• Top

    Introducing: Pol Solsona

Graphic Design

Introducing: Meet Helsinki-based graphic designer Pol Solsona!

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

Pol Solsona is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and photographer who was born in Barcelona but who now works in Helsinki, Finland. His eclectic work varies from art direction, identities and print and web design to illustration and photography, and anything else he finds himself doing in between. We chatted to Pol to find out why he loves working in his neighbourhood in Helsinki, what he does for fun and why he appreciates the accidents that can come with working in a creative industry. Read on!

  • 1

    Pol Solsona: Illustration

Where do you work?

At the moment my home is my studio. It is located in Kallio, which is probably the area with the most drunk people per square-metre in Helsinki, but I consider it to be one of the nicest neighbourhoods in the world nevertheless. Kallio has everything I need and it’s easy to disappear – you can ride your bike to a beach and take a swim in the sea without anybody else there.

In general, Helsinki is like a small village, quiet and relaxing. I like the melancholic Finnish mentality that you can’t find anywhere else.

How does your working day start?

The first and last thing I do everyday is choose music that will get me in a perfect mood. Then I make coffee and pa amb tomàquet (a breakfast that reveals that even after more than three years in Finland I’m still Catalan). I eat while I go through my emails, then I take a shower and plan my order of business. After that, I move to my desk and start working.

How do you work and how has that changed?

My work is based on a combination of intuition, experimentation and a set of rules. After finding out the clients needs and considering their target I usually have a clear vision of which elements to use in that project. The best part is playing around with those elements. I appreciate accidents that occur in the process, there’s something unique in them. Sometimes a fluke doesn’t work in that particular project, but I might find a way to use it in another later on.

A while ago I worked in an advertising agency and before that in a few smaller studios. At the time I did freelance work on evenings and weekends. After becoming a full-time freelancer I work just as much. It seems I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, but I love my work. It gets me excited and most days it makes me feel like a kid.

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

If I’m not working I accidentally come up with excuses to work a bit more. I book concerts, work on a new zine or play around with apps to find other ways to communicate visually. When I want to disconnect myself from work and the computer I take a walk to my favourite record store or go to the sauna, which is one of the best inventions of humankind. Sometimes my housemate gets me to do something random, like yesterday when I bought my first pair of cross-country skis. Besides these surreal choices, you can find me on the basic city tour with friends visiting exhibitions, gigs and parties.

Would you intern for yourself?

Maybe. As long as there’s coffee.

  • 2

    Pol Solsona: Els Pastorets

  • 4

    Pol Solsona: Embassa’t Festival ’13

  • 6

    Pol Solsona: Embassa’t Festival ’11

  • 7

    Pol Solsona: Peter Pan

  • 11

    Pol Solsona: Eatable Compositions

  • 10

    Pol Solsona: Photography

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. Gurafiku-itsnicet

    Clicking on to Japanese graphic design website Gurafiku is something like stepping feet first into a black hole of graphic design porn. Started by Chicago-based designer and researcher Ryan Hageman in 2009 as a way to learn more about the history of graphic design in Japan, it has since grown into a archive which spans over 200 years of work, from the 1800s all the way up to the present day.

  2. Foreign_policy_brandguidesingapore_itsnicethat_list

    Foreign Policy Design Group, who we featured on the site last year, has nailed the art of collating diverse and sometimes complex ideas into a beautiful, cohesive publication. The first book in its new series, Brand Guide: Singapore Edition is like a beautifully arranged scrapbook of your dreams, rounding up “iconic homegrown brands that attest to the current golden age of design in Singapore,” the studio explains on their Behance page.

  3. Leslie-david-itsnicethat-list

    Leslie David might be one of the busiest women working in her industry. We last checked in with her six months ago, to swoon over the identity and packaging her studio had created for Glossier, and a typeface which looked to be blowing in the breeze, among other things, but this week she’s back with no fewer than three new projects. Three! She never stops.

