 9th of March 2014.

Lately, i have been doing more and more style guides to guide my clients in their online presence.
Last week, an excellent article “Getting Started With Pattern Libraries”  by Anna Debenham was published on A List Apart explaining the steps to take for coding and maintaining a pattern library. Anna explains how she did the ALA style guide, for web designers to use as guidance. She also wrote a book about this Front-end Style Guides, published by Five Simple Steps.

I like to watch this talk by Mike Monteiro from Webstock 13 titled “How Designers Destroyed the World”. It’s a great inspiration directed to designers and the responsibility that comes with design. Mike Monteiro also wrote an absolute must-read book “Design is a job” published by A Book Apart.

Thirty years ago, the Mac put the power of technology in everyone’s hands, launching a generation of innovators who continue to change the world. This video celebrates some of those pioneers and the incredible impact they’ve made.

Apple - Mac 30 - Thirty years of innovation

Bene wishes everyone a merry christmas and happy new year!
We will be closed until 6th of January 2014!
For urgent matters, you can contact us at support at bene dot be.

MAX 2013 - the creativity conference. Watch the full video - my personal highlight is Paula Scher, an iconic graphic designer and illustrator.

Weeks ago, i made an illustration for iMinds that was published in a flemish paper. I was very curious to see the end result in the paper as working for print gives a total different result - you have to wait to see it. Before i submitted the final result, i sketched different ideas. I want to share that illustration process here.

In this short tutorial video, the new typography tools in Photoshop CS6 are explained. In case you worked with previous versions of Photoshop - like me - you will notice big improvements on the type features in Photoshop.

My son asked me to draw him a robot. I did a few sketches from older postcards and started to draw the robot in Illustrator. I made this tutorial on how to draw a robot with simple shapes like rectangles, circles, triangles and other simple combined shapes. With this basic shape, you can make a Christmas robot out of it, like i did in the illustration or choose whatever you like to make the robot more stand out. Hope you enjoy it!

In July, i started with a rather big project for the opening of a new Unizo office in my neighborhood. UNIZO (Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers) is a Belgian organization of Self-Employed and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME); it is mainly situated in the Flemish region of the Kingdom of Belgium. UNIZO wants to give SMEs a voice from the local up to the European level.

Together with 3 other key organizations, AB Partners (accountancy), Sociaal Bureau Vlaamse Ardennen (social security) and ZENITO (retirement plans and savings), a new office will be opening on Saturday september 15.

We are closed from monday July 16th till monday August 6 2012

Last week, i finished the design of the Digimeter Report, Wave 4 and a poster that is published together with the report Wave 4.
In this post, i give an insight in the design process i did for the different chapters of the report, the illustration work of the profiles, the icons i used to illustrate the different chapters, the info graphics i made, the reworked cover page, the reworked logo, the poster design and the color and fonts choices i made in this project.

Some weeks ago, i finished the logo for the StartUps.be project. You can read about the design process here.

Startups.be is a new initiative by several Belgian associations and the IBBT to support new startups. Giving support to new startups and helping them out finding needed services. The kick-off event is planned on the 19th of april 2012 in the Egg in Brussels and you can register here. You can read more about the Startups.be association on the IBBT website.

A while ago, a good friend of mine, who’s a ceramist, Françoise Busin, proposed to do a workshop together this summer. She has organized several ceramist workshops before in the south of France, a place for ceramists. She asked if i could give a drawing workshop and a watercolor painting workshop. Because I love drawing and painting i agreed to help with the program and the lectures of the workshop. We also invited, my sister Sarah to give a workshop on sewing and making clothes and accessories, she has made her own clothing & accessories label Hummingbird and Bumblebee - that is now active as B is for Bird. So in the end, we decided to make it an allround creative workshop. The place where the workshop will be held is Russeignies, a tiny little village in the french part of Belgium, near from where i live.

In the past months, i made some pattern collections. I mostly use them for website design backgrounds.
I decided that i made them available for download for free.
Every pattern collection has several patterns in it that you can download.

