We are Smel, an independent design, and consultancy agency specializing in brand strategy, visual identity, and brand experiences.

Founded by Edgar Smaling and Carlo Elias, Smel is rooted in editorial design but has expanded into the online and three-dimensional design over the past twenty years. The permanent team is expanded per project with professionals from a network of like-minded online specialists, marketers, copywriters, journalists, photographers, and visual artists.

We offer partnerships instead of your average design solutions. Together with our customers, we create tailor-made stories and concepts that are not tied to a specific medium, and that always goes the extra mile. Our standard is a luxurious and high-quality appearance, but always with a raw edge.


“You could be part of what we do: mining new stories in unexpected places.”
— Edgar & Carlo, founders and creative directors

Edgar Smaling (SM)

comes from an artistic family and has played the piano for years. He learned to improvise behind the keys and listen carefully to rhythm, composition, and silence. In his designs, he strives for balance and apparent simplicity, whereby a sense of typography and knowledge of special materials ensure that each design is unique.

Carlo Elias (EL)

loves nothing more than traveling, from the Shinto temples in Japan to the American salt flats. He combines a passion for traditional crafts with a broad interest in contemporary art, architecture, and fashion. They are sources of inspiration for his intuitive design, in which he is always open to the new and unknown.

Selected clients


Anton Corbijn, Bryan Adams photography, Cascando, Cornelie Tollens, ECCO, Florent, Frame publishers, Gemeente Amsterdam, Holland Baroque, Holtkamp Horeca, HTNK, IJver, I Love Fake Magazine, KAW architects, Lecturis publishers, Lenarduzzi, Local, Marlies Dekkers, Meng custom content, Menno Kroon, Ministerie van OCW, Ministerie van VROM, Morad Bouchakour, Piet Boon, PostNL, Red Bull Studios, Remy Meijers, Rituals, Robert Bronwasser, Slangen+Koenis architects, Stigter van Doesburg, Super Stories, Taschen, Uitgeverij TerraLannoo, Terry Rodgers, Torch gallery, Yip International, ZOO Magazine

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