Designer of the Week: Christian M. Andersen
Celebrate the 25th year of HOW Design Live with dazzling inspiration from the brightest minds and biggest brands—not to mention a healthy dose of camaraderie with your fellow creatives.
Though Andersen is still a design student learning the ins and outs of the industry, he’s already produced some amazing work, including a book for Colette in Paris that’s sure to provide you with some book design inspiration.
Name: Christian M. Andersen
Name of Studio: Creative Future
Location: Odense, Denmark
Design school attended: I am actually still in school studying communication design at Kolding School of Design in Denmark. I am currently halfway through my second year on the BA course.
How would you describe your work? Aesthetically, I strive to create work that in many ways is simple, minimal and easy to comprehend. Besides that, I also aim to create work that is honest, personal and sometimes academic, in hopes of leaving the viewer (and reader) feeling somewhat inspired, curious and transfixed by the different creative aspects of my work.
Where do you find inspiration? I think that my inspiration comes from many different sources and places—travels, books and the internet, as well as conversations with people within and outside the creative sphere. Traveling is definitely one of my most important sources of inspiration because it gives me a chance to take a break from my daily workflow and forces me to think in new ways.
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on? All of the projects I have been honored to work on so far have been very different from each other, but if I had to pick one, I would pick the one I recently finished with Colette in Paris. Over the last one and a half years I have been working closely together with them on a collaborative book edition about the unique history of their store and gallery in Paris, as well as the talented array of artists they have been working, exhibiting and collaborating with since 1997. Striving to portray these unique relationships and the unique history of Colette, the book examines not only the artistic processes, approaches and ideas of the many artists that have worked and exhibited with Colette over the last eighteen years, but also their relationship and affiliation with Colette.
One of the things I found really unique about the project with Colette was the fact that it allowed me to go abroad, not only to meet and work with great people at Colette in Paris, but also to visit the studios of some of the talented artists that they have worked with in Paris and New York. The fact that I had the chance to meet everyone in-person not only made it possible to generate a new, more in-depth and personal editorial structure, but also gave me (and eventually the reader) a more exclusive look inside the minds and artistic processes of each artist in the environment they feel most comfortable—their studio. The elaborate conversations and in-depth discussions I had with some of these artists really provided a honest, personal and authentic look into not only artistic history of the Colette gallery and its more than two hundred exhibitions, but also the vast array of artists and their work. I don’t come from a journalistic background, and I am still a student striving to learn as much as possible, so I think that is something that definitely is reflected in the book too.
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far? The project with Colette has without a doubt has been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding so far. It has been a really long process marked by a considerate amount of hard work, traveling and countless late nights in front of the screen. When working on a project of this magnitude where you have to handle and consider everything from designing and writing the book yourself, to publishing and distributing it, there is no doubt that it will be real challenge and struggle to stay sane and focused at times. However, it is also these difficulties that ultimately leave you feeling stronger and more experienced in the end.
In this download from Print magazine, you’ll get 34 pages of book design inspiration, advice and eye candy—all in one handy place. See dozens of book covers, including the new, the old, the reimagined—even the ones that never saw the light of day.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future? I don’t like to think too far ahead, but I am of course thinking about the direction that my work will take in the future and how my creative decisions will affect Creative Future. I am very self-aware of not categorizing what I do too much at this moment. I am still young and want to experiment with different things across an array of many several artistic disciplines over the next few years. Right now I am just planning out the next step for Creative Future, which I am very excited about.
What’s your best advice for designers today? I don’t feel like I am in a position yet where I can advice other designers on what to do, as I am still young and trying to learn the ins and outs of this industry myself. If anything, I would say that you have to find something that you love doing and just work hard on perfecting it. If you can find something you like doing and make a living doing it, work will never feel like actual work. In addition, I think it is important to remain humble and not be afraid of failure—that will in itself get you a long way if the work is strong, too.
If you’re interested in being considered for Designer of the Week, please email a headshot, 5–10 images of your work (around 628px max width if possible) and answers to the below questions to email@example.com with the subject line: Designer of the Week.
Name: Name of Firm/Studio, if applicable: Location: Website: How would you describe your work? Design school attended, if applicable: Where do you find inspiration? Who are some of your favorite designers or artists? Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on? (Please provide an image of this project if possible.) Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far? (Please provide an image of this project if possible.) What do you hope to accomplish in the future? What’s your best advice for designers today?