The award honours designers from Scandinavia and supports design and decorative arts in the Nordic region.
The prize committee’s comments:
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize 2013 is awarded to the Icelandic graphic designer Hjalti Karlsson. Hjalti Karlsson ́s broad approach to typography, graphic design and visual communication has a profound basis in humanistic and artistic considerations. His work spans from the intimate small scale object to the comprehensive inclusive information graphics programme. From magazine page to motion graphics, from pedagogical exhibition design to site specific art installations – Hjalti Karlsson ́s contemporary visual language bears witness of classic knowledge as well as of Icelandic storytelling tradition.
The prize was presented to Karlsson on 4 November 2013 by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the former president of Iceland and the first woman democratically elected head of state in the world.
Along with the handing over of the prize, Karlsson opened a solo exhibition dedicated to the work he has done over the years. The exhibition titled This Is How I Do It showcases the eight designs by Karlsson considered by the jury in awarding him the prize.
1. A cover for TIME Magazine. The publication invited the Karlssonwilker studio to co-curate, co-write and design a 12-page feature and cover for their end of the year’s The List Issue which highlights the top ten features of the year.
2. The Wolf-Gordon Sculpture. The sculpture was composed of 250 panels which were covered in various Wolf-Gordon products including textiles, wall coverings and mirrors.
3. MINI Another Day Another Adventure. karlssonwilker collaborated with Dazed & Confused magazine to design a 12-page feature on today’s fashion and urban adventures. This project was merged with MINI Cooper's original 3D CAD files to fuse the real with the artificial.
4. Skirl Records. Karlssonwilker has been responsible for the jazz label’s material since its inception in 2007. The cover designs are seen as an experimental playground for Karlssonwilker, who is currently working on the twenty-second CD cover.
5. Tell Me Why. In 2003, Princeton Architectural Press published Tell Me Why, the story of Karlssonwilker studio’s first two years. The duo designed the cover and layout of the book.
6. Museum of Moving Images. Karlssonwilker worked closely with New York’s Museum of the Moving Image to design a new identity system, including a logo, wayfinding system, printed collateral and marketing materials.
7. The Goldman Warehouse. For this project, the duo designed the identity and exterior signage for the Goldman Warehouse, an art gallery in Miami’s Wynwood district that is devoted to private collections of abstract art.
8. Puma. Karlssonwilker collaborated with Puma to design a series of sneakers sporting edgy graphic design and typography.
Along with these works, Karlssonwilker created 14 oversized posters especially for the exhibition. The seven Swedish-themed posters and seven portraits of notable Swedes reveal the diversity in the designer’s work and style.
The exhibition is currently on display at the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden until 2 February 2014.