Positioned as an independent creative and passionate about letters and graphic design, Victoria Englund is a 25 years old creative based in Stockholm, Sweden. She mostly works in the fields of type design, branding, and creativity.
“My way toward design hasn’t been that linear, I’ve taken some different turns before I found my position today. I just transitioned to becoming an independent freelancer after having a designer’s role at studio Bedow in Stockholm”, she tells TYPE01.
Victoria’s works are specifically type oriented and throughout her projects, she has also worked alongside several other artists to develop bespoke typefaces. To name a few of them, she has a display typeface called Vanadiso, a collaborative typeface with designer Wille Larsson. Vanadiso can be defined as a sharp, yet sophisticated display typeface. Another great typeface made by the Swedish designer is Anton Neo Grotesque, which was inspired by old signage in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Most of my work is type-oriented in one or another way – letters are my passion. My belief is that type is a strong core for all touchpoints in design. I would say, significant for my process, are clashing elements – I enjoy contrasting a robust grotesque with a fluid ornament, I combine analog and digital aspects, and I combine tininess with big and loud elements. For me, it’s almost like an orchestra coming together”, she continues.
We just had to know what it was about the written word fused with graphic design that fascinated Victoria so much. So we went ahead and asked her: why type? Her answer couldn’t be more clear. “While studying Communication Design at Berghs SoC, we had a brief introductory course in typography. I never realized that it could be a possible profession before that. I immediately got hooked – I was fascinated by the history as well as the pure function of typography”, she explains.
Luca Notarfrancesco (@_not.luca_)
Luca Notarfrancesco (@_not.luca_)
“I had this duality of interest. I always enjoyed communication as a whole including creative writing and reading. Simultaneously, I felt passionate about the visual side which growing up took shape in various craft hobbies. For me, type design brings together the two worlds. In its basic form, type is about visualizing communication and language”, continued Englund.
“The history of type design and thinking about where it brought us today design-wise is fascinating. Type is not just a sole function anymore – it can stand for itself as a communicative element. Also, type design is an area with a rigid framework and is in some sense mathematical. Working under such an elaborate framework creates limitations. I enjoy that aspect of it – to be creative in a somewhat narrow space. I find myself the most creative when I have a limited framework.”
“I find inspiration everywhere in everyday life”
Growing up, Victoria was always attracted to art and crafts. However, was never on her mind the possibility of pursuing a career in any creative area. “Both my parents work as engineers so the creative industry wasn’t introduced as an option growing up”, she confesses.
That all changed when she found the media and communication program at the University, which at the time enlighted her vision to something new. She reinforces though that graphic design studies can be very theoretical at first but with time it got really fun – as you learn more skills, everything comes together, right?
Photo credit: Ben Pham (@phamousben)
Subsequently from the engineering background, yes it was a little harder for Victoria to explore her passion, but as with anything, our environment has a huge influence on our identity, and perhaps the logical, analytical thinking of an engineer gifted Victoria with a similar kind of skillset. Which in design can be a valuable trait.
Between trying internships and jobs, Victoria produced a lot of pieces for her portfolio, such as the Bon Iver self-initiated project, and also collaborated with a lot of organizations. One that we admire a lot is called “Stories of Stockholm”, in collaboration with the non-profit organization 101 Ord and Stockholm Stad. 101 ord encourages the citizens of Stockholm to write about the city. “These graphics are made to embrace as well as interpret the stories in an illustrative way.”
Victoria navigates her way around the creative world fiercely. As we came around to the topic through a natural conversation, we asked the designer if she believes that as a female creator, she needs to work twice as much to gain attention. “I wouldn’t say I need to work harder per se. However, working as a female creator in a male-dominated industry creates other challenges”, she answered.
“Unfortunately, still today most studios are run by men, and women are underrepresented in leading roles. From my experience in design, I have been longing for more female spaces and female-led cultures. The type design scene isn’t an exception. Typography itself is a rather traditional field and not always the most welcoming. However, this motivates me to be part of the change toward a more inclusive and open type industry.”
For the forsaken future projects and creations, we can always expect results that are never boring. “I’m looking forward to what the future will bring, I hope it will be filled with rewarding meetings, new collaborations, and of course lots of letters”, she says.
For the time being, Victoria is working on some awesome custom work, where you can reach out to discuss a project on her official webpage. She plans to release her typefaces and put them for sale soon (hopefully soon a new Foundry?). “That’s one of my ambitions for next year. It’s lots of work to be done but I’m very excited about it”, Victoria completes.