A few Monday morning blues around? Need something playful, fun and great-looking, to lift your spirits? Well, look no further than the Hvass & Hannibal. We’ve been huge fans of Nan Na and Sofie’s work for a while and we love how the Copenhagen-based duo are able to produce top quality work across a range of mediums.
They have a knack for creating new worlds which you really wish you could jump into and their work for bands and in particular the peerless Efterklang is a real treat. After getting the gorgeous new album in the studio we had to ask them a few questions about it…
You have become synonymous with Efterklang. Is the process of working with them a two way discussion or are you left to your own devices?
We don’t exactly feel synonymous with Efterklang, but we are extremely happy and honoured to be responsible for creating their visual identity! It’s becoming a more and more extensive job, as they are growing bigger as a band.
They are very fun and also very challenging to work with. They are completely open to our ideas, and always have lots of suggestions themselves, so we usually have a good pingpong during our collaborations. We feel it’s important to have a close dialogue about the work, and we definitely wouldn’t want to do the work without their input.
What draws you to working with Efterklang repeatedly?
The way Efterklang works as a band is genuinely inspiring for us, because they have such an original and progressive approach to their music project. Efterklang is really an example of a band taking it to the next level, and we feel it’s our responsibility to live up to this, and to do our very best for each album. Aside from that they are also super thorough, which of course inspires us to pay a lot of attention to detail, throughout every part of the process.
The level of creative freedom we have through doing artwork for musicians is very important among more commercial commissions, and we aim to have music design as a high priority at our studio.
Earlier this year at the Sydney Opera House’s Piramida Concert, you used the artwork from Piramida into as the basis of a live stage. How complex is your process from a 2D idea to 3D?
The process of creating stage design for the Piramida Concerts was quite a logistic challenge. We needed to create something that could be flown down to Australia with the band – so weight and volume-wise we were pretty restricted. We wanted to design a set of objects that resembled the design of the artwork which we had worked on prior to the stage design, and we wanted to create visual projections that were not just moving versions of or 1:1 elements from the cover.
So after having set the direction for the album artwork, we actually started over again, more or less from scratch, trying to find another way to communicate the stories of the different songs and the album as an entirety. Later in the process we looked at how this new work could reflect back on the album artwork we had done so far, and were then able to use elements from the visuals in the album cover.
For the sketching process of designing the stage elements we built a model of the stage in 1:25 to test out our ideas. We placed a computer screen behind the model so we could see how the projections would look on stage, together with the hanging elements.
Your creations of colour patterns and shapes are brilliant. Having recently collaborated with Marimekko, are there any other surfaces you would like to see your patterns on?
The ultimate dream job is to decorate the walls of a hotel on a tropical island far away, where we would of course have to stay for at least two months, and have every other day off, and drink plenty of drinks out of coconuts!
Other things we’d like to do: a huge gable mural somewhere nice in our hometown Copenhagen, and at the other end of the scale, we would love to design a set of postage stamps, preferably the old-school paper ones.