Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How three Hyper Island students started Acne Digital

Acne Digital was kicked off officially in January 2007. Since then, the company has grown to nine people with aspirations to expand, both in terms of skilled people and projects.

It was started by three Hyper Island students from Crew 9, Desmond Arsan (Art Director), Markus Forsberg (Interactive Director) and Erik Winn (Art Director) together with project managers Lisa Stavenow and Max Ahlborn.
Desmond approached Acne AB with the idea of starting a web oriented company as he was freelancing at the former motion company, Erik and Markus were working at Fantasy Interactive at that time.

- We all got together and discussed the idea. We had been talking about doing our own thing for some time. As this great opportunity arised it became clear to us that it was the perfect time to grab it, says Markus.

They all worked abroad during their Hyper Island internships, Markus and Erik in London and Desmond in Los Angeles. Erik and Markus then moved back to Sweden to work and help business flower as senior designer and senior interactive at Fantasy Interactive. Desmond moved down to Barcelona to freelance for various companies.

- Acne Digital is a combination of a web production company and a free-standing web company working directly with clients, fulfilling their digital marketing needs with focus on top notch interactivity and design/art, says Erik.

With both excellent design and deep technical know-how they strive to take things a few steps further.
- Fusing graphical and interactive ideas from creative people with such different backgrounds as the people here at Acne Digital really gives us a chance to create unique things, says Markus.

Acne Digital is the youngest of four companies under the Acne collective that consists of Acne Creative, Acne Film, Acne Junior (a soft toy company) and Acne Jeans.
- Working so close to these other companies really expands the possibilities for us. Video is becoming more and more integrated with the web, having a film company sitting right next to us is just awesome, says Desmond.

So far, Acne Digital has worked with clients such as Volvo, McDonald's, SAS, Ving, Telenor, Systembolaget, Viking Line, Silja Line and Spirit Stores. They’ve mostly acted as web production company under agencies such as Forsman & Bodenfors and Garbergs but are no strangers to working directly with the client.

What about the experience they brought from their time at Hyper Island?
- The experience gained from working with real projects with the freedom to really explore and consider what you were doing has really proven to come in handy. Having full responsibility and a chance to own the project gave a lot of insight and in the end; confidence, says Markus.

- Working hard and not being scared of criticism or feedback.
Having a thought behind what you create and remember what you learned from previous projects.
The way you work in the teams at Hyper Island is a great preparation for what's waiting in the industry. Hyper Island also gives insight to the broadness of Digital Media - there are always new things to learn which spurs students to stay curious, says Erik.

- The door is open, just go right through it and if it's locked/closed; kick it in, says Desmond.

Thank you Acne Digital!

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