Hvass&Hannibal (above) is a Danish illustration and design studio founded by Nan Na Hvass and Sofie Hannibal. The two met while attending the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art’s School of Design in 2006, and opened their studio that same year. There’s nothing these two great Danes can’t do: they work with graphic design solutions, illustration, identity design, textiles, printmaking, interior, and more! Thanks to such diversity, they’ve been able to work with a range of clients like Apple, Buster, Kit Couture, Microsoft, and Random House. Their work has also gone on to win multiple awards and hold jury positions in competitions, and they can be seen speaking at many design conferences and workshops.
No matter the project, Hvass&Hannibal make it beautiful with their use of bright colors, neat line work, and delicate details, as seen in “Time Stood Still” (below, left) and “Nostalgi” (below, right). The best part of their work, however, is, according to Conference program manager Cecilia Frankel, “the care they put into our project. They found our essence and brought it to life.”
Here’s a small peek of the Q&A with both designers:
What inspired or motivated you into your careers?
Nan Na: Probably simply by beginning to work together, first on smaller projects, and then realizing it was fun and fulfilling. Not sure where we would have been as designers today if we hadn’t decided to work together! For a broader perspective, I personally grew up with parents who had their own business, so it felt natural for me to choose that path.
Sofie: I went to a weekly art class as a child. I loved it and dreamed of being an artist, but I didn’t have the confidence to think I could actually pursue a career in it because I was never the best at drawing. In the end, I couldn’t come up with an alternative, so I took a chance and tried anyway. It took me some time to realize that you can be a good designer if you have a passion for it and have a good imagination, even if you can’t really draw.
What has been your most memorable project?
Some of the album covers we have done for Efterklang are among our favorite projects, especially Magic Chairs and the latest album Altid Sammen. Both projects are spatial in each of their own way, where we have really created a unique space with different tools. In both cases, we feel the projects contain the music really well, as well as both having been super fun and challenging ways to work with design.
You have done brand identities, packaging, illustrations, and more. Which field is your favorite to work in?
Personal work, where we create custom pieces, and where there is material and experimentation involved, such as our new project Kibun, a series of handmade textile pieces.
To read more about Hvass&Hannibal, along with other great talents, preorder Journal #368 today!