WIP So tell us a little bit about yourself.
ILA My name is Ida, and I’m a graphic designer currently working at Scandinavian Design Group, where I’ve been since 2016. Before that, I studied at the Norwegian School of Creative Studies in Oslo, and then I finished my bachelor’s in graphic design and art direction at Nova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. And then I came back to Norway, and my older brother Christopher told me it was time to network.
WIP Time to get to work!
ILA Time to get to work! Network, meet people. And that, of course, sounded terrible to me. But he’s a good older brother, so he practised with me how to present myself and talk to potential employers. And I contacted one of my previous teachers from NKF and she introduced me to some of her network. I got my first job at WeOslo in 2014, where I worked on Dæhlie, the ski brand, and Oslo Concert House and had a steep learning curve because I was a newly established design agency.
WIP It’s such a big change when you go straight from school and then you start working. Or do you feel like it wasn’t?
ILA It felt natural. Or, I think I didn’t have time to reflect on it because I was in such a mode of just getting started. Yeah, I just jumped right into it, without overthinking it. That’s kind of how I live, I think. I jump first and figure out how to do it later. Kristine Lillevik was also a great mentor, pushing and believing in me and giving me a lot of elbow room. It was a steep learning curve; I was there for a year and a half and got an offer at Scandinavian Design Group. Tonje Jæger hired me, and she says that she hires for attitude and trains for talent.
WIP That’s a nice phrase to remember.
ILA Yeah, definitely. And I’ve always had an attitude; I think my parents instilled confidence in me and my ability to do whatever I put my mind to. So attitude was not the problem, and Tonje delivered on her part in training for talent.
WIP You’ve worked on a project that entailed nation branding for Norway. How was that?
ILA Yeah. Branding a nation is very different from branding a company; it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a designer. So it was not something that I took lightly. The broad audience we needed to engage were tourists, visitors, investors, and new talent looking to live and work in Norway. The brand would be a tool for Norwegian ambassadors and embassies all over the world to expose Norwegian sustainable solutions to be able to increase export and gain investments in research and development of Norwegian innovation. Also, within the frames the client had given us, we needed to use the Norwegian flag in the branding.