The guts to take risks


We design change. Creative director Hans explains how.

Hans Leijdekkers creative lead Fabrique. Title: The guts to take risks.

Good work requires an open mind

"In my role as creative director, I focus on an open mindset. I challenge our designers and developers to look further, and to broaden their horizons. Not choosing the beaten path because we know it works but going for innovation.

Extraordinary work is not the work that you already know, it is work that you have to let sink in first before thinking: that’s really good. Sometimes that means taking a step back, reassessing things, taking your time. Not choosing a standard option but daring to take risks."

Everyone is a designer

"We are a design agency, so our mindset is focused on the quality of the final product. Not everyone is a designer, but everyone should be design minded. Excellent designers are designers who surprise me. Who make things that take me a little while to get used to. Who have the guts to make extraordinary choices."

Working holistically

"We're always looking for people who are broadly oriented. People who can brainstorm about design and strategy. The customer context, the world, the environment; we have to be able to think about that together. This inquisitive way of working means we can make remarkable stuff, because we decide what we want to do in a much broader context.

When a job falls into place you just feel it. When you think: each component is just right, and it all adds up to a logical and coherent whole. And it is something I’ve never seen before. Everything exists, but not in every combination. And that's what makes it interesting. Good designers have the guts to create something distinctive, to take risks, and they can justify their choices.

An example of a project where everything fell into place is our collaboration with the Scottish Ballet. First, together with the client, we looked at the brand positioning with an in-depth investigation into how the brand was being communicated to the outside world. The results were then used for the campaign, but were also considered in all other aspects of the project such as 'how do people experience a performance'. Then, when you are part of the audience, and you feel everything coming together, that’s the best feeling. That even people who don't like ballet are touched by The Scottish Ballet. Then we have really done something."

Digital is not an end in itself

“The world we live in is all about digital, that’s just the way it is. But I don’t like when it goes unchallenged. When making “something digital” becomes a given. When it becomes an end instead of a means. A company never only exists online. I always look at the whole, at how things fit together. The building and the people are just as important. An example is the online experience that we made for the Rijksmuseum during the first lockdown. The online experience is magical because people know what it is like to be there in real life.”

Your ambition is the only limit

"What first attracted me to Fabrique were the clients. Clients like Viktor and Rolf, Rijksmuseum; that was the agency for me! By now, it's not just our clients, but the people who make it special. Everyone has the drive to make remarkable things. That drive is always there.

There is virtually no hierarchy at Fabrique, you can seize every opportunity. We are looking for people who have something to add, who bring their own distinctiveness to Fabrique. You can become the designer, project manager or developer you want to be and design your own role. You have to do it yourself, but the possibilities are there. If you are a creator, then this is the best place for you. You're not an employee, you're a designer. And that’s not just true for our designers, but for everyone. You have to be enterprising, find things out for yourself and choose what you want to know or discover. I love seeing when someone finds out how they fit in.”

Our studios in Amsterdam and Rotterdam are looking for new designers, developers and project managers. Take a look at our vacancies.