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Frequently asked questions

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The five most frequently asked questions

No one! Or actually, everyone. We organize Bord&Stift horizontally. That means everyone is equal. We all take responsibility for and enjoy the freedoms of Bord&Stift together. Until the end of 2020 we still had an official owner of the company: Charlotte, the founder of Bord&Stift. But since January 1, 2021, we have switched to a new legal structure where the company is ‘owned by itself’. And Charlotte? She still works at Bord&Stift, but just as an employee, just like all other Bord&Stift employees.

As well as making videos our illustrators are also available for live drawing events. They create a visual record of events during a meeting, event or conference.

In addition, we can also drop by your office for a drawing workshop. Why take minutes when your team can process ideas and plans clears in a drawing? “I can’t draw!” Don’t worry, after this workshop, you’ll be able to.

During Corona we will of course no longer do these activities in person. Fortunately, both live drawing and the drawing workshop are also very suitable to do online via Zoom, Teams or another medium of your choice.

We make all our films with a lot of personal attention and a good dose of creative love. There are many hours involved in our process, so we’re not the cheapest company around. We spend a lot of time talking to you about what you want our of the video and how you want it to look – that’s why we schedule a 2 hour appointment at the beginning of the process. We take time to ensure your film is exactly as you like it.

We’ve designed our processes efficiently and we’ve made hundreds of films. Even though each film is unique, we use this experience productively. Of course, whether you think our prices are cheap or expensive depends on your budget. We’ve chosen to charge a fixed price for everyone and we put that price clearly on our website.

A 3-minute whiteboard animations with simple illustrations costs €4,750,- but the price of an animation depends on your wishes. We also offer more extensive drawings, for example, to show technical aspects in detail or you can give your movie something extra with the help of our add-ons.

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Costs

We have a limited budget available for shorter, discounted films. Please get in touch to discuss it.

We make all our films with a lot of personal attention and a good dose of creative love. There are many hours involved in our process, so we’re not the cheapest company around. We spend a lot of time talking to you about what you want our of the video and how you want it to look – that’s why we schedule a 2 hour appointment at the beginning of the process. We take time to ensure your film is exactly as you like it.

We’ve designed our processes efficiently and we’ve made hundreds of films. Even though each film is unique, we use this experience productively. Of course, whether you think our prices are cheap or expensive depends on your budget. We’ve chosen to charge a fixed price for everyone and we put that price clearly on our website.

A 3-minute whiteboard animations with simple illustrations costs €4,750,- but the price of an animation depends on your wishes. We also offer more extensive drawings, for example, to show technical aspects in detail or you can give your movie something extra with the help of our add-ons.

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Fun facts

🎉 Since 2013! In recent years we’ve continually developed the business and ourselves and we’re still going. Since 2018, we have decided to organize our company horizontally, this means we have no managers and no bosses.

True! But we thought they were such nice questions that we decided to answer them. 🙂

Yes, but because of the advance of hyper-intelligent young ladies in the third feminist wave, they are heavily in the minority. It’s quite possible that throughout your project you’ll only find women on your path.

Set mostly! Bananagrams, Dobble, Smooth Sprints, Halli Galli or Pictionary – anything to keep us sharp! Then we balance it with some meditation, which we do a lot of in the office.

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Method & process

Usually there are 2 or 3 illustrators available at any one time, so we send you a sample of their films during the planning process. You can choose an artist based on the style that best suits your video. If you’re in a hurry or it’s very busy at the office, then choice of illustrators can be limited. In any case, we’ll always discuss with you which illustrator will be best suited to your project.

Hell yes! There are all kinds of options. Men, women, enthusiastic, sultry, fluent, serious, English accent, Dutch accent or any other language. You can decide yourself who best fits your video.

Between each step in the process, versions of the text and illustrations are sent back and forth to the client for feedback This can be done by email or telephone, until you’re completely satisfied with the content of the final film. After you’ve given us the definitive ‘GO’, we dive into the film studio to record the film. A few days later it’s delivered to your digital door.

