Featured Awards Winner

Carl Hampus Vallin

April 2019

A big congrats to Carl Hampus Vallin (@carlhampusvallin), one of our 30 TDK Awards winners' for 2019. An Academy of Art University graduate from San Francisco, their work was chosen by Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski) & Wade Jeffree (@wadejeffree) in NYC: "One folio ready to go! Strong colour, composition and art direction skills paired with knowledge of some complicated production methods with the lovely Mohawk Maker." We asked Carl to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards hopefuls.

What do you wish you’d known now when you started your design course?

That I’d have better design resources, my uni was selling Pinterest pretty hard as the one place for inspiration. It wasn’t until later that I understood how much better Instagram or Tumblr was to learn about studios, type foundries and inspiration in general. Looking at one place for inspiration will most likely make your own work very one dimensional and I think my work would have looked different / better if I had more inspiration sources at the time.

What originally lead you in to design, and how has that changed - what do you want to do/are doing now?

I was really into making websites and graphics for social media when I was a kid. That eventually led me into a marketing program in high school but I quickly realized it was the visual part of marketing that was the most interesting to me. I started to look at advertising schools and the dream was to become an art director at some fancy ad agency one day. Along the way I learned that I wanted to steer away from the ad industry and focus on graphic design and branding. I was accepted to Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm where I spent one semester before transferring to Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I’ve been in SF for 5 years now, graduated in 2017 and I’ve been working at Hybrid Design summer of 2017.

Any hot tips for getting ahead at uni?

See question 1. Looking at what other people are doing is probably one of the best things you can do to develop your own skills. Having a curious mind is also gonna help you. If you see things you like, try to recreate it to learn different techniques—Skillshare classes are great for this purpose. If you have the opportunity to do an internship I’d highly recommend it. Working at a real studio with real clients is very rewarding and is most likely different from the work environment you’re currently used to have when you’re in school.

What do you love about the design scene in your city and what companies are on your dream list to work or collaborate with?

It’s very competitive in a good way. A competitive scene pushes the studios work forward, making them want to come up with new and unique ways of building brands. I think companies in general care more about design today than they did 10 years ago and it shows, especially in the tech industry. Also, I think some of the most impressive studios and creatives in the world are in San Francisco / Bay Area.

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

Time will tell, but for now I’d like to stay in SF. I have a great job with great people and I want to continue to make dope things.

Some time in the future I’d love to see what’s going on in Europe, before returning to Sweden.

2019 for you in a sentence

Stay positive, work hard, be kind, have fun.

Website: carlvallin.com

Instagram: @carlhampusvallin

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