Based in Oslo, Heydays knows how to make a brand come alive! We caught up
with Mathias Hovet, co-founder and managing partner at Heydays—hear how
Mathias Mathias started our and also his super interesting thoughts on where
design is heading next.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? My father is a graphic designer and my older sister is a furniture designer.
I’ve always been surrounded by discussions about aesthetics and functionality.
I remember from early on, my father used to come home with a new set of brochures,
or maybe a logo design he did, and ask my mother and I what we think. I try to remind myself of the importance of discussing design projects with people outside the field, they are the users.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? My initial plan was to become an architect. I’ve always been interested in houses, rooms and public spaces. I remember from early on, when my family spent vacations driving around in Europe my fascination for different kinds of structures and how they made you feel; in awe, safe, humbled, curious or afraid. During my first year at a design academy here in Oslo, my interest shifted over to industrial design. We spent a lot of time learning about physical objects and how shape relates to the way we use them. In one of the projects at school, we were also asked to solve the graphic identity and the packaging. From there on, I felt that graphic design — like my dad does —both let me work at a pace I like, and also had the freedom to explore a variety of expressions.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do. I’m a co-founder and managing partner of the Oslo based design and digital agency called Heydays. We help companies and individuals define the narrative which represents them, solve design or brand systems that make this come alive and we also design digital products and services. We firmly believe that brand and service is two sides of the same.
‘I try to remind myself of the importance of discussing design projects with people outside the field, they are the users.’
What does a typical working day include for you right now? All too many meetings to be honest, but I try to be more respectful of my own time. A typical day for me is getting in at the studio around 8AM. I go through emails for an hour and try to prioritise quite hard based on what’s urgent. At 9 there’s often the first client meeting of the day, either new business or existing clients following up on a project. As we’re a partnership we work in teams with a dedicated partner who leads the project. My role is to keep an overview and be an advisor in the projects, alongside securing new business. Between meetings I’m dedicated to my own design projects or I get involved in my partners projects. At around 4-5PM I try to head home, usually with a couple of phone calls on my way home. I spend way too much time speaking on the telephone.
Any passion projects you would like to share? The identity and service design we did for Oslo City Bikes has been a huge success and also works as a great showcase for how we love to work in collaboration with other disciplines. We did this project in collaboration with the software technology and product design, alongside two specialised UX-teams. A highly talented constellation. The identity has received quite a lot of attention and I think that’s because of its simplicity, but also depth. The identity makes the service come alive through various bike/face expressions, which lets an elsewhere ‘dead’ service come alive. Both digitally, but also physically. It’s been a really interesting project for us, balancing the complexities of such a service, with the simplicity you want to give the user, without it becoming neutral and dull.
‘We as designers need to avoid getting lost
in the technology, but design for human
interaction and emotions.’
Who’s on the team, what are their roles and why do you love them? At Heydays we’re now a team of 10. We’re highly specialised in the field of developing visual identities, both for companies and digital services.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? 1. Embrace team work
2. Embrace technology
3. Embrace diversity
4. Be Curious
5. Be kind to your colleagues
6. Answer the phone
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years
and how will you adapt? As all aspects of life, including most industries, are experiencing a development in technology that’s developing exponentially, a lot of services will become highly complex. As designers, it’s our role to make the complex tangible and understandable. Somebody will need to solve how we are to interact with services built on new technologies such as blockchain, AI or VR. Designers will need to understand the basics of complex technology and adapt to ways of conceptualising and design in ways that are efficient. This has been the role of the graphic designer for generations, designing for structure and form, to make stuff relatable. We as designers need to avoid getting lost in the technology, but design for human interaction and emotions.