We begin the process with an extensive interview of 2-3 hours. This allows us to explore the content and get a good idea of the film’s core message. Then our copywriter starts working on a first draft. You give feedback on the text until it’s exactly what you want. Once the text is decided, our illustrator will make proof drawings. These are sent to you as a PDF and can also give feedback. Finally, the voice-over records the text. If you want, you can phone in and listen to the voice-over to give more feedback. Once everything is agreed and finalized, we manually draw and film the video (for a 3-minute film this takes around 8 hours). We edit everything together and send the video to you in .MP4 format, or any other format you prefer.

As much time as you want! On average the client spends 3-5 hours per video. We begin the process with an extensive interview about content, which usually lasts 2 hours. We need that time to get the detail straight. From then on, we take over the process and the only time you need to contribute is giving feedback. Depending on how much feedback you give, the amount of time varies – it could be 5 minutes or 30 minutes. You can also brainstorm with the illustrator, which takes another 2 hours.

Of course! In fact, even if you do have ideas for the film, you’ll probably still want to talk about it in-depth. But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a clear idea of what you want or even a briefing prepared for us. In the first interview we’ll ask all the questions we need to in order to make the video. We do this based on this template:

We’ve already made films for a lot of clients. Companies like NS, KLM, the University of Amsterdam, ING, the Dutch National Police, the municipality of the Hague and the city of Amsterdam, Klokhuis, Women Inc and Booking.com among others.

You can always email or call us (+31 20 2617 491), but if we’re making a film for you we like to meet you in person. This can be done online via Zoom, at your office or at our own – our cozy office is on the Haarlemmerstraat in Amsterdam. Because of Corona, most of the appointments are now via Zoom.

During a 2-hour session we work together to get to the core of the video, to make sure no information is overlooked.

Certainly. So far we’ve made films in Flemish, French, Spanish, Arabic, Berber and German. We have an external agency translate the text and we provide a voice-over in the relevant language.

As well as making videos our illustrators are also available for live drawing events. They create a visual record of events during a meeting, event or conference.

In addition, we can also drop by your office for a drawing workshop. Why take minutes when your team can process ideas and plans clears in a drawing? “I can’t draw!” Don’t worry, after this workshop, you’ll be able to.

During Corona we will of course no longer do these activities in person. Fortunately, both live drawing and the drawing workshop are also very suitable to do online via Zoom, Teams or another medium of your choice.

We need 6 weeks from the first interview. In our experience that’s how much time we need for everyone to enjoy the process and deliver a good end product. If you need a film faster, it’s sometimes possible, but depends on our planning and availability.

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About Bord&Stift

All matters that aren’t directly involved in film-making, like finances, marketing, team outings, office furnishings, personal development and so on, fall under the remit of different teams. Everyone who works at Bord&Stift can choose a team or teams to be part of. Everyone’s free to set up their own team as well. Would you like to know more about horizontal organization? Aaron Dignan’s book Brave New Work offers a good overview of all aspects of horizontal organizing.

We were helped on the path of horizontal organization by Wibo and Jos, founders of the company ‘De Hele Olifant‘.

No one! Or actually, everyone. We organize Bord&Stift horizontally. That means everyone is equal. We all take responsibility for and enjoy the freedoms of Bord&Stift together. Until the end of 2020 we still had an official owner of the company: Charlotte, the founder of Bord&Stift. But since January 1, 2021, we have switched to a new legal structure where the company is ‘owned by itself’. And Charlotte? She still works at Bord&Stift, but just as an employee, just like all other Bord&Stift employees.

At the moment we choose to specialize in one thing that we’re really good at – whiteboard films. If you produce lots of different types of films, you specialise less. Plus, our mission as a company is to make the world more understandable. In our opinion whiteboard films are the perfect way to make complex subjects transparent.

Bord & Stift means Whiteboard&Marker in Dutch.
At the beginning of Bord&Stift, Charlotte asked a friend if he could come up with a few name ideas. Here’s what he came up with:

  • Board of Solutions
  • Come on board
  • World Wide Whiteboard
  • Plain White Screens
  • Drawplain
  • Bord&Stift

Our name is the clearest explanation of what we actually so: with a whiteboard and markers we explain complex matters clearly.