  4. List-ashley-stephenson-new-york-times-its-nice-tha

    Designer Ashley Stephenson seems to be a shy chap, perhaps explaining why he prefers to go by his creative pseudonym G/tr, and why it took a friend of his to get in touch singing his praises. We’re not sure why, as Ashley’s certainly talented: this project was created while interning at the New York Times, and looks to show the publication’s prestigious heritage while also celebrating its move into the digital era. For each of the images, Ashley has imagined what the stars of yesteryear might get up to if they were as preoccupied as we are today with the likes of Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, What’s App, Club Penguin, Habbo Hotel…you get the picture.

  5. Studio_storz_itsnicethat_list

    Berlin-based Studio Storz has a portfolio chock-full of visual identities, editorial design and book design that’s varied in style. What differentiates Studio Storz from other design practices is its collaborative approach to design. As part of Spector Bureau, a collection of designers, artists and publishers, it actively works with other professionals in the field. It sees the role of designers as ever expanding and one that can manifest itself as researcher, engineer, craftsman and communicator; and the studio’s relationship with the Heidelberger Kunstverein has been ongoing since 2012.

  6. Alexandre-pietra-for-noise-festival-its-nice-that-list

    A good identity isn’t necessarily one with a mega logo – though it doesn’t hurt – but one that looks great and is instantly recognisable across any touchpoint, be it a coffee cup or huge stretch of hoardings. When we saw this festival identity looking bloody brilliant on a balloon, we knew it passed the test. This simple blue and white look for French festival For Noise was created by Swiss designer Alexandre Pietra, and aims to convey the festival’s new, less rock-orientated approach. “The concept of this 2015 edition is to let the music speak for itself,” says Alexandre.

  7. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  8. Lust_typedynamic_itsnicethat_list

    LUST not only has a great name, but is a studio covering a huge range of disciplines in an extraordinary way. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it’s this project the studio did last year at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam that demonstrates the studio’s unique and varied approach. An interactive installation for the exhibition Type/Dynamics, the show aimed to comment on the work of experimental graphic designer Jurriaan Schrofer.

  9. Song-haein-itsnicethat-list

    I’m just going to come right out and admit that there’s an inherent injustice in trying to explain how beautiful a printed book is through digital images. This is especially true in the case of Haein Song, whose painstakingly bound publications go one step beyond plain old riso-printing and saddle-stitching.

  10. List-its-nice-that-mtv_premium_collage_300dpi_iam

    MTV is launching a new “louder, shorter and hyper-visal” look and feel, incorporating user-generated content for the first time. The positioning has been reworded to “I am my MTV” from its former slogan “I want my MTV,” aiming to celebrate its audience and “bring new video art to audiences worldwide,” according to the brand. MTV says that the new design work was created in house, and it seems very much in the vein of the bright, brash and rather brilliant work of its senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director (snappy!) Richard Turley.

  11. Penguin_design_awards_2015_list

    Today Penguin has announced the winning covers for its 2015 Penguin Random House Design Awards. The awards are an opportunity for art and design students to get involved with design for publishing. Entrants are given a detailed brief from the publishing house and are invited to submit designs in one of three categories. This year Scott Kooken’s Freakonomics takes the Adult Non-Fiction category, Kate Gamet wins Adult Fiction with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and Lucie Williams’ Carrie’s War wins the Children’s category.

  12. List-eric-hu-talk-magazine-its-nice-that-

    We’re longtime, long-distance admirers of the work of Eric Hu, so the news that he’s recently launched a new magazine, Talk, is pretty damn exciting. And from what we’ve seen of the spreads, young Eric’s not disappointed us. The mag is the product of a collaboration with art director and writer Harry Gassel, former art director at The Fader, and is described as “a style-driven magazine on design focused on emerging culture.” And style-driven it damn well is: we’re digging the cover typeface, which seems to be formed of gloomy balloons, while the spreads show some innovative approaches to layout and image size. The first issue features the likes of David Brandon Geeting, Maxime Harvey, Simon Whybray and Raf Rennie, and we’re keen to see how Talk’s dialogue continues in future issues.

  13. Bond_web_moominfont_a_small_optimized-1

    Tove Jansson was a one-woman phenomenon. Last year Finland celebrated the centenary of the much-loved Moomin creator and children’s uberauthor and illustrator, and you might remember we spoke to C-G Hagström for the Autumn issue of Printed Pages about photographing her throughout her life.