by:Larm festival’s evolving sculpture

Norway’s Frode Skaren and Rune Mortensen have created another great identity for Oslo’s by:Larm music festival: a wooden sculpture that will grow as more bands are added to the bill

Norway’s Frode Skaren and Rune Mortensen have created another great identity for Oslo’s by:Larm music festival: a wooden sculpture that will grow as more bands are added to the bill…

Skaren’s name may be familiar to CR readers as his work for the 2011 by:Larm festival was used on the cover of our January 2012 music issue (see below – we also profiled him on the blog, here). Since graduating Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2009, Skaren has worked as an illustrator and designer – often alongside Mortensen – and is based in the town of Flekkefjord.

For this year’s by:Larm identity, the pair went for a three-dimensional approach. “We thought of the festival as a place to build a career,” says Skaren, “and that all bands are different, but will together be part of a bigger whole that is the festival.”

Keen to use visual materials that evoked a Nordic feel, the designers chose to work with wood.

“With this in mind we started to make hundreds of bricks of wood in various sizes – each brick would represent one band – and started building this sculpture,” Skaren says. The first few blocks in the sequence, displaying the key information for the festival, are shown above. “It’s still growing with each new artist announced,” he says, “and it will end up being exhibited at the festival in February, in Oslo.”

Here’s Skaren at work on the sculpture:

Skaren and Mortensen have been working with by:Larm for the last few years. For the 2012 festival identity, Skaren created this cheeky character:

While back in late 2011, we liked his poster design for the festival so much, we asked him if he could adapt a detail from it for the cover of our music-themed January 2012 issue (CR cover and original poster shown, below).

Further details on by:Larm 2013 can be found at, along with updates on the progress of the sculpture. The finished object will be on show at the festival in February.

More of Skaren’s work is at; Mortensen’s website is


CR In print

In our December issue we look at why carpets are the latest medium of choice for designers and illustrators. Plus, Does it matter if design projects are presented using fake images created using LiveSurface and the like? Mark Sinclair looks in to the issue of mocking-up. We have an extract from Craig Ward’s upcoming book Popular Lies About Graphic Design and ask why advertising has been so poor at preserving its past. Illustrators’ agents share their tips for getting seen and we interview maverick director Tony Kaye by means of his unique way with email. In Crit, Guardian economics leader writer Aditya Chakrabortty review’s Kalle Lasn’s Meme Wars and Gordon Comstock pities brands’ long-suffering social media managers. In a new column on art direction, Paul Belford deconstructs a Levi’s ad that was so wrong it was very right, plus, in his brand identity column, Michael Evamy looks at the work of Barcelona-based Mario Eskenazi. And Daniel Benneworth-Gray tackles every freelancer’s dilemma – getting work.

Our Monograph this month, for subscribers only, features the EnsaïmadART project in which Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin invited designers from around the world to create stickers to go on the packaging of special edition packaging for Majorca’s distinctive pastry, the ensaïmada, with all profits going to a charity on the island (full story here)

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