Holly & Holly, Designers

Holly Robins and Holly Torneby are the founders and directors of Wildern Design, making magic happen by way of Seattle. We instantly connected with their work, their approach and their general brand of awesome. Thanks for coming on board, ladies! 

What do you do?

We’re Holly & Holly, founders of Wildern Design and Interactive, a design agency in Seattle. We’re both graphic design generalists. We build digital and interactive products. We also specialize in lean brand development and facilitate collaborative design workshops. We feel like what we really do is partner with rad people to build cool shit.  

We have a wide variety of clients ranging from large international enterprise companies to small tech startups. We also work with local businesses such as restaurant groups, coffee roasters, non-profits, financial investment firms, architects, and entrepreneurs.

Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?

There’s no room for ego.

Work really, really hard.

Take time for self care.

What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?

Collectively as Holly and Holly, and then ultimately as our company, Wildern we can recall a few moments that have truly defined us today

* Attending Seattle Central Creative Academy.This is where we met years ago and it changed the trajectory of both of our lives.

* Freelancing. When we first started working together, we thought we’d freelance and collaborate periodically on projects.  We learned very quickly that there is a lot of design work in Seattle at the agency level.  Thus, Wildern was born!

* Starting Wildern, hiring our talented team of creators, designers, developers, artist and friends to build a company that we’re proud of.  It’s no secret that starting and running your own business is hard, but there is nothing more rewarding.  We are thrilled with the growth we’ve experienced over the past few years and are so grateful that we get to work with inspired, creative people every day.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Oh wow, where to start!? Okay, top of mind is an app we built that’s debuting at Tribeca Film Festival this year called Tanji, it’s kind of like a ‘Feminist Fandango’.  Tanji’s mission is gender equality in film by amplifying women-centric content and creators.

We’re also launching an organic skincare line, developing a brand identity for a modern Greek restaurant in Washington’s Wine Country, and branding a plant-based ice cream shop.

If you can’t tell – we get really, really excited about new projects! There is too much to list here, follow us on instagram where we regularly post our work.

What is your dream project?

Some of our best projects can be designing for a dry subject (cloud storage - yawn) but with a really rad client.  Ultimately, working with great clients on inspired projects is our dream.

Holly R: I’m super keen on working with a clothing line at some point.  70’s inspired ideally.

Holly T: Airline branding. I’d even settle for a small one.

What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?

Holly T: I make f*cking delicious pad thai.

Holly R: My adventurous spirit has lead to more broken bones than I can count.

What places are important to you? 

It’s safe to say that we both feel like our best selves when we’re outdoors.  On the weekends you’ll find us in the mountains, the woods, or at the beach...if it’s outside...we’re there.  We’re true weekend warriors in that we take advantage of every free moment to adventure.

What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?

Ideas are fragile.

You can’t be great at everything.  And that’s okay.

Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?

Yes, yes, yes! We are surrounded by incredible, creative, smart, and talented women. We’ve consciously curated a network of ladies that inspire us, and young women we mentor as well. We’ve both endured toxic work environments and we’re never going back.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

Oh wow, where to start!? Okay, top of mind is an app we built that’s debuting at Tribeca Film Festival this year called Tanji, it’s kind of like a ‘Feminist Fandango’.  Tanji’s mission is gender equality in film by amplifying women-centric content and creators.

We’re also launching an organic skincare line, developing a brand identity for a modern Greek restaurant in Washington’s Wine Country, and branding a plant-based ice cream shop.

If you can’t tell – we get really, really excited about new projects! There is too much to list here, follow us on instagram where we regularly post our work.

What is your dream project?

Some of our best projects can be designing for a dry subject (cloud storage - yawn) but with a really rad client.  Ultimately, working with great clients on inspired projects is our dream.

Holly R: I’m super keen on working with a clothing line at some point.  70’s inspired ideally.

Holly T: Airline branding. I’d even settle for a small one.

What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?

Holly T: I make f*cking delicious pad thai.

Holly R: My adventurous spirit has lead to more broken bones than I can count.

What places are important to you? 

It’s safe to say that we both feel like our best selves when we’re outdoors.  On the weekends you’ll find us in the mountains, the woods, or at the beach...if it’s outside...we’re there.  We’re true weekend warriors in that we take advantage of every free moment to adventure.

Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?

Holly R: I’ve always been inspired by Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.  I’ve read it end to end many times and discover new meaning that I didn’t notice before each time.  The poem tackles the idea of self, the idea of self with others and our relationship to nature & the universe.  In times of stress and change, I’ve always found solace through reading it.

Holly T: James Turrell.

HH 9.jpg

What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?

Holly R: I’m forever inspired by nature and am sweet on gardening these days. Currently, I’m obsessing over cut flower gardens and am working on my own at home.

Holly T:  I recently read Milk and Honey; Rupi Kaur’s collection of poems and illustrations. I find a lot of inspiration in blending creative mediums and admire the restraint of minimalist artists.

What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?

We work in a male dominated industry.  There are a lot of female graphic designers out there, but less in director level and managerial roles and we’d love to see this change.  Fighting for equality in all facets of both our personal and professional lives is a core value of ours.  We look forward to the day when the gender pay gap no longer exists and we don’t have to jump through hoops that our male counterparts may not have to in order to prove our worth.

What do you want to be asked about that no one ever asks you?

What’s the strangest thing about you?

How can we find our more about your work?  

Instagram @hellowildern and our website www.hellowildern.com

If you’re in seattle, check out our workshop series: designhappyhour.com

Who would you most like to answer these questions next?

Julie Houts - http://www.juliehouts.com/

Her illustrations are a hilariously accurate portrayal of the modern woman's every day struggles.