• Hero-karlssonwilker

    karlssonwilker: for Dazed and Confused (detail)

Graphic Design

After three years, design extroverts karlssonwilker have a new site

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

A good time well-spent on karlssonwilker’s new portfolio site confirms three things: 1. They are still making as varied and variegated work as we hoped they were. 2. They are still independent and excellently open about their practice (and having a director style commentary navigating you through and contextualising projects is totally great). 3. They have been very, very busy.

It way back for Issue Two of our magazine that we last spoke to Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker about their practice and studio and now, seeing as this is their first portfolio site for three years, we thought we’d say a quick hullo again.

Portfolio sites for such established studios is a funny one; we know who they are, we are always delighted to see their names attached to great work in the real world, they have kudos – something with a totally unique, digitally deconstructed aesthetic – and they acheive all this without taking up space on the internet.

Hi Hjalti, hi Jan. Considering how long it’s been, it’s likely that a lot of our readers would be unfamiliar with the sorts of projects that you guys do so why launch it now?

The last time we updated our site with new work was 2006. Then we took it all down three years ago, replacing it with a .gif of a “turning blob” and our contact information – that led to us forgetting all about it. Over time, more and more people wanted to see what we were doing and emailing out pdfs and links to case studies became more and more tedious.

A year ago we started to seriously work on a new site — obviously on and off — and here we are now, with a new site. Let’s see how it works out for us — we can always take it down, the “turning blob” is always within reach.

  • Karlssonwilker-lead

    karlssonwilker: new site

You’re a multi-design studio with many facets to your practice that includes education, so did you have any particular selection process for the work going up in terms of how you want to be perceived?

We put up our favourite projects. I think it’s over 60, “work” and “archive” combined. We kept our work all on the same one level—which is how we approach our own work — CD packaging is just as important to us as a new identity or way-finding design for a museum, 3D animations for Nintendo, a road trip with MINI, a t-shirt for Diesel or a book.

So we’re not making it easy to pick and choose the projects, athough we had thought of filtering by categories, but our categories would have been too many to make sense.

How do you expect people to engage with your site (there are quite a few special features)?

We want people to put some effort in it — we don’t have a quick overview function for the busy people of this world – and there are more things than just our work on there.

There’s audio commentaries available for certain projects (and we will add more over time); “project related files” (our old digital sketches basically) for sale through a dedicated store (for you to have a look at our strictly digital design process); then you can browse through 172 images; we brought back the SPOKEN PORTFOLIO® (it has been with us for so long, we had to bring it back. It features the soothing voice of our dear friend and design colleague Paul Sahre — he did an amazing job); added a song; a hidden special; few more things and more to come.

  • Karlssonwilker5

    karlssonwilker: MINI—Another Day, Another Adventure 1, with Dazed & Confused

  • Karlssonwilker6

    karlssonwilker: MINI—Another Day, Another Adventure 1, with Dazed & Confused

  • Karlssonwilker7

    karlssonwilker: MINI—Another Day, Another Adventure 1, with Dazed & Confused

  • Karlssonwilker8

    karlssonwilker: MINI—Another Day, Another Adventure 1, with Dazed & Confused

  • Karlssonwilker13

    karlssonwilker: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Karlssonwilker12

    karlssonwilker: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Karlssonwilker9

    karlssonwilker: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Karlssonwilker10

    karlssonwilker: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Karlssonwilker11

    karlssonwilker: Museum of the Moving Image

  • Karlssonwilker-music-3

    karlssonwilker: The Claudia Quintet: “Royal Toast”

  • Karlssonwilker-book-1

    karlssonwilker: tellmewhy book

  • Karlssonwilker-book-2

    karlssonwilker: tellmewhy book

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Jorgeleon-amigo-int-list

    It’s always refreshing to see a creative being really honest about the challenges of a particular brief before showing us their solution. So it is with Barcelona-based graphic designer and art director Jorge León, who sets up his work for the Amigos skate shop by referring to the “many problems” it had encountered with its brand.

  2. Unnamed

    International design agency IS Creative Studio has done some elegant branding work for both rotisserie AND grilled chicken restaurants. And both identities look refreshingly tasteful. The studio’s work spans print, product and retail design, and its practice is based on extensive research and a desire to always go beyond the product at hand. Or indeed the chicken. Founded in 2010 by Richard Meza, the agency produces great work that shifts aesthetics seamlessly. From visuals that wouldn’t be out of place on a summer’s day in Capri in 1965, to fast food stereotypes and what is described as “type [broken up] to simulate chunks of fruit swimming happily in cream,” it’s a bunch of consistently impressive design work.

