Name: Oskar Huberhoff
Title: Digital Art Director
Describe your role at Kisi and what a typical day looks like for you:
I work as a Digital Art Director in the Marketing Division. My role is to make sure that the brand identity, design, and visual communication across all channels are aligned with our new positioning.
My role is very flexible. I get to connect with people and discuss ideas, strategy, and design execution. Recently I've been working with the product division, putting more emphasis on the product with our new brand.
I’m also providing digital design and working closely with the web team from the marketing division, we are currently building components on a day-to-day basis with our design system; Laika Design System.
How has your role developed over your time with the company?
In the beginning, I spent a lot of my time on brand architecture, defining the foundations of the brand identity, and our design system. Today is more about executing and keeping up the momentum of the new brand, in all ways possible.
What has been your biggest accomplishment at Kisi?
This is a challenging one — I believe that accomplishments are not something that you see when you are putting in the hard work. It is something that you can reflect on when the book is closed. Currently, my book is still open, with new pages getting added with new work every day, and every day it's better than the day before.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were starting out in your career, what would it be?
Trying to solve a problem without a purpose is hard. Defining a purpose and asking the ’‘why’ helps to narrow down possible solutions into a more concentrated state.
Kisi defines its company values as Forward, Trusted, Human, and Responsible. Which one do you feel your team resonates the most with and why?
Forward. My job is to make sure that everything is going forward, that our design is progressive, and that we explore all possibilities before we arrive at the final ring. With progressive design, you can only go forward. The brand can only go forward. Kisi is going forward.
How does your team collaborate on different projects together?
Alignment. We are constantly asking ourselves the question “what are we trying to solve” before exploring the possibilities. With the web team, we work with collaborative live sessions. We use Figma as a design platform for both the brand and digital design, it’s a great tool for collaboration.
For digital design we treat what is implemented as the actual source of truth. For this we use Storybook. Since we have a component-first approach this makes the most sense for us. It’s important to draw boundaries between reference design and implementation.
How do you stay up to date with new industry trends/learning?
Technology is always moving forward – the tools for design are getting better, and at the same time, easier. We can do more things now than ever. This creates a constant flux of work getting out there on all platforms, and the trends keep spiking.
This is great for the field of design, however, I still think it's important to try to understand the very core of design to be able to adopt all of the new things you can do today. I usually learn more by reading historical design books — my latest addition to my collection: Designing Programmes by Karl Gerstner.
I feel that design today is expressive, and usually, it's looking very cool, engaging, and interesting — but I don't necessarily think that it's the most important thing with design. With identity design, I think that it's important to strive for timelessness. If you have a timeless framework that accepts expression to it, you will survive longer.
What is your current favorite TV show/podcast/book?
I'm enjoying the new show Tokyo Vice. It has great cinematography, characters, and story-telling. Highly recommend it.
What is something most people do not know about you?
I’ve seen the Mad Men series two times besides the last episode — I don't want it to come to an end, so I'm keeping it alive by not completing it, haha.
What can you usually be found doing on the weekend?
Looking at designer furniture that I can't afford, cooking, listening to music, enjoying nature, and maybe seeing something new at the local art galleries. I enjoy playing games as well, I think they can be a great source of inspiration.