de Beeldvink

Graphic designer Jacqueline Elich started up her own shop, de Beeldvink, to sell her endless supply of beautiful products, which she makes all by herself – from start to finish.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
“I studied graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. A Cockaigne with peers who were also besotted with imagery and typography. After that, I started working as a freelance graphic designer, and my clients were mainly from the cultural sector. Recently, I moved out of the heart of Amsterdam to a converted farmhouse on the outskirts of the city – it’s a beautiful spot. My workspace is a large attic above a barn, with a view of the water and sheep in the distance. My family and I live in a house that used to be the stable for the calves.”

How long have you had the shop, and why did you start it?
“The shop has been open for over a year now, and it gives me a lot of independence. With freelance design, it’s often ‘feast or famine’, but at least with the shop, I know it’s a continual thing and I can do exactly what I want. I realized, after having worked on a book, how lovely it really is to create something from start to finish. With the shop, I get that feeling twofold: it’s great to be able to think of and make something that I think is good or beautiful, and it’s also great to see that others buy it. Nearly everything that I sell in the shop has been designed and produced by me. It’s time-consuming, but the product-offer is steadily growing.“

You do a lot with foreign packaging designs. How come?
“Often, because of small irregularities, the print techniques are rather beautiful. Most of the time, the designs and illustrations have a wonderful simplicity, and they use different stereotypical images abroad. For example: in Africa, a pack of razor blades depicts a crocodile in two halves. So they’re basically saying that the blades are so sharp, you could use them to cut a crocodile! In Iran, they have a shark on the packaging. Ergo, the blades are as sharp as a shark’s teeth. In the Netherlands, you simply see an image of a clean-shaven chin. My preference still swings to the crocodile.“