In the old brewery premises on Åsögatan in Södermalm, Stockholm, we find the design agency Henrik Nygren Design. The company was founded in 1991 and it’s a place where many Swedish and international museums, galleries, publishers, architects etc. have found their form of books, exhibitions, identities and graphic expressions. Much created here are analog projects, where paper and other materials are incredibly important and nothing is left to chance. It’s also the place where Henrik Nygren has found home.
When Henrik was four years old, the family moved from Uppsala to the Swedish island Gotland, a place where he found himself comfortable and without a desire to leave. Somehow, he still ended up in Stockholm in the early 80s, where he without knowing it, started his journey towards graphic design.
– When I think of my youth, I can’t remember ever having any specific ambitions. I enjoyed my life as it was, I loved Gotland and did not think about the future. I have never had big dreams about this profession, or inherited any professional creativity from my parents. I was a boy who loved order, structured my tools and liked crafting, and that’s it, says Henrik.
After military service, followed by cadet school in Skövde, Henrik ended up on a train to Stockholm, together with a friend, without knowing what the future would bring or with any specific goals. He took a job as a janitor at an accounting firm. A profession he would hold on to and a role he still, in a way, sees himself in. Thanks to his mother’s brother-in-law, Johan Fischerström, who was an advertising manager at the big telecom company Ericsson at the time, Henrik once again ended up in a janitor role, but now with completely different possibilities.
– Ericsson had its own advertising department and a large studio with photographers. I got the chance to try out some small assignments like making a poster or a diploma. Later, I applied for a job as a designer at an agency downtown. I soon became manager but still didn’t feel like I was working with something creative. I solved tasks and managed projects where the process and the materials themselves was very important to me, says Henrik.