Tenant in the spotlight
Arjen van Riel is the owner of carenza* and co-founder of the well-known Gers! magazine. He describes his company as the Rotterdam bureau for concept, creation and campaign. carenza* was established after he finished his studies, some 15 years ago. Together with a designer friend, he established the design agency with the notion of ‘there will always be time for a proper job later’ in the back of his mind.
“When I walk out the main entrance onto the Stationsplein, it feels great. It makes my Rotterdam heart beat faster.”
Last month, carenza* moved into an office at Kleinhandel, the creative co-working concept in the Groot Handelsgebouw. “I look forward to the interaction with other Kleinhandel entrepreneurs and like having a workplace in the centre of the city. There is so much to do. I am planning to organise future meetings in a different place every time. When I walk out the main entrance onto the Stationsplein, it feels great. It makes my Rotterdam heart beat faster.”
Coming up with ideas is what Arjen likes to do best. He not only wants a design to look good, but to also have an idea behind the concept. The idea forms the basis for the logo, magazine or campaign. The same is true for carenza* itself. The asterisk behind the name is well thought-through. It indicates that there is always more than you might initially think, a deeper meaning or an underlying notion. Hence the slogan of carenza*: ‘everything starts with an idea’.
“I would rather make beautiful things for and with interesting people.”
“I very much enjoy being an entrepreneur and doing what I do. Money is not my first priority. I would rather make beautiful things for and with interesting people.” Arjen enjoys collaborating with the client. He works with a core team supplemented by specialists for each new project. His heart is in print and offline work. “I understand that online work is very important, but I just love the smell of fresh printout.” For websites and other online solutions, carenza* collaborates with other agencies. “I think many agencies can produce beautiful products. We select a fitting agency, based on knowledge or experience for each project.”
Arjen is also co-founder and creative director of Gers! magazine. The magazine is run by group of enthusiastic Rotterdam-based photographers and editors, while carenza* takes care of the DTP tasks. Arjen established the popular magazine 5 years ago, together with Edwin Veekens and Wouter van Lieburg. “In those days, public opinion regarding Rotterdam was still pretty negative, we wanted to create a voice which would balance the negativity. Looking back, I believe we contributed towards changing public opinion. Gers! magazine still exists, but the negativity about our beautiful city is a thing of the past.”
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