Stone age printing for Æsir
Tom Hingston Studio's work for luxury Danish mobile phone brand Æsir includes the production of a set of prints paintstakingly produced at the Edition Copenhagen lithographic workshop.
Edition Copenhagen was founded in 1959 by Carl Urwald. Each year it invites artists to create lithographs in its workshop. Among those who have taken a residency at Edition are Anthony Gormley, Chris Ofili and Luc Tuymans.
Lithographic printing dates back to 1796 when Alois Senefelder discovered a way of printing from stone. Lithographic ink is applied directly to polished stone from where it is transferred to the paper. Each colour requires a new stone, so the process is both slow and very expensive (see here for a more detailed explanation) but does produce incredibly vibrant colours.
Hingston visited the workshop in order to produce a series of six prints (one shown above) for Æsir to use to promote the brand. His studio has been working with Keep Agency on the brand's launch and has created everything from the logo, to the phone's user interface (icons shown below), a bespoke typeface and packaging.
The prints form part of a project called Tænker, Danish for 'I am thinking', which will commission various original content around themes suitable for the brand. For the first issue, Keep Agency's Suki Larson brought together a panel of writers and critics to discuss ideas about values and craft – the phones being handcrafted with bespoke components. Out of the discussion came a series of essays reproduced in the newsprint publication Tænker 001, shown below.
The essays have also been made into the six prints produced at Edition.
Here, a stone is being prepared ready for printing and another positioned on the press
An inked stone
Stone and the print made from it
Some finished prints drying
The finished prints
Just 100 copies of each print were made over Hingston's two-week residency. The prints will be sent to potential customers of the phone. If that all seems a lot of effort to go to, these are not exactly the type of phone you might swap your old Nokia for the next time your contract comes up.
Each Æsir phone will be created by a different designer. The first model is by Yves Béhar and costs €7,250 for the stainless steel model and, wait for it, €42,000 (yes, you read that right) for the one in gold.
Old communication technology at the service of new. Beautiful posters to promote mobile phone company AEsir.
It seems bizarre that anyone with £37,000 to spend on a new phone would need a limited poster to help make their mind up. Never mind the fact they dont need to be given anything for free. the process of making the posters maybe slow and expensive which may reflect something of the phone itself but i don't think the finished visuals look like they belong to the product, as beautiful as they are.
these posters are bautiful! nuff said!
Crafted posters for possibly non-crafted customers. I imagine the posters will remain in their tubes in a dusty cupboard next to the golf clubs never to see the light of day. Also the phones look like they have been designed by Casio in 1981 from some old watch straps and some old screens that look too tiny for todays iPhone market. They should be handed out free with the posters.
Beautiful work, love it.
Is it just me, or does there seem to be a massive disconnect between the posters and the product? the type of person to by one of those phones, will likely not give a toss about the print. it will become one of those "oh i've bought a phone and it came with this poster, do you want it?" moments. A lovely book of essays but the "design" doesn't seem to fit, seems like such a waste for such a shit product (like above in "todays iPhone market")
Whoever is posing as Jack Archer, you suck and maybe it's time for you to get a life and contribute for yourself. Whilst on the subject, great blog post. Tom Hingston studio is greatly admired.
As the founder of Æsir Copenhagen and the person who commissioned the prints I am happy to see the debate they cause.
I just want to rectify that we are not by any means giving these prints away - nor to people buying the phones.
The posters are a completely separate product and are sold to people who cares for the craft and Tom' s design.
Thomas M. Jensen/Æsir Copenhagen
I think this is an excellent article, expensive phone, but some nice images.
|Made in Italy: the best in post-war Italian graphic design comes to London (1)|
|The design of Spare Rib (1)|
|Exposure: Photographer Andy Lo Po (1)|
|Ads of the Week (1)|
|PG Tips' refreshing rebrand (13)|