Christina Sofie John is a qualified communication designer and studied at Georg-Simon-Ohm Institute of Technology in Nuremberg. After spending time abroad in Shanghai (Art Design Dep. Applied Technology Institute) and London (Designer @ Superreal), she worked at Ebmeyer and Ebmeyer and at lucie_p in Munich, among others. She held an art exhibition in Beijing, volunteered from 1998 to 2000 as a course head for the Schule der Phantasie school in Straubing and worked as a creative mentor. From 2013 to 2014, she lectured in typography at Munich University of Applied Sciences. In 2009, together with Rafael Bernardo Dietzel, she founded the creative agency MILCH+HONIG designkultur, which she still heads up today. Since 2016 she has been Joint Chair of the Board of tgm (Typografische Gesellschaft München).
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel is a qualified communication designer and studied at Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Design. After a period abroad spent at the Royal Academy of Art at The Hague, he worked as a designer at Büro Linientreu in Stuttgart and at Martin et Karczinski in Munich. From 2012 to 2014, he worked as a lecturer in typography at Munich University of Applied Sciences and at Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Design. In 2009, together with Christina Sofie John, he founded the creative agency MILCH+HONIG designkultur, which he still heads up today. Since 2016 he has been Joint Chair of the Board of tgm (Typografische Gesellschaft München).
What makes a good designer?
Christina Sofie John: Constantly reinventing oneself, using design and concepts to surprise. Having the courage to tread new paths, even if you sometimes meet with resistance.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: Talent, empathy and determination.
What is the best moment during a project phase?
Christina Sofie John: It’s a great moment when things come together to create a whole and you have found a solution after trying things out for a long time.
It is even better if this happens in a team.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: The moment when the idea becomes tangible as a concept and the concept becomes tangible as a visual expression.
How do you convince clients?
Christina Sofie John: By being enthusiastic about the work on the project myself. For me, relevant content and surprising design are the decisive factors.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: You don’t have to convince customers, you just have to understand them.
How do you attract attention?
Christina Sofie John: With an unusual approach that breaks with conventions of how we think and see things. With unusual, surprising concepts that are worlds away from the average.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: It helps to work on the message in abstract terms before leaving one’s intuition run free.
How do you cope with competition?
Christina Sofie John: Competition itself motivates us. For me, that gives it positive aspects.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: With a sporting attitude.
Which star designer would you like to meet personally and why?
Christina Sofie John: I am lucky to have already met lots of great designers, and it’s very inspiring to talk with them. I would like to spend more time working with Stefan Sagmeister. He is a wonderful artist and designer, who breaks with norms and surprises us over and over again. But he has a sense of humour and doesn’t take himself too seriously. That’s something I really appreciate in a person. I have not yet met Fons Hickmann in person. When would you have time?
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: Karim Rashid, because I am very attracted to how he works, striking a balance between elegance and provocation.
What is your personal key to success?
Christina Sofie John: Never giving up, not losing my sense of humour and always staying positive!
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: Constantly questioning myself and my work.
What are the challenges in your everyday work?
Christina Sofie John: Delays in projects and sometimes a lack of appreciation for our work. Designers are known to take that personally now and then. You also need a certain way of dealing with frustration when projects you have worked hard on don’t come to fruition or when something doesn’t work.
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: The decision that something is finished and doesn’t need any further work.
Which sectors or industries would you like to explore further in future?
Christina Sofie John: We made a conscious decision to work across all industries, and that’s not going to change. It makes the work much more varied. Personally I am very interested in fashion, art and architecture, so I enjoy projects in these areas. But it is more important to have the opportunity to implement them in an innovative and interdisciplinary way. A book that you can not only read but experience with an integrated screen, or paper with auditive printing are things that really excite me!
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: Communication in space.
What is your favourite communication project that is not one of your own?
Christina Sofie John: There are so many, I can’t possibly name them all. But one would be from Stefan: watch out: www.thehappyfilm.org
Rafael Bernardo Dietzel: One of my evergreens: the posters by Wim Crouwel for the Stedelijk Museum.
Posted on 24.05.2017