Tekno is the second full-length album by Christian Gabel under the name 1900. The theme was turn-of-the-century optimism and faith in the industrial revolution. It was aged and ancient while at the same time being futuristic and technological.
We wanted the gatefold sleeve and graphics to tell this story and were able to do so with golden hot foil, textured artwork and a wonderful photo from the control room of the Klingenberg power plant in Lichtenberg (1927).
To get the bar code on the back of the sleeve to meet all the technical specs while not standing out and breaking the aesthetic principles was an interesting challenge.
Artist/Client: 1900 (Christian Gabel)
Portrait photography: Anna Ledin
In the early nineties Christian Gabel found a set of illustrations that seemed to be concept art for a film production. The artwork was dated 1982 and depicted scenes from his hometown Karlstad in post-apocalyptic ruins. In spite of research, no further information about the artwork, the artist or the (possible) film has been found.
Many years later Christian started toying around with the idea of writing a film score for the concept art and the film that was never made. Krater is the result.
Krater is also a computer game produced by independent Swedish studio Fatshark. Christian Gabel has written the main themes for the game which also drew inspiration from the found art.
Snowfish was an online community where its members could share 50/50 in all advertising revenues generated by their content; music, videos, and images. They called it »the future of publishing«.
Their platform would get members up and running in under three minutes, and offer customization, usability, and tracking features that were superior to the competition. It was a place to earn money, and potentially even get discovered on a larger scale, while doing the things you love.
I did the visual identity for Snowfish, held workshops, did wireframes and GUI for the launch of the community and helped them with sales material, both digital and in print.
Snowfish lasted a few years and later launched The Next Big Thing and Tunigo, which was bought by Spotify in 2013.
I first did this book as my exam in typography, way back in 1997, while still attending the Berghs School of Communication. I was thrilled to be able to combine my love of letterforms and design with my no. 1 favorite band. Cause I’m just crazy about Sparks. I've met them twice backstage and have seen them live more than 30 times. But (back then) there was not a single good book about them on the market.
The book was edited and designed by me and was made in a red hardcover edition with a debossed inset cover and also a white edition with a wraparound dustcover. Every other spread is a factoid or quote from the band, and every other spread is a biography that runs through the book and through the years 1970–1994.
In 2003, the band heard about the book through an online forum and their management contacted me and said they were curious and asked if I'd consider showing them the book. I quickly put together a new edition (this one), hooked up with the band, talked about design, documentaries and photography and got a compliment by Ron Mael who said “You sure got a good grip on typography”.
I slept really good that night.
The idea behind Music Box is to mix live music performed on vintage analog synthesizers and modular systems with electronic vinyls so that the line between the live music and the DJ-set is blurred.
I was asked to design the logo, some promotional material and the label for Revolution, their 12 inch debut.
With very big ambitions, a tight deadline and a shoestring budget the launch of the new creative concept needed a strong visual cue that built on Vimla letting part of their profit go to charity and their members thinking more than others. Or perhaps, thinking more ABOUT others.
For Vimla, a new player with limited media spend, the cue also needed to give immediate brand recognition and say Vimla from the very first frame.
Over the Christmas and New Year holidays (2015) me, the film director and the studio worked relentlessly to breathe life and compassion into these masks.
The design of the characters needed (beyond being unique and recognizable) to be sympathetic, tactile and emotive. Textures, paint application, eyes and facial expressions were worked out with this is mind.
Art Direction: Jakob Westman
Character Design: Jakob Westman
Copywriter: Paul Martinsson
Production Company: Bacon STH
Director: Jakob Marky
Exec. Producers: Ylva Axell & Tobias Reiner
DoP: Matt Chuang
Grade: Julien Alary (Bacon OSL)
Sound: Martin Mighetto (Chimneygroup)
Ever since 2008 I've produced lots and lots and lots of milkbar posters for Arla. The posters are displayed on backlit milk dispensers in Swedish schools. Most posters have been aimed at children and every now and then we've been asked to do posters for lunch restaurants and cafés as well. Hence the different expressions and levels of playfulness.
The milkbar posters are something the children see every day for several months. So making rich and layered visuals with new elements to discover is something we've tried to achieve. Much unlike the visuals in advertising, that often benefit from being fast, clear and immediate.
This project was a bit out of the ordinary. Through our client the Mälardalen University, we'd made friends with Christer Norström, a professor in computer science. Norström also had a burning interest in Nordic Skiing and brought his scientific mind to that. He thought; you can't do much about the weather, but with science, lab tests and big data you can come up with models of how to wax your skis for the best performance and enjoyment while out in the tracks.
