Work / Graphic Design

Kokoro & Moi

Kokoro & Moi have done so much lovely work that I thought it a shame to just post a single image. So, I decided to spend a little more time getting to know founder Teemu Suviala and get to the bottom of how they keep the cogs of their studio so well oiled.

What is Kokoro & Moi?

Kokoro & Moi is a multidisciplinary creative consultancy specialized in brand identity and development, graphic design and interactive design. ‘Kokoro’ is Japanese for ‘heart/mind/soul’ and stands for one of our first clients in Japan, Yugo Katayama; ‘Moi’ is Finnish for ‘hello/bye’ as well as a tribute to Norwegian celebrity chef Trond Moi. This reflects our design philosophy: connecting distant ideas to make something interesting.

How do you manage projects with just the two of you? What are your roles?

We have a team of eight where me and Antti concentrate to creative direction and design itself. For project managing you need one person to do only that.

It seems crazy that there is one word for ‘hello/bye’ in Finnish, what else is strange about Finland?

Tar candy. And the fact that ‘hello/bye’ is often best you can get when it comes to small talk with a Finn.

How long has the studio been going? Did you ever imagine employing 8 people when you started?

We started in 2001, straight out of school. Back then we were just happy to do everything. Now as there are more clients and bigger projects, a great team is certainly needed.

You say you started straight out of school, did you not want to go and see any other studios? What made you think you were good enough to set up straight away?

It all happened pretty much by accident. We went to New York to find jobs but bumped in to people with whom we decided to start working and it evolved from there. We never thought we were good enough, we thought we were amazingly brilliant.

If you could choose to work anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

It should be somewhere quiet, but close to all inspiring hassle. Near to nature, but all city amendities within a reach. Mountains, water, warm summers, snowy winters. Cultural and subcultural hub, good for kids, great for partying. Vancouver? Zürich? Nah, a bus?

Say K&M was to collapse tomorrow (which of course it won’t!) what would you do for work?

Absolutely nothing. A long vacation and a beer, please.