Hvass&Hannibal, Design & Illustration Studio
We are obsessed with Hvass&Hannibal. They are a multi-disciplinary design and illustration studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. You'll have seen their work on Apple, the latest Efterklang album, and the ASOS and It's Nice That limited edition bike prints that we're still sad we missed out on. Today we have Sofie Hannibal sharing her wisdom and thoughts on making work exciting, their new children's books and the women that inspire them.
Hi Sofie, what do you do?
We run a multi-disciplinary design and illustration studio in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
We try to make everything we do exciting: If it’s a small illustration for an obscure magazine no one has heard about or a visual identity for a big conference. Our goal is to make great work every time.
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
Working with the band Efterklang for many years, has gotten us through many milestones. We’ve created album sleeves, music videos and stage design for them, and it has been a lot of firsts. Some years ago we even got the chance to do stage design at The Sydney Opera House, and that really felt like we had made it, to be able to show your work in such an iconic institution.
What is your dream project?
We’re lucky to get to do many of our dream projects, for instance, textile design for Marimekko or recently creating a set of children's books for the first time, to name a few. We would love to do more product and textile design!
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We just released two children's books, with the amazing publisher Wide Eyed Editions in the UK, and now we’re working on another book with them that we’re really excited about. We have talked about this book for some years, and now it’s finally happening! We get to draw lots and lots of trees and plants for this book, something we enjoy very much :-)
If you could choose to hear any female contemporary present at Make Nice, who would it be and why?
There are many! Even though we have already seen her talk at Offset’s website, we would love to hear Pentagram's Paula Scher. It’s nice to hear people who’ve worked in the industry for many years, they have a lot of interesting stories – especially from the pre-computer era! - and reflect a lot on the development of their own practice as well as the industry.
Another one would be Kate Moross, who we’ve spoken alongside at three design conferences. She has a very sharp eye for what’s happening – and an inspiring amount of experience on how to build a business as a designer. Would also love to hear a presentation from Italian Studio Pepe, and fellow danes Margrethe Odgaard, All The Way To Paris and Femmes Regionales, just because they’re all amazing designers.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
Don’t wait for anyone to make it happen for you, if college or the jobs you’re doing are boring, you’re in charge of changing your situation – or learning from it.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
We don’t have a network that is strictly female. We connect with people whose work we find interesting, regardless of their gender, and to be honest we have never felt that our gender has played an important role in our work or in relating to clients or other people in the industry. Some of our best buddies in the business are men, Jody Barton for instance.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
We both have very young kids, so there’s not a lot of time to read or do other things by ourselves… but we have listened a lot to Liima at the studio, because we did graphic design for their debut album (which will be out March 18). It’s the Efterklang members, who transformed into Liima, when they joined forces with the Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö. Definitely our favourite new band. And we finally discovered Pinterest, three years later than everyone else, also a huge source of inspiration. A lot of crap too, it is the internet after all.