Q & A with Kristine Lindbjerg
Kristine Lindbjerg is a Danish graphic designer who now lives in Sydney. She established Lindbjerg Graphic in 2000 and has a range of international and Australian clients. Her books, visual identities, logos and brochures are heavily influenced by her Scandinavian upbringing.
Did you mean to end up as a book designer? What was your trajectory?
I always knew I wanted to be in the creative sphere but for a long time I was drawn towards advertising. It wasn’t until I received an internship at one of Copenhagen’s best-known book design studios that my love for books was established. It was during this experience that I discovered the friendly, knowledgeable environment of the publishing world. I became drawn to the fact that books last a lifetime and that they can be passed on from generation to generation.
Does art — gallery, museum art — inspire you? Or film, tv etc? If so, what do you like?
I am inspired by everything around me. By working in an industry where design is our lifeblood, I am always subconsciously being inspired by the colours and compositions of things. I enjoy re-visiting art galleries like the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen as it feels like you are catching up with old friends when I see the work of artists like Matisse, Degas and my favourite Danish artist – Vilhelm Hammershøi. I especially love his colour tones and use of light.
I am also often inspired by films such as The Danish Girl where the immaculate composition of the shots and tones are so typically Scandinavian. From my time in Florence I loved visiting the Museum of Marino Marini. I like his powerful sculptures and lovely paintings. Here in Sydney I am lucky to have The Art Gallery of NSW just around the corner from the office and I love crossing Hyde Park to spend my lunch breaks at the gallery.
Having said that I am increasingly finding that being in nature re-energizes me and gives me new ideas and inspiration to draw upon in my work.
What do you listen to when you work?
I very rarely listen to music as I find that it distracts my thinking while working.
What question do you least enjoy from people when they discover you design books?
There isn’t a particular question, I acknowledge that not everybody knows what a graphic designer does, and I am always happy and open to try and explain my occupation. In fact, I personally view questions and constant communication as an integral part of my occupation, as I like my clients to understand the design process so that they can feel comfortable and ensure they become satisfied with the final product.
What is your favourite tool on the computer?
The Mac program ‘Stickies’ which lets you create virtual sticky notes on your desktop which I constantly use for note taking, brainstorming ideas and keeping useful information. Saying that I am also a bit old school, as this must be combined with my large variety of notebooks and a fountain pen which I take everywhere with me.
How do you know when a project is done?
When you get the feeling a project is on its final stretch, I like to print it out and bring it home to stick it on the kitchen wall which permits me to see the project in a new light and then that night analyse if there is something that needs alteration.
Do you have a recent favourite project?
I can honestly say that I love every single project I am given. I like that I can create the visual universe around a project and see each project evolve alongside my clients.
Which book would you like to design the cover for?
I would love to design a book about foraging in Australian. I went out foraging with the team behind Noma, awarded the world’s best restaurant, when they had a pop-up restaurant in Barangaroo back in 2016. It was amazing to see how much nature has to offer and the possibilities for finding eatable things in nature. I would love to be a part of a book like that. I have done a similar book in Denmark and it was a real passion project.
Who is one of your favourite book designers and why?
I don’t have any favourites. There are so many talented book designers. Just have a look at the member list of ABDA.
Your favourite place (store, library, blog etc) to look at books?
When I was working out of a studio in Lavender Bay, Sydney, I use to go to the little Blues Point Bookshop (131 Blues Point Rd). They are so friendly, and it reminds me of the atmosphere Notting Hill in London, where I always went to the annual book fair in spring when I worked in Denmark.