Synopses & Reviews
Why would two talented and employable young graphic designers start up their own practice without any clients, in the midst of a recession, and in a city brimming with world-renowned designers? Karlssonwilker inc.'s tellmewhy
is the improbable story of such a venture -- or act of bravura or insanity -- on the part of Hjalti Karlsson and Jan Wilker, and offers a telling, humorous, and always human insight into the workings of a young startup design studio, showcasing every single project they did in their first two years.
A book as iconoclastic as their designs, tellmewhy features fresh stories of karlssonwilker's ordinary office live and its less-than-romantic tales about rooftop parties, battles with immigration, language obstacles, missed meetings, and money problems. Despite these stories -- and because of others -- karlssonwilker has produced an impressive body of work in two short years. Tellmewhy shows the happy endings, including signage for a Philadelphia restaurant, logo designs for a New York fashion house, and CD packaging for both independent and major music labels. And it presents the few unrealized designs, like an ad campaign for a TV network. All share the designers' creative and humorous take on design.
Karlssonwilker intersperses these examples with its singular illustrated diagrams, faux flow charts linking the partners' biographies, work, social lives, and whatever comes to their unique minds.
Tellmewhy offers both inspiration and caution for designers everywhere. A foreword by former employer Stefan Sagmeister recalls karlssonwilker's start in his design office.
This book calls itself an anti-monograph. It tells the unromantic tale of two unestablished guys trying to build a design business and how they muddle through, while creating exceptional work in the process.