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Live drawing

We believe we can really add value this way: to show things more clearly, give an overview during a conference of event and add some much need fun and playfulness!

Live illustrating offers us a different challenge from making films. When you’re making a film you always have time to think about things, but with live illustrating you have to react quickly and instantly transform something into an image. As an illustrator, you really have to use all your skills and give everything you have during a session of live illustrating, which is a nice challenge.

Since Corona we have gained a lot of experience with drawing live during online sessions and fortunately that works very well!

The illustrator can bring their own materials, or you can arrange this. There are various possibilities: the illustrator can make a summary on one large canvas, or make lots of separate drawings on small sheets. Depending on what you want and what suits you, we’ll try to arrange it!

During Corona, the live drawing sessions are completely online of course. The preparation will mainly consist of coordinating with you how we will approach the live drawing during the online session and in what format you want to receive the drawings afterwards.

First, use our tool to choose the date and time you would like to hire a live illustrator. We will then check whether we have an illustrator available at that time and we will get in contact with you. The live illustartor will then contact you to discuss in advance what you want, in order to appear in the session well prepared!

On the agreed day, our illustrator will appear at your location or in the Zoom. In the case of an online meeting, the illustrator shares his/her screen while drawing. At the end of the meeting, the illustrator presents the visual summary in a few minutes.

After the meeting, the illustrator will send the visual summary in the pre-agreed format. This way you have a beauitful visual overview that can be shared afterwards!

A live illustrator adds a lot of value at events which are unusual or not a weekly occurrence. So if you’re organizing a brainstorm or a day of team reflection then having a live illustrator is a great idea.

It’s also fun at conferences or events. While a speaker is speaking, the illustrator makes a drawing to summarize what’s being said. For everyone present, it’s a nice way to see the main points of the speech. An illustrator can also make an overview of the whole day, bringing together the events of the conference.

A live illustrator is a fast-drawing artist, able to capture information in images very quickly. A live illustrator is also a kind of note-taker 2.0. Instead of summarizing what’s discussed during a conference or event, we summarize it in images. This makes ideas immediately clear and accessible to everyone at a glance.

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Drawing workshop

We didn’t really come up with the idea ourselves, but there was a lto of demand from the companies we worked with! Now we sometimes combine drawing workshops with live illustration and making a video, so that the employees of a company are really involved in the whole process. We love to have fun and it’s really nice to see how enthusiastic people become when they realize they actually can draw….

The illustrator can bring the materials themselves, or you can arrange that. It can be fun if everyone gets a set of markers and a notebook to keep after the session to they can keep using their visual skills. Notebooks branded with your company logo are often a nice touch. It’s a good idea to discuss this before the workshop.

The drawing workshop can also take place online! In that case, the illustrator will communicate in advance what it takes for everyone to participate properly from home.

Visual communication is increasingly important. Instead of endless discussions, it’s better to experience an idea and get started on it straight away. We ensure people develop their self-confidence when it comes to using signs and small illustrations in their work, as well as teaching people how to think visually. Because our workshops are all practical, everyone can practice their skills and take away something valuable from the workshop.

Even during conferences or on team days, it’s a fun, relaxing activity, as well as being useful. People can relax, be creative and discover they can actually draw (because most people think they can’t). There’s a nice atmosphere which make people feel much more positive about their new skills.

We ensure that people get to know how to use their drawing skills during work in a low-key way. We focus on getting everyone to draw a lot during the workshop. We start with simple assignments and progress to a more complicated one. There’s always room for feedback or a particular direction.

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Vacancies

Possibly, we’re always looking for new writing, drawing and editing talent. Contact us it you have one or more of these skills by sending an email to ditbenik@bordenstift.nl to introduce yourself. For us it’s really important that you mesh well with the rest of us Bord&Stifters, and can work in our horizontal system. Take a look at the rest of our website and see if it fits you!

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English

Although we’re based in Amsterdam, we work on lots of English videos. Everyone at the office speaks excellent English and we have some native English employees as well, who can ensure any English is perfect in both its pronunciation and poetry. Give us a call, arrange a Skype chat or send us an email and we’ll be happy help.

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