Bunzl designer Hessel Albertsma on developing Verive’s signature products

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Our sustainable disposables have a characteristic design. What is the idea behind it, and how does it show Verive’s values? Designer Hessel told us all about it in this interview.

calender 29 Jan 2024
clock 5 min
user Jet Kolkman

On a recent visit to Bunzl Foodservice (Almere, The Netherlands), we spoke with visual designer Hessel Albertsma about his work for Verive. Hessel Albertsma designed Verive’s characteristic look as seen on our bamboo cups and several other products. Read more to discover how he translated Verive’s values into beautiful product designs.

Meet Hessel Albertsma, visual designer at Bunzl Foodservice

Hessel is a familiar face within Bunzl Nederland and Bunzl Foodservice. Afterall, he has been working at Bunzl for nearly 15 years. “My career at Bunzl started in the purchasing department, as a traffic manager for printed products. I was also working in product purchasing for a while negotiating prices with suppliers, processing customer applications, and sending off quotes. That was very instructive, since beforehand I was mainly active in the graphics industry”.

Hessel added, “The delivery of personalized product designs was fairly administrative at the time. The design process was outsourced”. But about six to seven years ago that changed. “I seized the opportunity to take the design part in-house, and with that, improve service to our customers. And this was met with success! The added value for our customers is great, and I can make a significant contribution to the work of my sales colleagues”.

Building on the new Verive brand

Bunzl’s Verive brand was launched three years ago with clear commitments and a powerful brand identity. “Verive’s Manager, Lauren Mooney, asked me to think along with the team about developing designs for disposable cups, cutlery bags, cardboard dispensers for the straws, and wraps using the existing brand identity. I felt honoured to play a role in this new brand and of course I said ‘yes’. That way I got the chance to bring the brand to life”.

But was Hessel was happy with the Verive colour palette he inherited? “Certainly. The Bunzl shade of blue is logical and safe. Green is also obvious. But then you have that bright orange, which gives an unexpected twist. I like that, you can play with it”.

From concept to 3D design

“The core of Verive is making sustainable choices simple and communicating clearly and honestly about this. With this message and targeted products, I go right into the visual modus”. Hessel asked himself, “How do I translate all of this into the product design?”.

It became immediately clear that Hessel is a real visual thinker. “I actually see the design right in front of me, I rarely do sketches. I immediately work out the idea with a product template, which I then convert into a 3D design. That’s how it comes to life for my colleagues, and for myself, the 3D image works as a confirmation of what I intended”.

Elegance meets sustainability

You can recognize the characteristic Verive coffee cups immediately. However, three to four concepts – from angular and geometric to wavy and organic – preceded the current design. Eventually the wavy design was chosen.

Hessel commented,

“The pattern brings the interdependence of sustainability to life in our daily lives and in our business operations, to which we all contribute. You will find the veins of leaves and waves of running water and the ocean in the design. The pattern stands for elegance and sustainability and for the balance between people and the environment”.

Of course, colour was also considered in the coffee cups design and used to indicate the different sizes of bamboo cups with aqueous lining on offer. For instance, “The smallest cup is the 4oz espresso cup. This got the pattern in the darkest colour, dark blue. The 7oz and 7.5oz cups, which are mainly used in offices, received a completely green pattern. Naturally I used Verive’s signature orange for the most popular size coffee cup, the 8oz. The largest cup has a green print, but is not completely filled in like it’s smaller counterpart”.

A design to match any environment

“The Purchasing Director at Bunzl Continental Europe told me that I had to take into account in my design that Verive products were going to be sold across Europe. In that respect, the design needed to be universal. In the Netherlands we often stick with the basic, and don’t go too wild, while in other countries they are less afraid of using exiting prints and colours. Funny enough, culture plays a big part in this”, Hessel added.

Now, three years after launching, our disposable cups, wooden cutlery sets, and straws are popping-up throughout Europe. Whether you are ordering a coffee in the Swiss mountains, glüwein at a German Christmas market, or a cappuccino at the Amsterdam zoo, there’s an ever-increasing chance that you will be drinking it from a colourful Verive bamboo cup featuring Hessel’s design.

Keen to use Verive products?

Are you looking for affordable disposable cups, cutlery sets, or other food packaging with an elegant design, low carbon footprint, and environmentally-conscious materials? Discover more about the materials and properties on our product page. Ready to order now? Find out here where Verive products can be purchased in your region.

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