  3. Screen-shot-2015-01-26-at-10.12.37

    It’s little surprise that Mike Lemanski’s graphic design work has been something of an It’s Nice That favourite, and since we last posted about him in 2013 he’s not let his style slip. Mike’s site boasts some beautiful, mature designs for Feuilleton magazine, which takes articles from various international publications such as The New York Times, translates them into French and publishes issues every quarter.

  4. Hardyseiler-hannover-list-int

    When Hanover-based designers Bureau Hardy Seiler and web design agency Created by Monkeys decided to pitch to design the identity for the Freies Theater Hannover, they found themselves faced with a dilemma. The theatre hosts every flavour of live performance going, from puppetry and musical shows to experimental dance, and all in one flexible and family-friendly space. How could they create a graphic language to match that?

  5. Charlottedelarue-list-3-int

    Illustrator and art director Charlotte Delarue’s varied work shows her to be an uncommonly talented illustrator, conjuring incredibly realistic portraits out of paper and pencil safe in the knowledge that she doesn’t need to do anything more to make them impressive. Her art direction is of another ilk entirely, however – she works with the likes of electro acts Chromeo, Justice and Kavinsky to draw up impactful logotypes and album artwork concepts that can be spotted from miles away, from the golden legs which reappear on almost every Chromeo album cover to Kavinsky’s mysterious blue-tinged scenes.

  6. Parades-artdillier-sale-int-1

    When you’ve got a load of Christmas stock to flog at the start of the new year there’s only one way to go; have a big sale. But everyone else has had that exact same idea, and it’s a pain in the arse to make a sale look good right? Wrong! If you’re smart you’ll hire Bordeaux’s Bureau Parade to come up with a bespoke solution to communicate your low, low prices. Geometric shapes, bold colours and a playful use of typography meant that everyone knew about the sweet deals at Bordeaux’s most high-end shoe retailer, Michard Ardillier, without the store having to Xerox a bunch of giant red signs à la Tie Rack. Nice solution to an often overlooked problem if you ask us.

  7. Cometsubstance-sleeve-1-int

    We’re big fans of Comet Substance, graphic designer Ronny Hunger’s poster-producing alter-ego. Since we last featured him back at the tail end of 2013 Ronny has shifted from the Xerox collage aesthetic to slicker lines and high production values, without losing any of the depth or attention to idiosyncratic details of his earlier work.

  8. Oyalstudio-dishonestmanifest-int-list

    Portugal’s Royal Studio are not just winningly adept at creating bold, interesting and creatively ambitious visual treatments – they’re also terrific at writing the most intriguing project summaries I think I’ve ever seen. There’s a fine line between being weird and funny on the one hand, and gratuitously wacky on the other but these guys manage to pull off descriptions that mirror the invention, and occasional iconoclasm, in their work. Take The Dishonest Manifest, a series which seems to be ridiculing the preoccupation with how posters look as opposed to how well they do their job. The clearest indication of this is a long, thin creation with the phrase “Don’t give a fuck about content” repeated over and over again.

  9. Bonhams-auction-catalogue-int-4

    The idea of London’s auction houses, all stuffed to bursting with hushed voices, incredible art, taut-faced women and a nonchalant yet overpowering scent of money (I’ve never been to one, if you hadn’t guessed) make them feel like something of an alien concept. A place not for the likes of me, and one happy to remain in its exclusive bubble. But recently a series of innovative redesigns have suggested that perhaps a new aesthetic sensibility seems to be settling into the high-end fabrics of these places. There’s a sense they’re working to rethink their approach to their brand and how it looks.

  10. Mobydigg-aaberaward-1-int

    How many design studios can you think of who are named after a mis-pronounced classic novel? Because Munich-based design studio Moby Digg is, and that fact, coupled with their fun, bright site, propels them above most straight-laced studios in our book.

  11. Aaronvinton-kidsong-1-int_copy

    Aaron Vinton graduated from CalArts in 2009 and has since been producing idiosyncratic, skilled and occasionally creepy graphic design. Clearly influenced by the working processes of the days of yore, the thematic span and style gauge in his work are reminiscent of studios like Push Pin, whose work would adapt to context seamlessly.

  12. List

    Designed by Minna Sakaria, Carolina Dahl and Maria Ines Gul, this great identity for the upcoming Royal College of Art’s School of Communication Work-in-Progress show is a modular representation of the works in progress that’ll be exhibited. Made up of a set of parts, the typeface allows for each element to contribute to any number of letterforms or abstract shapes. As well as existing online and in print, the specially-designed typeface has been printed on stickers with the intention of interrupting the RCA’s corporate identity in a playful and productive way.

  13. 1.-of_drippy_donut_copy

    “Designing for Odd Future was a little bit like working for a bunch of slightly familiar homies, who have ridiculously awesome ideas for apparel and a lot more money than you,” says Chris Burnett, a Portland, Oregon-based designer who got in touch recently to show off his rather awesome site.