JOHANNA BONNEVIER — Interview
I have the pleasure to introduce you to the London based art director, graphic designer and illustrator Johanna Bonnevier. This talented Swedish designer realise projects focused on fashion, art, architecture, book design,… She accepted to answer to our interview and it’s with pleasure that we show you her work…
Hi Johanna, how are you?
I’m very well thank you. I just got back to London from a trip to northern Sweden, so I’m feeling all energised and ready to answer your questions.
Tell us more about you. Who are you?
Before moving to London from Sweden I did a few varied things: I studied Art History, I worked a bit with costume design and I also painted clogs in traditional patterns and motifs (very swedish). Once in London I studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Art and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
I started out in publishing straight after Uni, designing Art and Design books, but at the moment I work at Topshop‘s head office as a Creative Graphic Designer. I also run my own studio where I mainly work with Fashion, Art and Architecture projects, ranging from Identities, Books, Installations and Signage to Film Titles and Credits. I like to keep busy.
What’s your interest about graphic design and typography? When did you start?
When I was 6 years old I could not decide if I preferred pink over blue or vice versa so I simply colour coordinated my whole room, making one side blue and one pink, with a bit of mixed colour in between. I think that’s when it started. My interest in typography came later though… I started to become really interested in typography whilst studying at Central Saint Martins and my interest in the subject has grown steadily ever since.
You’re both a creative director and a graphic designer, how do you process in your work?
One thing leads in to the other quite smoothly and without me even reflecting over it most of the time. I focus on the various tasks at hand in any project, whether it is setting the text, art directing a photo shoot or working with strategic brand decisions. It is the sum of all the parts that will make the project happen.
I saw book design, film credits, illustrations and also installations works. Do you define yourself as a multidisciplinary designer?
I guess so. I try to do all interesting projects that comes my way, this has lead me to work with many disciplines within and outside design. I would hate to limit myself by only working in one discipline, you grow as a designer by opening up to new ideas and opportunities.
What inspires and influences you?
During the last couple of months I’ve been very interested in mythology and folklore, in particular the scandinavian ones. I’ve always been a major fan of Jan Tschichold and Armin Hofman and they both influence me in my work.
Is there something special you want to do in your work soon?
Oh there’s so many things I would like to do! I would really like to design a whole exhibition for example.
What does your typical day look like?
The morning usually disappears quickly whilst I read and answer emails, do paper work, planning and meetings. I try to keep the afternoons free to get into my projects properly. And then in the evening there’s always other bits that needs doing, so my days are usually very long.
Some projects to come?
I’m currently working with a branding project for an architecture client, a magazine and the signage, catalogue and branding of an exhibition. I’m also writing the introductory text to an upcoming book on the subject of black and white design. It’s all very exciting and it looks like it will be a busy but fun spring/summer. Somewhere in between all this I hope to find some time to finish a typeface I’ve started as well.
The last word…
Kill your darlings — don’t linger on design ideas that do not belong in the project, simply because you really really like them.
Interview : Dennis Moya – April 2012
All pictures, artworks and illustrations are © Johanna Bonnevier.