Hjalti Karlsson

Hjalti Karlsson founded the award-winning design studio karlssonwilker inc. with partner Jan Wilker in 2000. Karlsson has launched a number of notable creative projects over the course of his career, including work for MINI/BMW, Bloomberg Businessweek, Nintendo, Swatch, Museum of the Moving Image, Vitra and Reykjavík Art Museum. He is a recipient of the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize and has been featured in numerous publications. Hjalti Karlsson has served on design juries internationally, also in the position of chairman of the design jury at the Clio Awards and for Red Dot Design Award. He lectures regularly around the globe and is a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale). Hjalti Karlsson was born and raised in Reykjavík, Iceland and is an alumnus of Parsons School of Design.

Red Dot: What role does teamwork play in your day-to-day work?
Hjalti Karlsson: Teamwork is very important. We are a team of six designers, and we collaborate on pretty much everything in the studio. It’s very important that our designers do not have too much of an ego to work here. And the same goes for clients.

Why is holistic brand communication so important for success?
Holistic brand communication – a cohesive look and feel through all applications – is very important for brands. If companies do not have it, then the brand communication will fall flat and not work at all.

What made you become a graphic designer?
My father was a bank manager and my mother a nurse, but she loved to paint. My interest in design came from her.

Hjalti Karlsson