I found a drawing from some time ago and decided because of this cold weather we’re having here, i make a vector version of it.

I made them in a desktop version and a iPhone and iPad device:

 

In this little tutorial, i’ll guide you through the design process of a car design i made for a local company.
Because this company bought some cars, they wanted a design on the car that related to the website and to the companies “corporate identity”.
So, i made a design in Illustrator based on the logo with a gradient in it and some other repeating elements. Starting from this artwork, i searched for the right car model and downloaded the vector file.

One of the benefits of our job, is that we often interact with different companies in different business lines driven by different strategies.  Although every company is unique, many of them share a common issue: how to deal with data, what information needs to be available where, when and in what format, how to avoid duplicate data & labour, how to make most from integration and most important: where to start…

Bene wishes you a joyful 2012!

Some months ago, i got the opportunity to do a redesign of a web site for Plan & Bouw, a plan and real estate company in the area.

Over time, i collected a folder full of textures that i scanned.
Some of these textures are available for download now, the file format is 1600 x 1200px at 72dpi in JPG.
You can download 1 collection ZIP at the bottom of the page.
Hope you enjoy them!

I made a quick demo in html and a download of the html, css and images in transparent PNG.

While i’m working on client websites and a redesign for this blog, i made some background patterns for use as website pattern backgrounds. I thought - while i was busy designing them - let me share them, so here you have a list with the 12 patterns i made in Illustrator. You can download them in a .pat file and import them to your patterns in Photoshop.

Summer Vacation 2011


Bene is taking a break this summer from 15th of July till 3th of August 2011. Our office will be closed, in urgent matters, you can call us at +32 (0)472 31 00 98 or you can send us a mail. Have a great summer vacation too!

Some time ago, i prepared the creation of some mobile icons for the Android platform. Before i started the creative process, i read the Android documentation about creating these icons. In this short tutorial, i’ll explain my work method for creating and exporting these icons.

Next sunday, 3th of april, a big Flemish cycling tour will visit our town here. That tour is called “De Ronde van Vlaanderen”, it’s a bit a “Tour de France” for Flanders. Big cycling superhero’s will be in this tour. The reason why i like this tour is because it’s a Flemish tour that passes really beautiful corners of Flanders. You can watch the complete route here on the website of Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Are you looking for a new challenge? And would you like to develop new skills by joining an innovative venture? Then you should come and meet your potential team members at our iBoot camp Dating Event in March at IBBT!

Some months ago, i got the opportunity to design a web site for software to protect children’s cell phones.  Tjekkid (pronounced “Check It”), is software that protects children so they can’t send too many text messages, browse inappropriate web sites or call too much. The mobile software can be controlled by the parents.

A few weeks ago, I finally had some time to read the green book “CSS3 for web designers” written by Dan Cederholm and published by A book apart (ISBN 978-0-9844425-2-2). The book explains what and how you can already implement CSS3 in websites starting today. I felt the urge to try some of Dan’s fantastic examples (the code is explained with a complete webpage example) and to experiment a bit with the code inside the book.

Months ago, i bought a copy of Espresso, a html editor designed and made by Macrabbit, a Belgian company. Macrabbit is well-known for their award winning CSS application CSSEdit, a helpful application to help you visually make up your designs with CSS.

I regret not having written about the EECI we attented back in october 2010 held in Leiden because the New Adventures (referred to as #naconf on Twitter and Flickr) reminded me of the excellent speakers and the friendly and open atmosphere. These events contain so much good ingredients that you always feel so inspired afterwards.

A good thing about spending too much hours on the web looking for inspiration, is that you find historical resources that shows us manuscripts that are absolutely stunning to watch at.

Lately, i visited this new launched Belgian project: de bijbel van Anjou, an exhibition that showed a royal manuscript dated 1340 revealed. This bible is completely digitized and can be viewed online. This exhibition took place in Museum M in Leuven.

Bene is taking a break from december 24th until 3 january 2011.
We wish you all the best for the coming year. Have a great christmas too.

Zalig kerstfeest en gelukkig nieuwjaar!