We were keen on doing something different and offered to act as both publisher, designer and editor of a book that built on his research and expertise.
The book was awarded with a Gold Medal in the Swedish Design Award 2012.
Writer: Christer Norström
Editor: Ingela Winstrand
Photography: Julian Bialowas, Irakli Nemsadze, Elvine Lund, Christer Norström, Bonnierarkivet/Scanpix samt iStockphoto.
Vimla Filter is an app that allows you to hand-pick which calls to let through and then transforms all other calls into push notifications. It also identifies incoming calls that aren't in your phone book and presents the caller by name.
I was asked to design a logo for the app and to pitch in some ideas for the GUI. Here are a few of my favorite (and ultimately unused) roughs. I'm especially fond of the happy x and the way it manages to express a declined call in a positive way.
Photos: Petter Karlberg & Daniel Lundkvist
Two books on the topic of bread, health, sustainable living and good food. One more fact oriented and the other responding directly to myths about bread.
The theme of the 2012 Annual report was growth and expansion, so the cover was construction themed and the first spread featured a pop-up neighborhood rising from the pages.
This was the second time I've done a pop-up project with brilliant illustrator Jonas Bergstrand. The first time was some 13 years earlier, in a really ambitious sales brochure (with copy that rhymed) for Svenska Dagbladet.
Illustrator: Jonas Bergstrand
A poster and an installation to communicate that MTV Sweden was doing better than ever and had more viewers than ever before.
P3 Gold is Swedish Public Radio awarding and celebrating the best Swedish artists of the year.
The challenge was to make the visuals embrace both the red carpet aspects and the more rebellious rock attitude. Having a magpie (in a tuxedo) steal the gold typography was a concept that was met with approval.
The greedy magpie was featured on posters, banners, invitations, ads, programmes, t-shirts and more.
Mälardalen University were struggling to keep their marketing together and approached us to find a new look, concept and messaging that would help attract new students and strengthen the ties with the companies in the region.
The single most important thing for students signing up for University is that their exam will help get them employed. And statistics said that Mälardalen University – with their academic excellence and strong ties to businesses in the region – would deliver on this. So the messaging was centered around “Education that leads to employment”.
Visually, we needed to tighten everything up, to make the typography stand out and feel more refined, to help them stand out by focusing on the color orange and come up with design modules and graphics that the University themselves could apply in all the material they produced inhouse.
For the MTV Video Music Awards in Japan we created an event that turned Tokyo into a treasure map. Viewers and fans were invited to search for 200 MTV EyeDolls all over the city, prompted by flyposters at the event’s affiliated retailers, clues online, television idents and posters. Find the dolls. Discover the prizes.
Each EyeDoll was special because it came with certain awards. The ultimate prize was the silver colored EyeDoll in an edition of five pieces, granting you a backstage pass to the MTV Video Music Awards and many other things.
Within the first week the EyeDolls were being traded on Japanese auction sites. The story was picked up by the press and when the MTV team tried to hide the last set of dolls, hundreds of people had figured it out already and were lying in wait.
Agency: KesselsKramer, Amsterdam
3D & Animation: Fido
Character Design: Jakob Westman, Arno Peters & Nils-Petter Lövgren
Illustrations: Jakob Westman
Vinyl sculpts: Supreme Asia Pacific Ltd
Unitified was a self initiated pet project that included a little bit of everything. There was art direction, writing, conceptual work, design, typography and illustration involved.
The idea was sparked by a reality where artists like Marilyn Manson and 50 Cent headlined the charts and tabloids. A reality of sleazy sex-and-violence shows on prime time TV. A reality of increasing alienation, detachment and cynism among teenagers.
Unitified was an honest attempt to provide the charts and air-time with something genuinely decent, to function as a source of inspiration and set a good example. All this without ever making any compromise when it comes to producing the best commercial music and entertainment possible. All this without ever crossing the line and becoming boring boy scouts or creepy preachers. Unitified would be nice, but nice with an edge.
To manifest these ideas Unitified was meant take part in benefit concerts and CDs, and would arrange or sponsor events that would provide teenagers with an alternative to just hanging around.
That was the geist of this ambitious project. We pitched the idea to Swedish MTG Media and was given a small budget to take it to the next stage. We did a more thorough business case, designs and character development, we recorded a demo and we got in touch with a senior animation producer to develop a script for a pilot.
Unfortunately we never got the project off the ground, but it was a very interesting and educational project to have been part of.
