Friday, January 30, 2009

Hyper Island going to SXSW

On March 14th, 2009, Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson will host a workshop at South by Southwest, in cooperation with the University of Colorado at Boulder.
From 3-6PM in the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, Mattias Hansson will present the unique learning methods used at Hyper Island, which has provided the interactive industry with the world's most sought-after creative talents for more than 13 years.

After you register for SXSW Interactive, send an email to to reserve your place at the Hyper Island workshop.
Click here to read more about the 10 day event, which focuses on Music, Film and Interactive.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What happens after 6PM at Hotel 626?

Art Director Henrik Rosander has worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco since graduating from Hyper Island's Interactive Art Director program in 2008.
One of the projects he's worked on so far has attracted a lot of attention; Hotel 626 - winner of the 2008 FWA People's Choice Award.

How many people were part of the project team?
There were a lot of people working on this project, including creative team, the account team, the interactive producer, project manager and the media team. The creative team included my writer Michelle Hirschberg and I, two ACDs and two group CDs. Production company was B-Reel in Stockholm and New York and Dinahmoe did the sound production.

What responsibilities did your role as Art Director include?
I came up with ideas together with Michelle and I created visuals to go with the ideas. Then we had to convince Doritos, the client. But Doritos is a fun client to work with, they always want to do innovative stuff and they have a demanding target, 19-24 year olds.

After the production shoot in Stockholm, B-Reel handled the design progress of the site and they regularly sent drafts for us to review and give feedback on. B-Reel also provided a great treatment with technologically ground breaking and creative ideas - like your picture being taken with your webcam without your knowledge. I mean, it's pretty freaky when your picture turns up in a dark room in the middle of the game while you hear a voice screaming at you in the background!

What do you hope the audience has experienced by interacting with the site?
We wanted the site to be classic psychological horror because that's something the target group has a true and genuine attraction to. So hopefully we scared the crap out of them... Another important requirement from the client was that it pushed technology and was really innovative. One cool thing is the first person point of view all through the game. B-Reel developed a technology that made it possible to have a full motion 3D world similar to first person shooter games. This was the first time a website used this technology.

We see now that the site has a viral function too - people upload their own videos on YouTube where they are literally freaked out from playing the game. The campaign isn't over yet, be on the lookout for more stuff in the near future.

What aspects of the attention/awards the project has received has been the most rewarding to you personally?
Just the fact that teens all over the world (188 countries so far) are enjoying the site feels rewarding. But the People's Choice Awards from FWA is extremely rewarding.

How did you end up at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners?
GS&P came to Hyper Island and gave us an assignment and had individual interviews/talks with all the students in the class. A week later I got an email from them asking if I wanted to do my internship at the agency in San Francisco. I said yes... Now I've been here for almost a year and it's been a great time.

Why would you recommend Hyper Island to those whose professional goals are similar to yours?
Hyper Island has a unique ability to stay updated with the industry which I think is crucial for a school within new media. Another aspect is the school's huge network of industry professionals, agencies and other companies which help the students getting really rewarding internships and a kick start of the career.

Thank you, Henrik!

Monday, January 26, 2009

#1 skateboard designed by Hyper Island graduate

Skateshop held a skateboard design competition this winter. The winner's submission will be pressed and sold in the Hollywood stores, and the winner will receive 5000SEK to spend at the shop.

According to an interview in Cap&Design, the shop received several hundred submission and we're proud to congratulate Hyper Island Crew 8's Mikael Selin who's the lucky winner.

Shout out also to Hampus Lideborg of Digital Media 2009 Karlskrona, Andreas Damberg of Digital Media 2010 Stockholm and all the other designers who submitted excellent designs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Flickan" - winning commercial film for Childhood

Congratulations to Alicia Rissler, Kalle Engström and Fredrik Lund-Hansen - winners of the World Childhood Foundation and Ica competition!
Also to be credited is photographer Ellen Kugelberg.

