The Hero’s Journey of Stephan van de Kimmenade

Stephan van de Kimmenade loves building brands with heart and soul. A profession he is set to make his own since the eighties. Challenges and experiences helped him understand how thorough research can reveal the core and the ambition of a brand. With the outcome he creates an impactful brand positioning. Stephan does everything with pure passion and dedication. Or as he puts it: “Passion is my compass.”

Photo credits: Jordi Sloots

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

To make people see, understand, and feel why they are special and unique. They symbolize the company and its service, and thus the brand.

What is my idea of happiness?

To approach everything uninhibited and out of love. Real freedom in creating: in my private life and in my profession.

What is my greatest fear?

When our differences become bigger than our similarities, the world shifts out of balance. Conservating culture and individuality is very important. If we cannot give each other space, civilization will derail.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I can be very impatient. And too competitive.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Jacques Koeweiden. David Carson. Neville Brody. Nikki Gonnissen. Thomas Widdershoven,

What is my greatest extravagance?

I can consider something as very valuable and important. So important, I completely lose myself in it. But, in about five minutes after I am finished with it, I can downplay it with the same ease.

On what occasion would I lie?


What is the thing I dislike the most in my work?

Time and money. Pressure can take away the freedom of giving real attention to the work you are creating.

When and where was I happiest, in my work?

Moving to Amsterdam at the age of 19, I took my first steps into the world of design and communication.

When searching for a way to implement my own vision on branding, finding the right tools made me very happy. With my own methodology, every unique case is a moment of happiness. It keeps my work interesting and adventurous.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

My age.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

In The Netherlands we say: ‘You are as good as your last performance’.

So: My last performance.

Where would I most like to live?

I like where I am right now: Eindhoven. This is my home.

From the age 20 up to 30, I have travelled far and beyond. The last twenty years I chose to stay closer to home. Consciously, to get back home as soon as possible.

What is my most treasured possession?

Ilse, Jim and Boy. Friendship.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Being able to really touch people. My sincere interest and fascination in people gives me the opportunity to empathize and be thorough.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Home. My own place, my own studio.

(And the Woenselse Markt on Saturdays)

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

At the moment, Fifth NRE. But it changes quickly, so chances are it is a different answer in three months.

What books influenced my life and how?

Patrick Süskind – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. The story is told from an unusual sensory perspective. It makes you empathize in a different way.

Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. This book reveals the reason evolution went wrong.

Ronald Giphart – Ik omhels je met duizend armen (I embrace you with a thousand arms). Beautiful book about love and grief.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen in my last day?

Tracy Chapman – Storytelling

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My parents and my brothers. Titus Bovenberg.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

The Straight Story, by David Lynch.

What role play stories in my life and work?

The lead.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

Within it hides a mission: to collect the stories. In the end, it is the part that remains. They are made of what you are.

So, be a good story!

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Titus Bovenberg.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022?

Who I would like to brand based on my vision: Ltd. The Netherlands!

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on?

The rebranding of De Rooi Pannen and Mikrocentrum. Exciting cases.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

See our portfolio at

What do the words ‘Passion Never Retires’ mean to me?

It is my spirit, my ‘joie de vivre’. The reason I create. To me, it means life. If I cannot work with passion, I cannot work at all.

How can you contact me?

Get to know We’re someone by requesting our magazine. Then email me for a coffee:

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Titus Bovenberg. Bert-Jan Woertman. Frank Janssen. Jules Franssen. Hettie Suurd.

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