I started drawing a christmas card some weeks ago in my sketchbook. Some days later, I tried to make a vector based illustration from this sketch. I posted some parts of the christmas card on Dribbble and some people asked me to explain how I did this illustration

Lately, i’ve been working on print related projects. Designing Adobe © InDesign templates for posters and leaflets and brochures.
One question that keeps returning from clients is: can you optimize this design for web use? Although I constantly explain the differences between print design and web design, the same question keeps coming back: but can’t you do some optimizing, so that we can use this design on our webpage? Or: can we put this leaflet on our webpage?

This year, I really liked the talk by Greg Wood on Editorial Design at EECI 2010. Greg Wood did a great job in showing and explaining what editorial design is and why it is important (his blog is an excellent example on the topic).

I’m working on a redesign and am looking into the possibilities of CSS3. I made a Photoshop mockup for an “elsewhere on the internet” page in which i wanted to list social networks on a different way. So I made “flags” placed next to each other where each flag represents a “social network”.

Since I've got an iPad and using it daily, i've looked deeper into the available wallpapers and the overall design of the software and other applications like Reeder (for iPhone and iPad).

Back to school ... that means homework mostly every evening of the week for my 2 boys (9 and 7). I try to make these homework moments as pleasant as possible and as short as possible. A short moment on the iPad or iPhone with a great app is guaranteed fun for the sons. A week ago, i search and found some real cool school apps in the iTunes apps store (most of them are only available in English). I share them here in a short overview:

A couple of months ago, i got an e-mail from Xavier Dupré asking if he could feature one of my works on his website to showcase the use of his FF Masala font

Recently i’m doing a lot of sketches. Mostly in the evening when it’s quiet and when i’m done with client work. For inspiration, i look regularly on Flickr. I find a lot of impressive material. Lots of collections and sets from amazing people. I found this collection where I took some inspiration of for this drawing tutorial.

We are taking a break after a year that has been great so far. Now is the time to reload our batteries so we can deal with all the projects that are coming our way in the second part of this year !

We take our summer holidays from monday 19th July till monday 9 August 2010

Wallpaper July 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Kevin from ThisConnect (my partner company) asked me if I was interested in designing a logo, stationary and a web design for a Brussels based photo studio. I took the offer and started with the project. This week, I delivered the last piece of the project, and i thought i share the design process.

A good client of mine, asked me some time ago to design the lettering of a new truck they ordered.
It was kind of strange to do such a design because it’s not what I do on a daily basis, but I took the challenge and did some research before I started my design for them. This week I took some pictures of the end result: the final the lettering on the new truck.

Last week, I signed up for a Typekit account, the web font-service with lots of great fonts. There is also a gallery available with examples on how you can implement typefaces in your webdesign.
I experimented a bit with the design from my previous post and tested a few fonts available from Typekit.

Since several months, i’m reading - in between client work - about the HTML 5 and CSS 3 specifications. Many blog writers encourage web designers to implement - already - some of the new HTML 5 and CSS 3 features in their websites (progressive enhancement).

Today, I got a big package from the postman with a HongKong Post label. Some time ago, Vivian Lei - Art Director for Art power - approached me with the question to contribute to a book of business cards they were about to publish. Many designers from all over the world contributed to the book and she asked me to be part of the project.

I finally took the time to shoot some pictures of the finished printed materials for IBBT‘s new house style.

For the IBBT new house style, a business card had to be designed. In my previous post, I wrote about the design process for the new IBBT logo, today I write about the process of making a business card template. I made the template in Adobe Indesign CS4 as it had to fit multiple purposes.

Some months ago, IBBT approached me for the redesign of their existing logo. IBBT decided to renew their existing identity inclusive their existing website and stationery and other printed and digital material. But lets start with the redesign of their logo. I’ll give you a detailed look at how i approached this project:

A new Valentine calendar for february 2010 is available for download.