The three Interactive Art Director students' commercial film "Flickan", below, won first place and is currently being broadcast on Swedish TV3, TV4, Kanal 5, TV 6 and TV 8.

Out of 47 submissions, Ica and Childhood selected six ideas that were produced and presented for the public to vote for their favorite. The students won with an impressive 32,1% of the votes!
The group will be presented with their prize at a Childhood ceremony tomorrow, Thursday.
Well done!

We also congratulate Ola Lissbrant and Filip Kleremark for making it to the final round.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Old lecture at Hyper Island

In December 2008, Björn Jeffery, CEO at Good Old, held lectures about strategic thinking, together with Garberg's Nina Åkestam who spoke about planning for students in both Karlskrona and Stockholm.

We caught up with Björn to find out more.

What is Good Old about?
We're a web agency that focuses on strategy for digital media. We don't do any advertising, which surprisingly enough is very uncommon for a web agency. Instead we help our clients with the things that precede the advertising. Their business online, in short.

Why is observing trends important?
Difficult question as the word "trend" is slightly misused to contain anything from major societal change to minor fashion statements. I would say that it is important to follow movement - specifically online - as the time period for change to occur has shortened so much. For a B2C company it is crucial to understand current consumer behaviour online. Therefore you need to have an eye on the things that change and/or affect this behaviour. Online, this means having a macro perspective on social movement to make sure that your offer is still relevant and in the right places.

What do you think will happen in the digital media industry in the upcoming years?
Maturity, and probably change to a more honest model regarding payment and measurement. Media agencies (and ad agencies in the US, if I've understood it correctly) charge in part by cutting a piece of the media spend for advertising. This means it is their interest to recommend expensive media. This isn't a viable model. So the industry will continue its slow stride towards measurability and long term planning. That's where the internet strategy comes in. When companies realise that they are in the internet business - whether they like it or not - they will have to start taking it more seriously. And that's when you need a strategy that supports your business objectives.

In connection the shift [from campaigns/short-time commitment to visitors to more of an interaction that will eventually add value to visitors' lives], do you foresee a change of attitude on a larger scale in people in general?
Definitely. The interest for non-value-adding advertising is very low. Compare it to search marketing for instance - a sponsored link is an ad that offers you something that you probably were looking for anyway. If you go to an online paper and get a bunch of flashing banner ads, chances are that the message in the banners weren't what you were looking for. It will be increasingly difficult to catch consumers attention, and I think that the easiest way of doing it will be to add value to them in the arenas where they are.

In your lecture you brought up Blue Ocean, what other sources of information/inspiration have helped you in your work?
I don't seem to have much patience for reading books so I get most of my information from blogs and magazines. A never ending source of inspiration is JP Rangaswami, Managing Director ofr BT Design. His blog Confused Of Calcutta blows my mind everytime I read it.

If you were looking for an intern, what type of work/attitude/marketing standpoint that a person could present would spark your interest?
Firstly, we are quite restrictive about interns as it is important that both parties will gain from the internship. So if the expectations aren't inline, then there is no point. Secondly, we look for people that are genuinly interested in the internet and that understands what makes it move and breathe. Understanding (or preferably, participating in) the open source community is worth a thousand times what a cool flash site in the portfolio would be. We always ask what people have done when they haven't been working or been in school. That says a lot about people.

What would you rate as two of the most important skills/mindsets a person who works in the digital media industry should possess to keep up to date with trends/online behavior?
Curiousity and the willingness to try things that you have never done before. No question about it.

Any final words of advice for Hyper Island students?
The material I've seen come out of Hyper Island is always impressing from an execution point of view. Still, it sometimes lacks an idea or a concept that fits into a bigger picture. The web is not a collage of well designed flash objects. So my advice would be to make sure that what ever you make finds its place in the bigger picture. That shows that you have something that employers are looking for.

