MAKING POINTS WHICH HOLD SIGNIFICANCE

After high school I wanted to be an artist, so in 1992 I went to London to study painting and sculpture at Goldsmiths’ College, where a bulk of my favorites had been schooled; Lucian Freud, Marc Quinn, Julian Opie and Damien Hirst for instance, as well as tons of poets, authors and musicians. It was perfect for me; a 19 year-old from a sleepy suburb north of Stockholm, which really wasnt the same place then as now, just out of compulsory military service and extremely eager to get some of the creative energy London had in abundance.

 

Detail from Saint Martin's gradutation show 1996Detail from Goldsmiths' project 1992Detail from Saint Martin's project 1994Details from Saint Martin's project 1994

 

GETTING SCHOOLED

During the end of that first year in London – spent as much in life drawing studios and screen printing rooms as in squats and raves – I realised being an artist would, at least for a few decades, mean subsistence living; most of Goldsmiths’ seniors was preparing to be life artists rather than actual ones, endlessly applying for grants rather than scouting spacious studios or going on exotic inspirational trips. As a working class kid from a family of non-academics, though thoroughly encouraged, I wasn’t particularly well equipped to understand the subtle and intellectual benefits of a degree in fine art; in fact, I’m still pretty sure art school ought to contain business studies. Well, I decided to switch to graphic design and Central Saint Martin’s where the alumni wasnt to bad either and my tutors where some of the most brilliant minds in design and media theory, design and technology, and I instantly found a very clear path within communication and graduated with a bachelors degree in 1996.

 

Graduation week, London 1996

 

BACK HOME

I moved back to Stockholm and started an advertising agency with one of my best friends and his connected clients from the music industry who saw to it that we could borrow a couple of rooms at the Cheiron recording studio for free. This meant having client meetings next door to Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys recording and hundreds of their fans screaming outside. Odd to say the least. Especially since I was into artsy independent music with the anti-commercial conviction one can only have in ones early twenties. But even odder was that I had thrown myself into the very worst kind of advertising – after all, creating action marketing campaigns for sodas and detergents was not the sort of work I was aspiring to do. Hence; after 18 months, one extra dark morning, I left to start my own business as a freelance designer.

 

Bon magazine, design and art direction, 2001–2003 [click for case]"Plåtat – 100 år i bilder", 600 page photo book spanning 100 years (1999) [click for case]Dagens Nyheter election campaign (2006) [click for case]Media Historiskt Bibliotek book series (1999–2012)FORM magazine, design and art direction (1998-1999) [click for case]

 

(AWESOME) CONTENT IS KING

I had a hunch that media and content production probably would suit my mindset and got into editorial design and art direction – first as a sidekick to Swedish design guru John Bark, and after a few years as a freelancing small-studio owner. Being inherently curious about art and popular culture, as well as in politics and technology, I found a natural place in media and visual storytelling. During the following years I worked as designer, art director and design director at some of Sweden’s biggest publishing houses and media outlets: Dagens Nyheter, FORM, Nöjesguiden and BON to name a few. As the publishing industry changed and moved online, I got to invent customized digital content and websites, and got into branded storytelling, creating editorial communication concepts for both non-profit organizations and companies who wanted to create smarter and more transparent relations with customers and users.

 

The intense and deadline oriented publishing environment led me to embrace a very rapid style of working and I developed a quick and iterative way of leading, workshopping, designing and prototyping that to this day helps me and my teams to turn rough, abstract ideas into on-point, presentable design in lighting speed – which has proven to extremely useful in all types of communication projects as well as brand strategy and design projects.

 

Strömbergs, interior design shop, 2011 [click for case]Swedishness.com, online design shop, 2008-2012The Bell in 2006NEU, fashion shop, in business fron 2001 to 2007 [click for case]

 

ME, MYSELF AND I

Having a somewhat curious (and some say entrepreneurial) soul, I have constantly had multiple projects going: I have run fashion and furniture shops with my wife, I invented an e-commerce platform for Swedish design, taught design and communication at Berghs, held lectures on branding, studied strategy and design management, released albums on Portlands coolest indie label and started a family. Also, I have been writing, a lot – by far the best tool to vent a full head.

 

Kitchen ID, trend report for Magnet Kitchens (Prime/United Minds), 2013Klättermusen branding, communication concepts and site design, 2015–2016 [click for case]Snickarbacken 7 shop interior by SEKT, 2016Ikon, restaurant, branding and interior concept by SEKT in 2016 [click for case]Solros, branding, storytelling and allround precence, 2017–ongoing – go to solros.com

 

RECENT AND CURRENT

Since about 2010 I have earned my living as a team leader and creative director; inventing communication platforms and working with transformative strategic branding projects. It came natural for me to work more strategically – communication and visual design always have to be supported by a solid strategy so it always made sense for me to get in as early as possible in innovation and transformation processes.

 

I get creatives, strategists and management to see eye-to-eye, bring conservative or non-experienced clients and creative teams together, run workshops, find and use common denominators instead of getting hung up on pain-points and amplifying differences. I have worked for a diverse range of clients; from the music and fashion industries via global spirits brands, industrial giants and technology, outdoor, food, restaurants, finance and retail.

 

Since 2017 I am a creative director at the PwC-owned brand innovation agency Pond in Stockholm. I also run a disruptive sunlight harvesting startup with a few friends, Solros, and an independent partnership that takes on artsy and cutting-edge design and innovation projects – SEKT. I am also moonlighting as a script evaluator for SF Studios and Nordisk Film, for whom I read and score books for potential adaptation, movie- and TV-scripts.

 

Incomplete list of past and current clients: Aegis, Arlanda Express, ATG, Audi, Bokförlaget DN, Bon, Brunna Park, Byredo, Dagens Nyheter, DDB House, EMI, Evolve Meetings, FORM, Glänta, Gustafsbergs Handelsplats, Handelshögskolan, Ikon, Industrifonden, Jameson, KappAhl, Klättermusen, Malmö Aviation, Malmö Stad, McDonald's, MTV, Moodgallerian, Neu, No18, Nobia, Nobina, NREP, Ny Teknik, Nöjesguiden, Plaza Publishing, Praktikertjänst, Preem, Rodebjer, Saab, Sandvik, SAS, Scan, Scania, Stockholm Records, Strömbergs, Synsam, Svensk Form, Swedishness.com, Swedish Match, Teracom, TCO, The Absolut Company, Travel Media, Volkswagen, Warner Music




 

 

Bio

© 2018 Mathias Strömberg AB

info@mathiasstromberg.com

+46 (0)70 799 1038

Hornsgatan 26a, 118 20 Stockholm, Sweden

© 2018 Mathias Strömberg AB

info@mathiasstromberg.com

+46 (0)70 799 1038

Hornsgatan 26a, 118 20 Stockholm, Sweden