Dedicated to quality

The design magazine Novum talked with our partner and managing director Mathias Illgen about our philosophy. And about the fact that holocracy is not a buzzword for us, but (almost) day-to-day business.


Let’s turn to the way you work on a day-to-day basis. How are things organised at Stan Hema?

At Stan Hema, we don’t produce our concepts in a dedicated “department”, but together in cooperation with the right competences. For each individual client we form a separate team and there’s always at least one of the partners on that team. Each employee therefore works for several clients. Also we do not have complex hierarchies and no titles. Instead we have been working with our entire team since the start of 2017 on further developing our internal organisation – based on holacracy. The key word is self-organisation. As everywhere in our business, agile processes and the sharing of responsibility are playing an increasingly important role. And this way of working – where we are all at eye level with each other – is not only important in our work internally, it is important, too, in our work with clients – it engenders mutual trust and therefore the foundation for making our projects a success.

How do design processes actually run at Stan Hema?

In a very classic way: analysis, clarification, brand strategy, communication strategy, translation into the visual, and then implementation. What’s special about us is that we use very easy, understandable tools such as our brand platform, and that we lay particular emphasis on clear language. Also worth mentioning is our ability to translate strategies into the visual and thereby give them shape for the client.

The sector is in any case always in a state of flux. How do you see the current situation for creatives?

Contradictory. On the one hand the creative industry is a growth market, the individual disciplines are becoming ever more intertwined, and the whole concept of a brand has now become firmly anchored in business and society. That’s good. On the other hand the sector lacks self-confidence and assertiveness – it tends to be very well behaved, avoiding risk and it lacks a real self-identity. Design is having too little impact on society. The tough market environment tends to favour compromise, superficiality and imitation, it doesn’t encourage surprise or provocation. Designers are good thinkers and design is an important tool in strategic corporate management. Both we as creatives, and also our clients, have not yet exploited the potential here, by a long way.

Last, but not least: What mistakes will Stan Hema not be making again?

The mistake of not wanting to make mistakes. Cutting oneself off. Allowing oneself to be used. And – a dream of mine – the ones that we have already made once.

Contact person

Mathias Illgen
Brand consulting, Managing director


How self-organisation brings us closer together.

“You can’t make money while the world burns.”