Our history

From a one-man show to a full-fledged company of 90... and counting. VanBerlo has a rich history, but we’re not living in the past. We have a clear vision for the future. A vision where it’s just as important to understand how to collaborate with our customers in a multidisciplinary way as it is to know who’s in front of us, next to us and following us in the integration chain. Pretty soon this chain will spring to life in the Innovation Powerhouse. VanBerlo is moving forward, full steam ahead.

In the beginning...

It was 1981. Ad van Berlo had just graduated from the Academie Industriële Vormgeving in Eindhoven (now the Design Academy Eindhoven). A born entrepreneur, it was always clear that he’d have his own business.

Ad formed VanBerlo in 1982, armed with a vision, talent and the drive to succeed. He wanted to be able to offer his customers a total package; designs, production and packaging. VanBerlo’s first (official) assignments included lighting and bathroom designs. He took home his first iF award in 1987 for the Vrieland Sweazy lamp.

Growth spurt

Ad proved VanBerlo to be so much more than a design agency. From 1993 to 1998 VanBerlo worked with more than 25 professionals in Design Management, Product Design & Development and Graphic & Multimedia Design. In 1998 the company moved into the characteristic building on Beemdstraat 29 in Eindhoven, designed by diederendirrix and Tarra. In 1993 Thomas Paulen started working for VanBerlo as a designer. Thomas’ talents and hard work didn’t go unnoticed: in 1995 he became the Business Unit Manager Design & Engineering. Thomas would go on to be named Partner in 2001 and then take over as CEO in 2009.

Global perspective

Thomas and Ad have a natural kind of collaboration, highly motivational and inspirational for their team members. Together they positioned VanBerlo in the international marketplace, and made connections and alliances with Germany and China. At the start of 2000 about 20% of VanBerlo’s business came from multinational companies with headquarters in the Netherlands. Now, around 80% of VanBerlo’s projects come from international clients. Towards the end of 2005, VanBerlo made a name for itself as the biggest product development and brand innovation agency in the Netherlands. Nothing to sneeze at! And an excellent time to add a Chief Technology Officer. In 2006 Eric van Dorst was added as not only CTO, but also as Partner. Thomas took on the role of CEO in 2009, and Ad continued on as Chairman of VanBerlo Group.

New disciplines, stronger methods

Expansion was taking shape and another office location was needed. What better place than Delft; right in the heart of the Delft University of Technology! Eric set up the Delft offices in 2010 with both existing and new VanBerlo employees. A well-assembled team of driven designers and ambitious product engineers. Two years later Eindhoven University of Technology named Ad van Berlo part time professor. This brought about a fruitful collaboration between VanBerlo and the Technical Universities in the Netherlands, as well as fascinating research projects like Light.Touch.Matters.

Glimpsing the crystal ball

The future looks bright! VanBerlo's steps towards growth and improvement throughout the years have made all the difference. Ad, Thomas, Eric and the entire VanBerlo team of talented designers, engineering whizzes, UX and UI experts and production specialists will continue to seek out great prospects. Devise more user-friendly products and services, introduce the latest brand innovations and prepare for upcoming events. VanBerlo has claimed its rightful spot within the Ypenburg building in Delft in 2015, and creates its very own Innovation PowerHouse in the Strijp T building in Eindhoven in 2017.