Monday, July 23, 2007

Hello Syrup NYC!

Syrup just won the Adidas Fanatic VI soccer tournament in NYC. Congratulations!

What does it take to be on the team? We tried to find out by talking to Co-Founder Robert Holzer and Design Director Erik Jarlsson:

What do you look for in employees?
We look for excellent thinkers - those that show that they have a unique vision and can develop new ideas and make these ideas palpable for people to understand. This goes for designers, account people and programmers alike. It's not enough to be a great designer because one needs to be able to communicate a thought - hopefully an original thought.

Also, a curious nature is key to becoming a successful designer, as a lot of the work involves getting inside the head of clients and putting yourself in their shoes.

How did you first find out about Hyper Island?
It was many years ago, but our first contact came from students who reached out to us to apply for internships. Also, Jakob (our CD) is Swedish as you know and had heard of the school.

Our Design Director Erik actually applied to Hyper Island in '98 but was not accepted! In a stroke of revenge he was however later asked to come back to give a lecture :)

What do you think makes Hyper Island students unique?
I think Hyper Island gets very specific in teaching the skills that are very relevant to working in an interactive or integrated agency. This is a big advantage against other "art" or "design" schools that are much more general and teach a more abstract version of design that doesn't allow the graduating student to hit the ground running like the Hyper Island students seem to be able to do.

The key to succeeding at anything is your personal motivation level, the students that attend Hyper Island are not only very talented but highly motivated and interested in learning and understanding new things (although a few of the students do seem to have a chip on their shoulder coming from such a renowned school, but they soon realize there is a big difference between the safety of a class room and the real world).
What do you see in the future of the Digital Media industry?
Wow - big question ...well we are certainly living through another huge push forward much like the late 1990's.  The difference today is that the push is not coming from start-up dot-com ideas, rather a fundamental shift in the advertising industry. Budgets are shifting to interactive - online, web media and emerging media - and this is a trend that won't go away soon or explode in a bubble-like environment. While there may be adjustments, the facts are that a company's media mix is forever changed and the change is a shift away from a dependence on TV and print towards online.
This is of course great for students who will be coming out to a very healthy environment that will receive them. The downside is that the formulas are not figured out just yet and new employees need a vast range of skills to excel in this new environment order to figure out the new world order, its going to take more than simply good design skills - the leaders will excel at marrying great design with great conceptual development.

Starting this fall, non-Swedish speaking international students are welcome to apply to Digital Media in Karlskrona. Why would you recommend young Americans to apply?
Good schools mean you are surrounded by good students and this above all you learn in class will always propel you further in your education. Hyper Island seems to be the place to be surrounded by other very talented people that will push you further. Its also important to be exposed to an international group of people so you can learn about cultural pulses from places other than your own - this is critical to being a great thinker and communicator.

What's happening at Syrup?
Wow - another big question - well, really what isn't happening at Syrup! We are growing very quickly and are taking on more and more exciting projects and clients. We have developed into a true integrated agency, executing campaigns across multiple media. From filming on location around the world for GE's Ecomagination project and bringing these films to the web, to fashion advertising campaigns for Lycra, Syrup's clients remain diverse and the projects seemingly even more disparate.
However, for the trained eye, its pretty easy to find the common thread with us - no matter the client or the media, the concept remains king around here and we are always searching for the best way to communicate our clients' messages in a way that will be compelling for the audience. We also get bored easily so having a broad range of clients keep things interesting around here also doesn't hurt that they are some of the biggest companies in the world with enough work to keep us busy :)
Why should Hyper Island students apply to Syrup for their internships?
This is an easy one - they should come to us because in the space of 6 months or a year, they'll get 3 years worth of experience. We don't have interns answering phones, they do actual work and get involved in everything. We have no ability to have people sitting around for fluff so everyone has to perform - its that kind of environment. The same holds true for interns - we choose them very carefully as we can't have too many, and we expect them to be 150% dedicated (like the rest of the team here).
Through the course of their internship they will be challenged at every turn and will be completely integrated into the creative or programming team. "trial by fire" has a great way of making people perform at their best :) ...It's also New York City - the greatest city in the world ...oh, and we party as hard as we work ...oh oh, and I have to mention our ping-pong table - you have to come with or develop serious skills on the ping-pong table. ;)

Thank you Rob, Erik and Vida!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Emmy Awards 2007

Sixten Art Directed film Last Days on Earth has been nominated for the 2007 Emmy Awards. The cathegory is ”Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Graphic & Artistic Design”. We are keeping our fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hyper Island & Stockholm

Hyper Island presents the Stockholm premises!
Students and staff of Hyper Island will be the lucky new habitants on floor 4 of the Generatorn building in design focused area Telefonplan in H├Ągersten, Stockholm.

We're currently renovating the space - note that the photos below are pre make-over!

The Telefonplan area and views from our floor:

Lobby, staff office and Digital Media student + lecture space:

Interative Art Director student + lecture space, kitchen area, Interative Art Director space + meeting room:

Designens Hus
Restaurang Landet
and more...

You might have heard about the "Colour by numbers" project that attracted a lot of attention while active October 2006 - April 2007. You see the tower used in the project in one of our first photos above.

We can't wait to move in!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hello Ogilvy NYC!

We met with Ogilvy New York to tell them more about Hyper Island. They were excited to get to know our students better - Arash Kazeminejad, Creative Talent Sourcing Manager tells us more:

What makes you interested in Hyper Island students as interns? What do you imagine makes students from Hyper Island stand out?
In my experience, Hyper Island students tend to be more well rounded compared to other advertising and design students. Most other schools seem to focus on the “big idea”, but Hyper Island students actually have the technical ability to execute their projects while maintaining their vision. I also like that the program puts an emphasis on conceptual thinking, management skills, and teamwork.

Is there something particular from the Swedish culture that makes students from the school a good complement at Ogilvy?
When I read about the past crews from Hyper Island, I liked seeing that students come from all over the world. I think the global perspective at Hyper Island is good for us because we are always looking for fresh thinking from a different viewpoint. The influence of Swedish culture is also very positive in a work environment because it is relaxed, but at the same time, very pragmatic. I also think that Swedish culture is unique because it incorporates design into daily lifestyle.

What makes Ogilvy a good place for students to spend their internships? Some may view Ogilvy as a huge corporation where students/interns could get less experience with real work than they expect, what is your view on that? From a student's point of view, what are the advantages of spending one's internship placement at a larger company?
Yes, Ogilvy is a large company, but size should be seen as an advantage, not as a disadvantage. As a company, we emphasize the need to have greater collaboration between design, interactive, broadcast, and print. This is a unique quality in the agency world because few companies have the resources Ogilvy has. We also encourage people to go beyond what a job description says and to take initiative if you think that you can add something special to your given project. I think that any Creative or Designer can appreciate this opportunity. A lot of other agencies talk about the depth of their resources and how integrated they are, but we are ahead of our competition because we have been running an integrated program longer than any of the other large-scale agencies. Unlike like many other large-scale agencies, we do not outsource our work. Instead, we do most everything in-house.

What about Ogilvy would you personally like to recommend to potential interns and hires in the industry?
Ogilvy is taking on new types of projects that go beyond typical advertising. For example, we are getting into areas such as building ecommerce platforms, creating and maintaining sites, as well as making branded content. We also have a very supportive work culture and emphasize that a person be well rounded on both a personal and professional level. All in all, an internship here at Ogilvy is a productive experience that will really enhance your overall thinking and growth.

Thank you Arash and Ogilvy!