Hello, Jakob. Please, short introduction of you, how did you start to be a designer? What inspired you to move into this sphere?
My name is Jakob Nylund and I?m a Swedish art director living in London and working at B-Reel. Hard to say what inspired me, but my family is quite creative, but mostly in the music field. I started playing classical piano at age 6 until I was 17. Realizing that music wasn?t anything I could do for living I started looking for other things to do. This was kind of at the same time as dad got the family a modem and it was the most amazing little technology. I started making some websites, very bad I must say, but that was the start anyway. In the summer that year, think it was 1997, I got a summer job at my dads friend who had a little advertising agency in my home town, Sala. I just loved it, and more and more I started getting an appreciation for the art of typography, colors, how shapes works together and the logic behind everything. When I was 20 I started my own little agency in my home town doing projects for local companies. It was a great start, but everything was by the book, and at times I had no idea what I was doing, just did. Websites got more and more complex and I thought I needed some education so I applied to Hyper Island, got in and from there it has just rolled on. What are your current projects and plans? I was working in Sydney for 6 months last year, at Frost Design, owned by the talented Vince Frost. Frost is really a print led design company, but they started up a digital department a couple of years ago, so I jumped on the train as their Design Director — all whilst my girlfriend was finishing her uni degree in Sydney where she is from originally. I got inspired by all the amazingly talented print designers, there use of typography, there imagination and playfulness with shapes, so when I got back in December I started sketching on some typefaces. In 1 week I had done 7, thought I would never really use them that much so I put up a website for people to download them for free. So that has been my latest project, Just—My—Type. It?s been successful, almost 20k visitors in January, so I hope I?ll get to see some of them in use sometime. Other than that I?m planning on buying a shiny new Canon EOS5D and start photographing again, been a while and I miss it. Always wanted to get into photography, but hard to have time with everything you want.
Are you design educated? Do you think it’s important to be educated if you work in this field?
Yes and no. I went to Hyper Island which is a brilliant, fantastic school for digital creative people. I did new things before I started, so in that way I?m autodidact. But what I enjoyed with Hyper Island is the people around you. I got inspired and evolved as a designer. If I still would have been running my company in Sala, I don?t think my eye on design would have been that good, you need to get out and get inspired. Another good thing with education is the work-placement. Springboard out in the world.
Could you tell us about your life style? What is your offline life?
I, as everyone else, enjoys good company with friends and loved ones. I watch movies, read too few books, bad at cooking, travel… but a lot of my time I?m stuck in front of the monitor browsing useless webpages, filling my brain with nonsense when in fact I should do more physical things like running, going to the gym, taking a walk — all to even out the sitting hours. I also love the PS3, but thats also sitting down being lazy.
Do you have moments when you are tired designing?
Yes a lot of times. Sometimes I just think that this is the most stupid work you can have, but most of the times I love what I do. If it wasn?t for the passion and the drive to be better at it, I would be bored all the time. The moment I?ll stop learning I will change career.
Photography, motion, illustration, interactive? What do you prefer? Why?
Interactive, typography and photography — because those are the ones I know. I?m a really bad illustrator, don?t have that eye for it, I can do some motion, but there are other people that are better at it, better to co-operate than trying to know everything.
What was your most interesting project? Can you tell us more about it?
About the process. Hard to say a specific project, but I have enjoyed working on just—my—type, freedom to do whatever I wanted. What was your first ever design project? That was way back in 1996, I did the design for our music schools monthly magazine. I actually think I still have a copy hidden away. I do remember I used a lot of clip-art illustrations, I thought they were a great resource and would spice up my design a bit!
How do you see your career in the next 10 years? Still designing? Living where?
Lets see, then I?ll be 36… I?ll hopefully still will be in this field, but maybe not as a hands on designer. I want to start up my own company before I?m 30, so hopefully I?m running that as some sort of creative director with a bunch of eager talented fresh young designers under me doing kick ass work!
What is your opinion about the current situation in the design sites/portals. Well, they are quite the same, and a few years ago, there were still some unique and new stuff. And now its kind of stuck, and lack of new things. What do you think?
I think it?s a great to get information about inspiring and new stuff in one place. But yes there are a bunch of big sites posting the same links everyday. But the ones that was there from the very beginning are still a good resource, like qbn.com and Digital Abstracts of course. But I like the design of Reform&Revolution, Andreas (suprb) did a good job with it, a lot of information but utilizing the space in a good way, and it looks really good too.
What are your thoughts about the most inspiring city? Where would you live? What is the worst design city then?
I really wanna live in New York before I?m 30. I love that city, the vibe, the romance and the harsh and rough edge it has. It just has such a rich culture and the creative output is just so inspiring. Photographers, fine artists, illustrators, designers, graffiti artists, fashion designers, entrepreneurs — they all live there, almost under one roof and they all inspire each other. The worst city… tbh I have no idea. Maybe Dubai? There are a lot of agencies there and some of the work they do is great, but it feels a bit too corporate for my liking.
Freelance or full-time. Why?
I like working at a company just because of the people around you, they are your colleges and your friends. I?ve done freelancing in the past, but I just feel restricted and isolated. It?s good once in a while to get some extra cash, but in general I?d say full-time.