Uppsalahem is one of Sweden's biggest public housing companies with more than 300,000 tenants. Many public housing companies (and private as well for that matter) have stiff and dull identities. There are few that stand out.
We were asked to help build more positive associations to Uppsalahem and to strengthen their position as market leader. We were asked to make the new Uppsalahem feel warm, nice and comfy.
We tweaked and expanded the color palette and introduced illustrations and typography with a human touch. We also spent a lot of time making guidelines for a new tone of voice, to make Uppsalahem sound more human and less bureaucratic.
We held workshops and lectures with the staff talking about why we did what we did and why it mattered. We also provided lots and lots of templates and toolboxes for inhouse production.
One employee approached me after a lecture and said: “I still think the new cars are ugly, but now I get why they look the way they do.”
Fair enough. One doesn't have to like it personally, but one has to understand why and how it matters. And the reception from both Uppsalahem, their staff and the people living in Uppsala has been great. The number of people who thought the marketing gave them positive associations went up by 44%.
Illustrator: Jonas Bergstrand
Aros Arkitekter asked us to help make them relevant and to tighten up their own brand and graphics. Working with architects sure had its benefits and challenges. There was a lot of interest in the visuals and we quite often shared the same point of view.
It was however, the first time I've been asked to present 18 different hues of off-white. I also had feedback like “We still don’t quite know what we're after, but here are three more hues we don't like."
The closest I got to a description of the nondescript hue was “happy-beige-grey-neutral".
Aros Arkitekter has since been bought by Sweco and no longer operate under their own name.
Photography: Tim Meier
The Gotland University wanted us to help them update their visual identity and find a competitive edge in attracting students to the island and the university. We coined the expression Passion & Science that was grounded in the Liberal Education method and programmes like Game Developer, Computer Animation, Archeology, Ecology and Architectural Curator.
We added and defined guidelines for colors, typography, photography, etc. And we made lots of templates for in-house use. The sprawling and odd looking logo was however something that was hands off.
One of the earliest things we made was an “interactive” t-shirt and brochure that read Follow Your...
It was fun, cause I got to draw the nine different symbols as well. In the end though, someone reacted to the top left symbol and we were asked to revise the graphics.
Client: Gotland University
This was a fun little project that I have really fond memories of. During the golden dot-com boom we worked with an online petstore called Petbee. We did their identity, advertising, computer games(!) and promotional material.
Their stationary was extra fun and we printed it with spot colors, die cuts and the business cards were on a super thick card stock, that almost made them feel like coasters.
Agency: Graceland Sthlm
I have worked two stretches with Hyundai. First a few years through the agency Tank, and then again, many years later with Kärnhuset.
This 52-page book was made for the release of their new SUV Hyundai Tuscon back in 2005. It told the history of jeeps and SUVs for city dwellers as well as promoting their own three models – Tuscon, Santa Fé and Terracan.
The watercolor style was used to tie the imagery together and to make the book feel more editorial than a traditional sales brochure.
I find great pleasure working with less aggressive sales material like this, where the main objective is to share something, to be read and appreciated, not merely to shout louder than the competition.
Agency: Tank Y&R
Illustrator: Moa Bartling
June 1st is the Swedish Milk Day and Arla, Sweden’s biggest dairy wanted to promote their new protein enriched milk. We did this playful mascot that was used online and on merchandise.
Client: Arla Foods
Ever since I was a teen I've helped my best friends with graphics for their demo tapes, concert posters, websites, CD sleeves, etc. In the beginning it was an outlet and a canvas for my ideas, photos, videos, illustrations and designs and as we got older it remained a fun place to play around with like-minded people.
We worked with Stockholm University for quite a few years, doing campaigns outdoor and online, doing print ads, events, websites and much more.
This brochure was about how to tell a more cohesive story about the University as a place where education and scientific research matter and make a difference. And how to tell those stories about the University and its relation and relevance to students, staff, scholars and the political and business community.
Client: Stockholm University
Illustrators: Bo Lundberg, Marcus Oakley, Petra Börner, Sue Doeksen and more
At the peak of her career Anna Holmlund was number one in the Ski Cross World Cup and finished third in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Her goals were to be the best ski crosser in the world. Today, however, her goals are different yet nonetheless challenging.
En annan Anna is the documentary series about Anna’s life after a near-fatal crash (in San Candido, Italy) in which she suffered severe internal brain hemorrhaging.
I art directed and storyboarded the title sequence for the documentary, seen here on its own, without any photography or music.
Partners: Assistans för dig / Tomma tunnor
Animation: Motion Nerds