One of the larger projects I helped on this past summer while completing a freelance contract at Bessermachen was an internal packaging project. It was made for Bessermachen’s parent company, Brandhouse, and was the third annual edition of “CWA”. Twelve archetypes are used communicate Brandhouse’s way of approaching brands, and the delivery method is a series of chocolate packaging. My main role was to develop the typography that portrayed these archetypes.
Choosing or creating a typeface to convey an archetype, and having each archetype be distinct within the group, for an audience that isn’t designers is a good (challenging) challenge. The twelve archetypes included: The Everyman, The Innocent, The Entertainer , The Creator, The King, The Hero, The Adventurer, The Rebel, The Wise Man, The Caregiver, The Magician, and The Seducer.
Here is a typography project I worked on for the Portland, OR interactive agency Pop Art for an app called Hauler Challenge (available here). Yes, you can pretend to race Freightliner trucks, the official hauler of NASCAR®. This is one of those things I never would have known existed if I weren’t a designer – being asked to work on such diverse topics as veganism, freight trucks, and monster vending machines is a true pro of this job. Here it is in all it’s glory and genre-fulfilling greatness – CUSTOM SHINY FAST TRUCKER TYPE!
It’s been 9 months since I moved the Bureau abroad to Copenhagen, Denmark – and therefore high time for a gestational update on this fledgling experiment. If you’re curious what the first 3 months were like, read here.
The last several months since my last update have brought many projects from the USA (Substance, Design by Rook, Jelly Helm Studio, Xplane, Umpqua Bank, Favery, Alaska Seafood, Pop Art and Glider), and experience working on Danish brands while contracting as a freelancer at Bessermachen (Body Nordic, Anne Black, Join Beauty, Chocolates with Attitude, FOG and Grønne Gaarden).
In terms of breaking into professional circles, the Danish business demeanor might be stone cold resistance akin to a marble sculpture of Thor, but I have resolved to BREAK IT OR DIE TRYING. It might just take a bit longer than expected.
On a personal note, I have only met some of the requirements of “looking and acting like a Dane”. Otherwise, here is a top 5 list of professional to-dos I have crossed off my list:
1. Leased a desk at a shared office space with a group of 10 Danish illustrators and authors at “tegnestuen”: CHECK.
2. Attended Likemind, Pecha Kucha, Tegne Aften @ Monster Times, and Twedagsbar for the unveiling of Yelp in Denmark: CHECK.
3. Went to even more art museums in Copenhagen, Paris and Barcelona: CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK annnnnd CHECK.
4. Started a series of get togethers for creatives I know to make things and collaborate: CHECK.
5. Landed my first direct Danish freelance project for the coffee company Café Noir: CHECK!
In my efforts to understand how the design scene works in Denmark I have also met with countless designers, expats and creatives, all of which have been very helpful in adding depth to my point of view. One of the main conclusions from these discussions is that Denmark is a very, very small market. Aside from the cultural aspect of learning how Danes work, it makes more sense to focus on new business internationally rather than on a country the size of the state of Maine. However, I’d still love to collaborate in-person with some Nordic folks, so am slowly but surely sticking to my plan of infiltration.
Nine months in and I feel like I have my feet on the ground. Now it’s time to start a-hiking. I’m curious and excited what 2013 may bring – stay tuned and I will keep you updated on my adventures, big and small.
Wintertime in Denmark is something special. The high latitude means that days are short (very short) and the darkness instigates a hibernating hush over the land – people grouped indoors around candles and food to stave off the bleak, cold season. But during those few hours of daylight, the townscape can be absolutely enchanting, which I was especially aware of in the photo above taken in a small town on the island of Fyn. Swish swish, shhh shhh.
Just in time for the holidays, here is a board game illustration I did for Xplane, a Portland, OR based company that focuses on Business Design Thinking. Basically they make strategies for businesses in visual format, often resulting in interesting diagrams and infographics. The client-provided concept was Chutes and Ladders, which was to be reinterpreted with the theme “corporate holiday party”.
The piece was sent out to clients so they could fill any pre-holiday work breaks with a quick game, trying to avoid the open bottle of Jagermeister and vying to make a good impression with the boss’ spouse. Here is an 11×17 (tabloid) PDF of the game if you’d like to play as well. Try my silent dice.
This was a fun project because Xplane works with a specific process that involves lots of upfront sketching and getting clear approval at each step of the project. After the initial sketch had been approved it was smooth sailing through the illustration and revision phases. Plus, my pioneer rabbit got to make a sneak appearance under the chute “inappropriate use of the office copy machine”. Poor bunny.