Got to meet and hang in an underground bunker with the awesome folks from Bond! We’ve been long time admirers of what these guys have been doing and feeling super luck to chat with Jesper, founder and designer at Bond. With Helvetica blocks hung above his crib—Jesper was destined to be a designer, but read on to see/hear the amazing things he’s done with Bond!
What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? I’m a fourth generation designer, so it was kind of a given. I even had helvetica typeface blocks hanging above my crib.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I used to spend a lot of time at my fathers studio as a child. I then started to do my own small magazine and even got to choose colors for some of my father’s projects. I think I was about 5-6 years old.
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?
I studied at University of Art and Design Helsinki, these days called Aalto University and Central Saint Martins London. My ‘first job’ was in fifth grade, I designed christmas cards that we sold to collect money for a school trip. But my first real job was designing a football symbol for my local team.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
I’m a graphic designer and a founder of Creative Agency Bond. I work mostly with branding, which means that help companies to create news brands or refresh existing ones. My clients have included: Design Museum, Diesel, Heineken, Flow Festival, Foot Locker etc.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? There’s no typical work day for me! Client meetings and lots of hands on work with a team or by myself.
Who are your top five design crushes right now? Alexey Brodovitch, Paula Scher, Vince Frost, M/M Paris
What do you look for in a great portfolio? Creativity, eye for detail.
What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate? We look for great potential! But our candidates need to have good creative eye, eye for detail and good design thinking. We also look for motivated people.
Tell us a bit about yourself and the studio that you work for. Bond is a brand-driven creative agency. We create and redesign brands. We help new businesses and brands get started. We refresh and revolutionise existing ones for growth. Our services include identity, digital, retail & spatial, and packaging & product design.
Bond brings together talent from different fields to create cross-disciplinary solutions for brands. Our team includes graphic, spatial, and strategic designers, producers, digital developers, copywriters and artisans. Our working model is agile and designer-driven. We have studios in Helsinki, Abu Dhabi and London.
How do you solve conflicting ideas within a group of collaborators? We always have a lead designer for each project, who has the final word.
Do you ever wish you were a freelancer or in-house designer?
Not at the moment a freelancer. In-house work would depend on the brand. I have worked in-house for Diesel and Nokia.
Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them?
We have a lead designer, designer, producer and strategic. We love our producers because they can pull all the strings and put them together.
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on.
There are so many.. In majority of our projects, we work with collaborators. The most interesting was a project we did with the Arab graffiti artist called Nugamshi.
‘The role of moving image and mobile will keep getting bigger, so everything you do needs to work on a screen’
What have been some of your biggest disasters and how have you learnt from it?
I’m happy to say that I haven’t encountered any big disasters. Of course, it is always important to learn from any mistakes you make.
What career advice would you give your 16yr old self? I would have emphasised more on animation and moving image.
What has been your highlights since you started out?
Working at Diesel, founding Bond and its studios in Helsinki, London and Abu Dhabi.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? Use hammering technique when selling ideas to clients, be persistent and believe in your own ideas!
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt? Five years is a very short time to think of any drastic changes. Of course, there will be new techniques and tools. The role of moving image and mobile will keep getting bigger, so everything you do needs to work on a screen.
What advice would you give students starting out? Be passionate in what you do. It’s cliche but its true.
What role does digital design play in your studio in 2017, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age? Very big role. Without it, you’re out. One of our strengths is combining traditional graphic design skills with digital.
What is the design landscape like on your city and where do you fit in? The landscape is small but has high quality. Scandinavian/Nordic design is a strong brand in itself.
Whats the big goal in the next five years?
Bond will become a boutique creative studio network with 5-7 studios around the globe.
How important is networking to you? Important, but not a necessity. It helps, but ever more important is to do your own job well.
Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months? My baby girl turns two and now my wife wants to have another baby. Professionally, I’m working on some very interesting projects: music festival identity, a university identity, jewellery branding etc..
2017 for you in a sentence. Work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat.