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How Studio Ubique built a global web design company
Studio Ubique (aka Lennart de Ridder) hailed from the Netherlands and started out with his father's printing company in 2002. While he was building his creative career in branding, branding and marketing on the side, it only really clicked when he got started Experimenting web design.
Today Studio Ubique is a passionate full-time freelancer with a focus on websites, landing pages and e-commerce sites for companies around the world. We chatted with him about his career at 99designs, the web design trend that excites him the most, and the clever meaning behind his name.
Surname: Lennart de Ridder
99designs name: Studio Ubique
specialty: Web design
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
In short: Studio Ubique was founded in 2012 by Lennart de Ridder. Based in the Netherlands, I create experiences for web users and help companies communicate with their customers via digital platforms. I work from home (deliberately not having an office), but before 2012 I gained experience with PR agencies.
My design career has been a trip through print shops and PR agencies where I worked as a graphic designer. After a few years I found my passion in web design. I stopped “working” in 2012 and continued with my hobby and passion. I love what i'm doing.
How did you get into graphic design?
I started in my father's print shop in 2002. Since then I have been busy with logos, corporate identities, brochures, flyers and all other printed matter.
After a while, a customer asked us if we would also be able to design websites. That was something new at the time, but I knew it was a turning point in my career.
What brought you to web design in particular?
A website is one of the most important tools a business has to advertise itself, so first impressions really count! I like to see my work online and how it lights up on computers and other devices. Especially when the code is perfect.
What web design trends have you noticed lately? What excites you most about the direction in which technology is moving?
Asymmetry. 2016 broke with the rule of symmetry. I like it, but I see customers want something more traditional like a regular horizontal header on top etc. It's hard to convince them and show them other trends. Beoplay's page, for example. I like the space, the cleanliness, balance, function - it's just great.
Do you have a favorite project or customer?
My favorite project? Any web design project. I don't like logos or other competitions at all. I only focus on websites, landing pages, ecommerce pages.
To be honest, I like it when international customers ask me about a website redesign. That makes me proud.
Do you work full time as a freelancer?
I mainly work for a wide range of advertising agencies and web developers from the Netherlands and the USA who hire Studio Ubique for web design projects.
I also take part in competitions and 1-on-1 projects here at 99designs. And mostly I work 50 to 60 hours a week to get everything ready on time!
How did 99designs influence your career?
Since 2010 I was active on other competition platforms in the Netherlands and didn't know 99designs. Google helped me do a search for "international contests". 99designs was at the top.
I've only been working at 99designs since 2012. Everything looks fine here. It's very well organized, the designers and customers are protected, the prices are in line with the competitions, the customer is controlled by 99designs - and that works great for me as a designer.
I enjoy the opportunity to compete with some of the best in the world. Participating in these competitions is an excellent opportunity for me to improve my skills and gain more experience.
How did you come up with the name Studio Ubique?
That was the hardest part when I started in 2010. The options were many, but most of the domain names were already taken. A little frustrated, I chose Studio Ubique.
Ubique means “everywhere” in Latin and fits perfectly with my service. Since joining 99designs, I've built up an international portfolio. That's why Studio Ubique is everywhere.
What do you do when you're not designing websites?
I spend most of my time with web design because that's my passion. The few times I have free time I spend with my family, on vacation or watch documentaries.
What do you like most about living in the Netherlands?
Honestly? I would like to move to the USA or Canada. 😉 But what I really like about our small country, especially my hometown, is that I live near a lake. My house is surrounded by forest, meadows and sand.
Check out more of Studio Ubique's work here.
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