Hugo Hoppmann, graphic designer and art director, Cologne.

Hello Hugo, how are you?

Very fine, thank you!

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m a 26-years old independent designer and art director working on a variety of projects from identities and websites to books and magazines.

I studied at ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne) where I graduated in 2011 in Visual Communication. Alongside my studies I interned at Bureau Mirko Borsche, worked for 032c magazine and founded my own publication Better Mjstakes with Johannes Breyer.

After a powerful full-time stint working as art director at Meiré und Meiré right after my graduation, I returned to independency in 2013 and since then I am working for regional and international clients as well as pursuing my personal projects.

Where does your interest in graphic design and typography come from?

My mother was a furniture and design conservator, my father an instrument builder and musician, so from early on I was exposed to arts, craft and entrepreneurship as they were both running their own businesses. This had quite an influence on me I guess.

In my teenage years I had a big passion for sports and eventually combined it with my emerging fascination for typography, design, architecture and photography. I started shaping everything I could get my hands on, resulting mainly in graphical universes and extensive collections for my own clothing label Piqto, and all sorts of other gangs and collectives.

In a lucky coincidence my grandfather, who lived in Berne, was in the same church as Adrian Frutiger, a big hero of mine. He told him about my crazy passion for typography and so we organised a meeting in his house one sunny day. This visit consolidated my fascination for Swiss graphic design and was one of the reasons why I began studying at ECAL later.

Can you tell us more about the projects you made at Meiré und Meiré? Which ones were the most exciting?

Helping with the redesign of Kenzo was exciting because of my admiration for the brand and its history and its brilliant creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim.

In the beginning of my time at the Meiré’s I worked a lot on covers for Brandeins and layouts for Neue Zürcher Zeitung where I learned many important aspects of my craft. But GQ Italia was a special project for me as I had the chance to (re)build it from the ground up and worked closely with Mike and Carlo Antonelli which was super exciting.

You worked for 032c or Interview magazine. What is your interest in editorial projects?

I always had a big fascination for all kinds of magazines. I just love when a magazine really sucks you into its very own universe. A good magazine gives me a rush inspiration and a motivational push!

I find working on them exciting because there is always a new challenge and you get to know so many different stories and people.

What are the key features of your design?

That’s tricky for me to describe. All I know is what I strive for: elegance, purism, wit, and conciseness.

Is there any designer or artist you appreciate a lot?

At the moment: Marc Kremers, Jop van Bennekom, John C Jay.

Which books are on your bedside table?

Hackers & Painters by Paul Graham ; Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall ; Offscreen magazine ; The Power of No by James and Claudia Altucher ; Fantastic Man magazine.

The last word …

Thank you for the invitation and your patience!



Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Bähler — 01.15

Images are ©Hugo Hoppmann.

Graphic Design