Posters, Prints and Other Designs from Kenneth Jansson

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November 9, 2011
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Posters, Prints and Other Designs from Kenneth Jansson

Previously, I shared Kenneth Jansson's student portfolio collection of Handmade Design Posters. Recently, the New-York based, Swedish designer wrote over to share some of his print work, which is bold, bright and includes some nice type. He was kind enough to answer a few questions to share with you, lovely readers.

Hi Kenneth! Since we focus a bit on inspiration here, could you share where you most often find inspiration for your work?
Living in New York City (Brooklyn), inspiration is all around—From street art to MoMA, from friends who are artists/designers to giants like Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, and (more contemporary) Stefan Sagmeister. Like most designers, I follow blogs (like design.org) on almost a daily basis and keep a collection of stuff that catches my eye.

Well glad we could be of service : ) !




How do you approach a design—could you share a snapshot of your process?
I wouldn't say I have ONE certain approach. Sometimes I enjoy the research process and a careful planning of the project (like the handmade graphics project you published on early this year), other times it's a really quick process—an idea and run to the computer to work it out... I have a music producer friend in Stockholm and his philosophy is (or was at the time) to be really productive, create a lot of music in a fairly short time, then quickly move on to the next project, learning on the way—but never letting a too-careful-a-planning process slow him down. There's something about that approach that I find appealing...

Do you feel you have a specific style that you are developing, or, if not, how do you try to maintain diversity in your work?
I keep thinking that I'm quite diverse, but others keep saying that I do have style... I don't feel strongly either way. If I do, that's fine, but it probably won't last... Stefan Sagmeister used to have this motto "Style = Fart". I don't know if he still sticks to it, but getting "stuck" in a style because one reason or the other is probably not a good idea... What do you think?

I think it's an interesting debate, which is why I often ask this question ; ). It's important to develop solid skills, but it seems like it's often difficult not to get "stuck." I guess I'd say it depends on the designer—whether they have a passion for one specific style and a need to perfect it, or whether they enjoy exploring new techniques.



I see a lot of timeline overlap with your design resume and your education... how did you balance client work with school? Were you ever able to make them work together?
One reason might be as simple is that I took a year off of school (2008) to work full time. But, it's true that I continuously did projects for clients when I was in school. I suppose this was a way to have a creative outlet when the art school critiques became too tedious. :) Now that I'm back to working full time, I sit at night and do my own stuff. I'm consciously trying to keep that habit alive, so the creativity never fades. Another way to keep the juices flowing for me, is to do photography on the side (both models, and more "artistic" style)... (Kenneth now works at AOL / Huffington Post Media Group on web design)

Any advice for students entering/trying to enter into the world of full-time, design employment?
Hmm... I feel really lucky... I took a semester of web stuff at NYU some years ago. My teacher there recommended me for a position where I freelanced for a while, got an employment, and the people I met there have then given me one job after the other ever since... It's that famous foot in the door thing... How does one plan for that..? Never stop being creative one way or the other!


Anything else you'd like to share with the design.org community?
First, thanks for keeping the site fresh and always fun to visit! I was mighty proud and happy last time you published my work... Being considered a part of a community of designers is a great thing.

Awww shucks, thanks Kenneth! And thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with the community.

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

100 Favorites 100 Posters Project by Nuno Castro
Ten Years in Type from Fontsmith
We are the Friction: Book Cover and Design by Jez Burrows

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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