Bon Voyage Designbyrå, Malmö

Wolf recently meet the crew behind Bon Voyage, a design studio based in the heart of Möllan, the tres-cool area of Malmö filled with entrepreneurs and good vibes. After working as freelancers on different projects, they eventually came together to work as a united front of design, taking on the Feminist Initiativ political party as a primary client and enjoying the freedom that collaborative work brings to their ideas and design concepts. Enjoying the ability to work on projects with heart and a good dose of passion, coming together as a team has definitely paid off and has lead the guys at Bon Voyage to work with clients that have a similar ideology or agenda. Using their drive for design to instigate positive change, and working with clients who’s message they believe in means that life seems pretty grand for the crew at Bon Voyage! 

On starting Bon Voyage together…
“Yeah you can do it by yourself, but why not do it together? If you work alone you work on shorter projects and its more fun to work with a project that stretches over more time, you can do more stuff and have more detailed work. Now we can be apart of a project from the beginning to the end, so we can do something with heart and work on whole concepts…

If you’re by yourself you have to have the guts to know you don’t always have to take every project that comes along. You don’t have to have all the responsibility yourself, you can do it as a team and it’s easier to say, ‘hey we could do this, or this’, because we have the time for it. We have six people here all with a similar background so you can discuss all different thoughts and concepts and ask questions that you probably wouldn’t find an answer to all by yourself.

On Malmö and having an office in Möllan….
None of us are from Malmö but we have been here for a long time. We’ve worked in Stockholm and Goteborg, but the climate here is really rich in culture and design and it’s good to be apart of it and do something here. Sometimes it's a stand out to not be in Stockholm and I guess that’s makes it interesting as well.

 There are a lot of start-ups in Malmö and we help each other out and that’s the great thing about this area. There is a lot more cooperation and we are like, ‘yeah we can help you out,’ and it feels like there is not as much competition between design studios in Malmö, if we have a project we think will fit someone else we pass it on.

There are a lot of DIY’s around this area and I think all of us have the background of free work or culture stuff, setting up concerts, arranging cafes with workshops, screen printing…we want to bring that into the business because it is a lot of fun, but also to show how you can do it, package it, and make a living out of it!

On working with Feminist Initiativ (FI)…
Every time we have a project we are like, ‘we could do this and this, and this,’ and it becomes much, much bigger and FI was a project like that. We have an idea to contribute something, to make a change, and working with FI is a really good opportunity to do that with design, actually communicate something that is bigger than selling something. That’s one big reason why we want to do things with passion, something we can stand for instead of doing something for clients who are all about the money, we like to do something we feel we can stand behind - something we think that’s important.

With a big client like FI, or any political client, it’s very important that it’s not just your idea, that it has not been built up on personal notions. That is when operating  within a cooperative works the best. We want to believe that the design aspect of FI’s campaign are a big reason why it has spread, because it has been seen quite a lot. People appreciate the posters and the folders, and want to share them, it seems. Although we wont know though until after the election!

We really feel that we sort of chose FI, in the sense that we wouldn’t say yes to some other parties, because we really believe in what they stand for, and maybe there is more personality in it. FI is grassroots, doing something you know? All these other parties have so much money and they pay whatever agency, whatever amount and it’s more like advertising.

This project is a good example of how we want to work, being part of an ideology to make a difference and doing something bigger than your self, actually make a change whether it is big or small, but that something extra.

On FI’s design reaction to the events in Malmö on the 8th of March…
They’ve been clear from the beginning with their slogan ‘out with the racists’… it’s pretty clear, and has been at the core of the party all the way through.  Some other political parties might not have such a strong slogan! But you can see that it has spread and you can see more people are involved now, I guess it is an election year but they are being quite straight forward with their main policies.

On dream projects and clients…
Always the clients that are passionate, have ideas, and give us the freedom to do what we are good at! We have noticed after FI that clients are reaching out to us, and it has been great to get clients that say, ‘We found you because you have the same views we do.’  Dream projects, probably a full concept for a music festival, or a full concept and layout for a magazine!

 Interview & words: Ash Francisco

Ola Nilsson (Web Designer),  Johanna Bredberg (Project Manager), Anna Nilsson (Art Director), Anna Jonsson (Art Director), Oscar Wettersten (Photograher), Johanna Blomgren (Information Architect)