Customer in the spotlight: MENTALL

He does still have them all lined up. Although his head sometimes dares to run wild at the sight of handsome printed matter. We know of others like that, and so Simon Desmet is a dream “client in the spotlight. In 2020, he founded MENTALL, a full service communications agency where you can go for your company’s branding and all the marketing support that goes with it. In addition to the digital component, there is also a strong emphasis on print: “A stylish catalog is not only a handy work tool, but also a powerful marketing tool.”

Actually, as a child, he wanted to do something with woodworking. Being creative with his hands, Simon Desmet saw something in that. But he also loved drawing, and so he chose to study graphic arts at VISO. At the creative school in Mariakerke, Desmet was first introduced to printing before delving further into multimedia techniques. Afterwards, the West Fleming moved to Hasselt to study fine arts, graphic design and interactive design, and then settled there permanently. A move that not only gives him a wonderfully mixed tongue today, but also laid the foundation for the operation of MENTALL, the communications agency he started just under three years ago.

360° communication strategies

“During my training in Hasselt, there was an important emphasis on research,” Desmet says. “We take that approach today at MENTALL as well. We support companies with everything related to branding, digital transformation and marketing, but always try to do that from a strategic angle. We work very pragmatically with clients, by thinking about their business and giving them targeted advice. With us, you always start with a workshop. A strategic preliminary process follows, based on a thorough analysis of the needs and opportunities. Only then do we start the real design process and everything that goes with it: the logo and visual identity, a website, leaflets, brochures, newsletters, advertising campaigns, social media, and so on. From a 360° approach, we create and optimize the brand. Actually, our agency functions as the internal marketing department of companies. We are only physically in a different location.”

Technical expertise

MENTALL serves a diverse range of customers in a variety of industries. However, special attention is given to companies in technical industries. “For example, we work a lot for technical wholesalers and manufacturing companies,” Desmet says. “For those types of companies, we have built up enormous expertise. In these times, product ranges often evolve at lightning speed, but legal provisions and deontological codes also mean that you have to constantly stay on top of things. Thanks to our experience, we know what is going on and we can efficiently translate that knowledge into effective communication tools that enable companies to achieve better results faster. Print and digital go hand in hand. More and more often, for example, we develop a catalog, which is then also given an online extension, based on specially developed digital formats.”

Catalog HEYTEC

One such customer is HEYTEC. After a few previous orders, MENTALL came to us to have the new catalog printed for the company that specializes in refrigeration and air conditioning solutions. “The previous one was, I think, five years old, so something was allowed to happen,” Desmet smiled. “We ended up working on two versions. The first is a hardcover that was sent to customers and partners. A kind of stylish coffee table book for the office, in which refrigeration and air conditioning technicians can find the entire product range, but which also looks very nice on the work desk. There is also a softcover version that can be taken on the road. We are also currently working on a climate catalog, in the same style, but with a different color palette to create a nice distinction. I love sophisticated printing immensely. As a student, I went through the entire printing process. From print preparation to finishing, prepress and handling different presses myself, it all passed by. Sometimes I worry about print media, because its share in the media mix is sometimes marginalized. But a good-looking catalog or brochure is something that remains. You can do an awful lot with it. The printing technique, the finish, the paper, the binding: it all has an influence on the appearance of the printed matter, and thus helps determine how you come across as a company. In the case of HEYTEC, that hardcover has become not only an essential work tool, but also a brilliant marketing tool.”