For Helsinki-based graphic designer Lars Högström, music and graphic design seem to always be entwined. Having graduated from Aalto University last December with a bachelor’s in visual communication, Lars produces work for and about music, often for personal projects exploring graphic design as a somewhat “relaxing obsession”.
When he first got into art school back in 2014, Lars initially wanted to be an illustrator but “frankly, I just wasn’t that good at it, so I quit drawing after a while.” It during this time he was first properly introduced to graphic design.
“Back then,” Lars tells It’s Nice That, “I collected a lot of hip-hop cassettes and I was getting into rap music from the Dirty South. I got super inspired by the works of the Houston-based graphic design studio Pen & Pixel that made the coolest album covers for No Limit Records and many others in the 90s and early 00s. I think those covers have made a huge impact on everything I do design-wise, especially on how I use typography”.
A recent personal project of Lars’ titled Label Series Experiment channels these early influences. Its concept is to create a visual language for a hypothetical record label and investigate how a simple set of guidelines could enable a succinct look across various single releases. “My goal,” he explains, “was to keep the design straightforward and clean so it could be easily reproduced and, in the end, also animated.” Sticking to a colour palette of brown, grey, pink and orange, the project combines illustration with embellished letterings and sans-serif type to create an identity that has a wholly coherent feel to it.
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