I made this calendar in only a few resolutions, if you would like to have it in a different resolution, please ask me (benedikte at bene dot be)

One of the websites I made in the spring of 2009 was for a Belgian contemporary artist/painter/illustrator and friend of mine, Benoît van Innis. His website is a portfolio of his artworks and projects.
Recently, I did an interview with Benoît, asking about his work method and the things inspiring him.
The interview was done in Dutch but i’m translating it to English. (I’m not a native English speaker, I appreciate your correction/comment)

One of the many New Year’s Resolutions I made this year, is to blog more. I want my readers to know about the projects i’m working on this year. On of the websites I made in 2009 was for a Belgian contemporary artist and friend of mine, Dirk Zoete. His website is a portfolio of his artworks and projects. I really enjoyed making this website.

Dirk Zoete’s gallery is currently Annie Gentils in Antwerp.

Recently, I did an interview with Dirk, asking about his work method and the things inspiring him.

The interview was done in Dutch but i’m translating it to English. (I’m not a native English speaker, I appreciate your correction/comment)

Some time ago, I was designing some avatars and wrote a little about the use of avatars when I read on the EE Blog they were looking for a couple of new avatars for the new default avatar set in the 2.0 version.

I have a few art books and every time I see the Edward Hopper book, i cannot resist to open it and start looking and reading about his paintings. Although Edward Hopper lived from 1882 till 1967, his work looks still very “modern”. He is known for his quiet and silent realism but I think he reveals a very strange and honest beauty in the everyday objects and lives.

Some time ago, a client asked me to do a “green” logo, meaning it had to reflect ‘eco-friendliness’, ‘connected to earth’, ‘nature’ and so on. I liked his briefing and decided to go for it. After doing some research and gathering some ideas and inspiration I started to draw and color.While I was looking for the ‘right’ green color, I found out that it’s hard to find a beautiful green. It took me a long time to decide what green I should use. I created a Graceful Green Flickr gallery to collect inspiration from the color green and the green idea.

Yesterday, a person on Twitter was complaining about the fact that some other company/person had stolen his/her avatar. It resembled the original avatar quite a lot. In fact, there are a lot of avatars with the same look, same colors etc… I think you can avoid having your avatar looking similar to others if you spend a little more time when you choose your avatar and look for some ways to be more unique, more special, more attractive ...

Last week, Tim and I went to the first european Expression Engine and CodeIgniter conference, held in Leiden, Netherlands. The conference was held at the Scheltema complex and organised by Whoooz! webmedia from Leiden, they did an excellent job! It was the first time we had the chance to meet with the EllisLab community. As a webdesigner myself, i was very anxious to meet with and listen to the speakers and attendees.

The previous months and weeks, I’ve been busy with some projects for both web and print. The print projects have my full attention at the moment and so I wanted to share some of the things I’m making for a client. Because I cannot share the name of the client, i have replaced the logo with my own, hope you don’t mind. I’m going to show how I did the style guide for this project. A style guide can be a really helpful guide. For me, it is an anchor point to refer to when I’m busy designing for the same client. It helps me focus on the colors, the style, the elements that are important when building an identity for print and web. I designed this style guide with Adobe InDesign.

Recently, I rediscovered a book I bought when I was in first grade of art school. It made me think of the times we had to discover patterns and inspiration from that book as students. Now, so many years later, the plates are still incredibly rich and the book is a very good inspiring tool for graphic design also. If you look for patterns, for (irregular) shapes, for logo inspiration, poster inspiration, etc.. Even for a webdesigner, you can find lots of inspiration from the book to make bullets, header shapes and so on.

A bird shape is not that difficult to draw with regular shapes in Illustrator. With a circle, a rectangle and a oval you’ll get a bird shape really quick. I’ll show you how I did this in Illustrator and made a wallpaper with this bird shape.

A new wallpaper for the month of July 2009 is available for download.

I made them in 2 different options: with a calendar for July 2009 and without calendar.

Wallpaper for July 2009


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May 16

Slow Design for an Anxious World

Posted by Benedikte Vanderweeën on 16/05/2020

“Slow Design for an Anxious World” by Jeffrey Zeldman is a An Event Apart video. Great to watch in these anxious times.



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