Thank you, Björn.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just—My—Type, typography project of graduated Hyper Island student

Just—My—Type is a typography project of Jakob Nylund, graduated student from Hyper Island's Crew 9.
All typefaces are free to download and free to use and modify without any restrictions - we hear rumors about a greek version of the Twist font. We're curious to see what our readers can come up with.

The Extensis blog has described the project as "[breathing] some interesting life into type", while others say it's simply "mega hot".
Jakob will be adding new typefaces continuously, we're looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Update, April 30th 2009:
Check out the "Soraya" typeface used in Vasava's "The Room" project.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Postcards from Digital Media students in NYC #4

Why did you choose NYC for your internship placement?
Well, I never expected nor planned to go to the United States, ever. Not for any particular reason, more the lack of having any good reason to make the trip. This lasted untill last winter, when good reasons started dropping in my mailbox disguised as internship requests. After having had a couple of interviews with several agencies I felt that Your Majesty was the most warm welcoming of all and provided the best environment and oppertunities to deploy and develop my skillset. This where I headed to NYC to find out.

What are the best things about NYC so far?
The long aftersummer, the vivid scene regarding anyhting that has to do with old or new media, and the fact that everything that exists or happens on this planet, coexists in New York, in some form (and at some price).

What's the coolest thing about the company you're at?
Fairly everything. The projects I get to work on. The high responsebilities I get in these projects. The people I work with, and the perfectionism they persuade. And ofcourse, the comfortable chairs.

From a learning perspective, why would you recommend others to do their internships in NYC?
Internship in NYC is not a nessecity. One might end up in NYC but learn shit. However the problem with NYC is, this almost cannot occur, there are too many inspiring companies and people here. The least thing you will end up with is a lot of contacts and inspiration.

What are the differences work culture wise between NYC & Sweden/Europe?
New York never sleeps, therefore New York never stops working. For the rest its all I expected it to be. Your Majesty has strong roots in Sweden and Hyper Island, that makes the work culture fairly the same. Lots of stuff in small timeframes. One strong thing I can find in comparison to the work culture in The Netherlands is that there far less "how-far-out-of-the-box-can-your-idea-be" mindset in NYC, making most of the projects actually realistic, realisable in the full stretch, something Dutch people have a hard time doing.

Have you overcome any struggles since your arrival?
The paperwork reduction act. I can't really imagine that there possibly could have been more paperwork to fill in.

What have you found in NYC that you know you won't be able to live without when you have to leave?
Hard one. They can keep all their greasy stuff, and the things that wake you up at night like radiators and gunshots. But I really enjoy all the cheap restaurants, Bleecker Street and the 24/7 availability of beer, food and transportation.

-Kasper Kuijpers, Digital Media 2009 Karlskrona

I chose to do my internship placement in NYC because of Your Majesty but also because I like world capitals like NYC, London and Tokyo. The best thing about being here is the internship - the variety of things I get to do as an intern and the amount of trust they put in me doing it.
NYC has such a massive amount studios and agencies so the synergy of the scene is great here. A lot of shows, talks, exhibitions etc comes out of the big mix here. Direct access to everything just minutes away. Everything made around the world, whether it's music, art, clothes or movies. It all ends up here in a concentrated ball of everything.

Your Majesty ping ping competition video edited by Erik:

-Erik Jonsson, Digital Media 2009 Karlskrona

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Postcards from Digital Media students in NYC #3

I never made a decision about which city I wanted to be in, I was more focused in the agencies and their work. I applied for several agencies all over and when i found the right agency it just happend to be located here in NYC. I can't be more sure that i made the right decision to join the Firstborn team. I've learned more in 4 months than i did during the first year at Hyper Island!
The best thing about my internship is that I am surrounded with talented people that can teach me something new every day. They give me inspiration to work harder and keep the pace up. But there are always ups and downs. Even in NYC! And in that case, you can always check out the amazing frozen yoghurt place at 7th avenue, and you'll be right back on top again!

-Susanna Averpil, Digital Media 2009 Karlskrona