Meet the design team: Geo van Heerden

Johnson Tiles were recently featured as part of the Best of the Best of South African Design exhibit at the Rand Show in Johannesburg. We sat down with our talented design team, to find out what inspires them.

Meet Geo van Heerden, New Product Development Manager for Johnson Tiles.

Dsc2115Bw Resized
Dsc2084Bw Resized

Q. Geo, where did your journey begin?

A. In the beginning I didn’t think about design, I started studying to be a Computer Systems Engineer, but I was not happy. I met some new people that set me on this path of designing. I completed a B.Tech degree in Graphic Design from the Vaal University of Technology and really enjoyed what I was doing, I felt it was the road I was meant to be on. Since graduating I have worked as a lecturer, a freelance designer and ended up in Ceramics.

Q. How long have you been in this industry and what are the interesting trends in tile design and décor?

I have been a Ceramics Designer for about 9 years now. It is not only about the design of the tile, it is about the different finishes, textures and effects. Matt, gloss and anti-slip finishes make it easier to use the tile across different areas, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. This is largely in response to the trend of open-plan living.

In terms of trends, blue is quite a big colour in ceramics globally right now, and patterns are being printed on larger format tiles than previous years. The natural tones of woodlook tiles remain popular, but with décor tiles adding interest. Similarly, the industrial, urban inspired cement-look tiles are still very on-trend.

Q. What can you not live without?

A. I would say my wife and kids. Without them I would be lost. Second to that would be my phone, because everything is on it. I need the photos, a good camera for when inspiration hits, it’s my connection to everybody I know and, of course, my music.

Q. Where do you take inspiration from?

A. I take inspiration form everything around me, from what my kids do, to what I see around me when I drive home from work. Inspiration is a funny thing, it can come anytime or anywhere, when you least expect it.