Andreas Jarner is a graphic designer based in Copenhagen. He is working for branding and design agency AM and meanwhile he is creating his own prints featuring textured objects contrasted against clean backgrounds.
Andreas, how are you?
I’m very well, thanks! But also a little bit busy these days. Beside my full time job at the design agency AM (creative agency in Denmark, Copenhagen) and my personal poster projects, my girlfriend and I recently moved into a new apartment in Nørrebro, in Copenhagen, and there has been a lot of renovating work for making it looks nice.
We all think that – when we find our way of life, it’s always a magical moment. Can you say that it was magical moment for you when you chose your path in design?
Maybe it was kind of a magical moment. I was pretty happy when I found out that there was this job called a Graphic Designer where I could work with typography, layouts and design and actually get paid for it! I drew a lot when I was little. When I got older it became graffiti and then computer art – so I’ve always loved doing creative things.
Please, describe your style!
People often tell me that I have this very recognizable style but I’m not trying to stick with any kind of particular genre. I love working with different kind of contrasts and in an abstract kind of universe with my posters. Also, I always try to challenge myself and work with new themes or “rules” in different series which I make. I like when there is a balance and, at the same time, a little bit of imbalance which provokes the eye.
What are your aims in graphic design?
In my commercial work at AM I try to give the clients what they actually need and not necessarily what they ask for. I’m always trying to surprise in a positive way and often it makes sense for the client to be more daring and radical visually. But it’s two different worlds. At AM I work mostly with identities and design systems which are built on ideas and strategies. But when I make my own posters I think of nothing else – just make something I like.
Do you have role models?
Yes and no! I am following some designers and design agencies which I sometimes use as a source of inspiration. I think, however, it is important not only to gain inspiration from designers or artists, especially, if you want to make something completely new and original. I guess my parents and my girlfriend is kind of role models for me too
Could you explain us the way you work? How is the process from the idea until the realization?
It’s pretty random actually. It could be some nature photos I’ve taken during travelling and then when I’m back home I suddenly feel like making something out of them. When I sit down and start working on the computer, it’s often the small details I spend the most amount of time on. It’s a combination of colours, textures and forms. It’s like a compositional game, to create a sort of tension by placing the elements in the right space in relation to each other.
Are you working always in studio or do it as well as outside?
Normally I work at home with my own projects and posters, but sometimes in the summertime I team up with two of my best friends for a little side project. We call it The Friday Project. We meet up and find an idea that we all like the most. It could be drawing some illustrations with chalk on the street or making a large outdoor pattern of threads etc. As all three of us are working on computers most of the week and also we love to work creatively outside the digital media, this combination makes our excuse to create something in other ways.
Where are you finding inspiration?
I don’t have like a specific place that I go to or thing I do, but it’s always nice to see things differently. Just look up or down when you walk in place where you have been a thousand times and you will see it in a whole new way.
Nowadays the modern technology has impacted all areas, as well designers’ daily work. Is it still important for you to sketch with pencil and paper?
I still sketch but not as much as I used to do it before. I really want to return to pen and paper but increasingly my work is on a computer. Of course, the computer has changed things a lot in my profession, but I hope designers will always keep a link to the non-digital media. There will always be something fascinating about nice hand-drawn logos, illustrations and typefaces.
What is next for Andreas Jarner?
Right now I’m focusing on my work as a Graphic Designer at AM. It’s still pretty new occupation. I’ve been there for 9 months and work with very talented people, so I still have ample opportunity to learn! I’ve just finished my Objects poster series with 10 posters, so it’ll probably take some time before I’ll start a new personal project.
How Copenhagen as a city where you live and work is impacting your work?
I really love Copenhagen! It’s a rather small capital but somehow it has all. The city has a very old history and lots of charming old houses, canals and cosy public gardens. It has so many great restaurants, cultural institutions and in the summertime a huge number of festivals, parties and exiting special events around the city. Copenhagen definitely inspires me. I’ve also been many times to Berlin for the last 5 or 6 years and I really enjoy visiting Berlin for its music events, nightlife, galleries etc. But in the end I feel more attracted to our small and beautiful Copenhagen.
Which are your favourite places in Copenhagen?
Oh, there are many! It depends on the situation. For a cup of coffee – Tliji Pop, Sweet Treat or The Living Room. If you want traditional Danish lunch (smørrebrød), try Dyrehaven or Café Halvvejen and for dinner Oysters & Grill. For some art – Louisiana in Humlebæk, Charlottenborg, Den Frie Udstilling, Gl Strand or SMK. In the summertime you can swim in the harbour or just chill out in the gardens around the city such as Kongens, Østre Anlæg or Botanisk have. There are also some very nice beaches like Amager Strandpark or Bellevue. If you are looking for some shopping spots, there are a lot of small cool stores in the narrow streets of Copenhagen K (centre). Just stay away from Strøget, unless you want to hang out with all the other tourists. Finally if you want a drink in the evening, try cocktails at Lidkoeb or PS bar and for clubbing go to Kødbyen, Jazzhouse or Culture Box (my favourite spot!).
If we ask you to decide an outfit from Stole the Snow, which pieces would you choose?
It would probably be the Josef Trousers and the Dallas Shirt. I like it clean and simple.