Curiosity can be a potent weapon in any design process and having curiosity in decoding artists during their creative development is like opening Pandora’s box. Each year Berghs organizes two weeks long competition where students from different majors collaborate on a joint case. We interviewed Heidi Myllyviita, who in May graduated as a graphic designer from Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm.
Let’s start off with your background. Describe where you come from.
– I grew up in a super small little village on the west coast of Finland, where the roads are quiet and the sea breeze messes up your hair all year around. I know I had a very happy childhood and I was quite boyish. I remember that I preferred jumping puddles to playing with Barbies, which I still do. I was also somewhat shy and an introvert, but extremely stubborn, like my dad.
What did you dream about becoming when you were a teen? Which career path did you want to pursue?
– In my teens I wanted to be an architect, then a writer, then a historian and later on a photographer. I didn’t grow up surrounded by design at all, quite the opposite.
And why did you choose Graphic design as a major?
– I studied photography for a year and then marketing for three years in Finland. I loved it all, but felt restricted creatively, so graphic design was what I wanted to do next. I finished my studies in marketing and graduated six months in advance because I wanted to apply to Berghs for the fall of 2012. I applied only to Berghs and felt that the school had an extremely realistic approach to communication with integrated strategy, which suited me well as I came from a marketing background
– To be honest, I didn’t think that I would get accepted to Berghs and had already made other plans including accepting a new job offer. Once I got accepted to Berghs, I resigned and moved to Stockholm just four days before the school started.
How did you find Stockholm as your new city?
– At few occasions, I remember feeling all alone and nervous in a new city. But once school started, it became obvious that it was the right choice for me. I loved it all, the education, the people, and of course my new city.
Where do you get your inspirations?
– I love history and often try to include it in my designs if I can. I think history is underestimated and often forgotten. I feel that everyone should invest more time appreciating and learning more about it. History is also, to me, a different side of sustainability. I believe that much of the “sustainability” talks are about making something better from this day forward, but to me it is also about protecting and adding value to what already has existed. I spend a lot of time collecting images over the Internet and always try to dig deeper than the surface. Recently, I’ve been extremely inspired by Russian criminal tattoos and really old Victorian fabrics!
Loyalty can be healthy and sick, ugly and pretty, bad and good.
Describe what you have done for your last project at Berghs?
– I wanted to create something with an editorial theme. I chose to work with, “loyalty”. I think it’s extremely versatile and fascinating. Loyalty can be healthy and sick, ugly and pretty, bad and good. I also wanted to explore the possibilities of physical design. I personally don’t believe that the advancing of the digital world will overrule the production experiences, but rather push them to become more luxurious. I also think that magazines today are treated as something extremely holy and static, and wanted to make something that would invite the buyer to explore, adjust and even tear apart the whole thing. So, I created Crane, a magazine that consists of nine stories, which are based on history. Crane is a magazine that explores different types of loyalty.
How did you go about designing a magazine?
– I love magazines that are extremely different from one another for obvious reasons. I feel that designers in general are very safe rather than securely trusting in ones own creative results. It’s important to base designs on a well-planned strategy but I also think that you have to know when to break those rules. Designing magazines that are extremely form-fixed is beautiful, but one might wonder how much creativity is being activated if you just keep applying a set of old patterns and rules for 365 days a year.
In which field of graphic design do you find yourself?
– I enjoy brand design a lot, but right now editorial design is my number one love. I like to say that I haven’t picked editorial design, but that editorial design has picked me. Looking back on what I liked while growing up; architecture, photography, writing and now graphic design, it is quite self-explanatory that editorial design is what brings all of these components together. I love building extremely strong visual impressions with many different components. I also like to push the boundaries. I take pleasure in sharing my thoughts and helping people with their creative process. I think that we all have an obligation to pass on knowledge. I try to inspire and help people as often as I can. It’s a delight when I teach a 13-year-old how to copy and paste in Photoshop. I would love to teach more someday.
Visit Heidi’s own website for a closer look of her many beautiful work.