In this special blog post, Astute Graphics founder Nicholas van der Walle opens up about how our unique company will thrive in the next 10 years… presenting a rare and exciting opportunity!


As founder of Astute Graphics, creating is what I do. Have always done… making something from nothing.

In 2005, I started on the biggest professional journey of my life. The result — which is far from its end — is Astute Graphics. A company which has provided jobs for around 20 people over the years, myself included. This largest achievement is joined with the personal satisfaction that I discovered I could make a great success of things. Those who know me hear the self-deprecating comments, but inside I cherish a very deep confidence and satisfaction that can only come with having proven yourself beyond question.

Astute Graphics founder Nicholas van der Walle

I now write this following an amazing evening with some great colleagues, designers and new friends. An evening that once again proves that I have achieved the goal I set myself.

As an indisputable fact, Astute Graphics has continuously achieved 10 straight years of significant growth, largely derived from heavy re-investment. We can boast of clients that include Adidas, Disney, Microsoft, Dreamworks, Google, LinkedIn and many more international brands. We also help power 10's of thousands of freelance designers the world over. We’re set to achieve our annual ambitious target. Again! It’s all a wonderful testament to the team’s efforts, for whom I can not thank enough. But it’s also a result of the relentless days and nights, weekends, months and years that my heart and soul has poured into this great project. In combination, I am proud… damn proud of the outcome that continues to evolve.

Just a small selection of our cherished clients

Recently I heard a speaker comment on-stage that business leaders typically have a large amount on insecurity. It’s interesting how this ties in with my statements above. After all, I don’t sound very insecure about where I’m at. I feel that this is because insecurity can sometimes be confused with realisations of the situation.

As I stand at this high-point, I can see the trek ahead of me is just as steep and uneven as the haul made over the past 10 years. It’s not something that scares or concerns me, but with some great inspirational talks ringing in my ears from the evening’s events it's once again helped to reinforce my understanding that it is time for another to take the lead. How does somebody make a proven, continuously profitable company greater? Typically with a distinctly different skill set than was deployed in the first phase.

This can be compounded by ever-dwindling personal energy reserves. No engine can run at 110%+ for eternity, and my circumstance — as is common with many other leaders on this planet — is no exception. 10 years at 110%+ is more than even Honda would expect from it’s motors.

So I open the door to considering the next phase of Astute Graphics, my family and myself. It’s a topic that has been handled internally for the past year, and one which I have to now open up to publicly. Whereas I have been careful to make Astute Graphics a great-product — not personality-based company, it is common with all growing entities that it needs to have a captain who is able and fit to navigate each and every journey.

Therefore this post becomes an open letter of intent with no immediate deadline or knowledge of imminent jeopardy. It’s purely a case of me starting to say that options will be sought in 2017 to ensure an even more rewarding future is assured for all concerned.

The recipe may change and the flavours likely to become even more intense, but the joy of what Astute Graphics produces will remain firmly in tact. I relish sampling this exciting new chapter!

Please contact me via LinkedIn if these sentiments resonate with you or if the challenge of what’s to come of Astute Graphics from hereon is of interest.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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I didn't know Illustrator could do that!

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