Tor Weibull

Introducing Tor Weibull, a young Swedish designer who has just won The Nordic Creative Talent Award for 2015, with an impressive portfolio and donut-eating personal best to boot.

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Firstly, huge congratulations on your recent Nordic Talent Award. Can you tell us a bit about the award and the criteria for winning?
Thanks a lot. The Nordic Creative Talent Award is an award for young designers (under the age of 28) working in the field of graphics, illustration, 3D-design, video and photography. We were judged on the quality of our portfolios.

Where did you grow up, what were your early influences, and can you remember what made you first realise you wanted to be a graphic designer?
I was born and raised on Gotland, Sweden. Gotland is the biggest island in the Baltic sea, probably known mostly for its special landscape with rock formations known as Rauks, but also known as the place where the Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman lived his last years. I guess I’ve always have had an urge to create things. When I grew up my mom was working as an ceramics designer and had a her studio in the house where we lived, so I had many afternoons playing around with clay in her studio. And at the kindergarten a friend and I drew so much that the kindergarten teachers had to establish a rule that the children weren’t allowed to draw before midday. My friend Aron and I just didn’t want to do anything else other than do drawings. Later when I started senior high school I took a course in graphic design and that’s about when I realised that I would like to work as an graphic designer.

Tell us a bit about your course at HDK, what’s been the most surprising aspect so far?
I’m studying for a bachelor in design at HDK with the direction of graphic design – what that means is that I study in the same class as people who will become industrial designers, furniture designers and illustrators. It’s a so-called interdisciplinary design bachelor, it has both advantages and disadvantages. You get a wider idea of design and how other designers work, and you can always ask a classmate for help if you would like to do a graphic project that extends beyond the rules of two dimensions. Also you get the possibility collaborate with people who are working in the other design fields, which is great. What I found most surprising my first year was probably that we didn’t really have any typography classes other than just a short introduction to the subject. So when you want to dig deeper into a subject or area, it’s expected that you do that in your free time. And I believe that this was one of the reasons I applied for an exchange semester at Hochshule Künste in Zürich.

Has your time spent at the Hochschule Künste in Zürich had an influence on your work? What did you discover about Swiss culture during your time there?
Absolutely, I picked up a lot from my time there. It involved being more hands-on with typography – which I love – and it was also very nice to see that there are other ways to think about design than the one that I had been taught at HDK. The exchange really gave my a wider perspective on things. The Swiss culture is great, especially since they are so keen on tradition and craft. With that said I don’t think they are conservative in that sense, just very keen on tradition, which is nice...

How is your internship at Lundgren+Lindqvist going? What’s the most important thing you’ve taken from the experience?
My internship is going very well. I’ve only been there for about three weeks and it feels like I’ve already learned a lot already. The most important thing I’ve learned so far is probably that I’ve got an idea of what it really means to work professionally in design.

Any plans yet for when you graduate? Would you like to carry on studying, work for an agency, or go it alone?
In an ideal world I would hopefully work as a graphic designer at a design studio but if that didn’t work out I would try to get freelance commissions. Either way I would really like to work with others – two brains are better than one... A masters degree would of course also be interesting to do some day but first it feels like I would need some more experience from the real world.

Finally, what’s your donut of choice? And what’s your current donut-eating personal best?
I guess that would be chocolate. My personal record is around twelve in a period of an hour.