“We met around eight years ago when we were at school – back then we did an extra-curricular design class in the evening once a week,” explains Hvass. “When we left school we did a few projects together and then we ended up sharing a workspace in an old basement in Copenhagen. Last summer we decided to call ourselves Hvass&Hannibal (Hvass&Hannibal pronounced in Danish sounds like ‘what’s up hannibal?’) and make it a kind of official partnership.”
Although the pair are still undergraduates – both studying visual communication at the Danish School of Design – they came to our attention when a copy of the beautifully illustrated CD packaging Hvass completed for band Efterklang’s album Under Giant Trees arrived at the CR office, thanks to record label Leaf. Readers of the CR Blog might have spotted the album sleeve in our regular Record Sleeves of the Week post.
“We’ve done a couple of album covers now,” Hvass tells us. “We like doing murals, T-shirt design, we silk-screen posters by hand, we’ve done illustrations for magazines, regularly do flyers and posters for events, art direct photos of bands, create visuals for clubs… We even created a set for a TV show that deals with teenage topics,” she adds. “I wouldn’t really call it one of our good jobs though,” says Hvass, “as we were restricted in what we could do. But it was fun to see our work on TV.”
Album sleeves, TV show sets, illustrations for magazines – not bad work for a couple of students who readily admit that they don’t promote themselves. “We’ve never had time to,” says Hvass. “There’s always been lots of things to do so we’ve never really touted ourselves – other than on MySpace, if you can call that promoting. We have friends in bands or who work in one form or another of music and Copenhagen is not a huge city so word of mouth is how people have heard of us and commissioned us so far.”
Currently the duo are working on a group of sculptures that will form an exhibition at ArtRebels Gallery in Copenhagen. “Imagine 90s-inspired furniture grazing on a lawn enclosed by a white picket fence,” Hvass enthuses. “We’re also working on a music video for Efterklang in collaboration with UFEX,” she reveals. “And we are both still working hard for our visual communications degrees so the commissions are really a part-time thing at the moment.”
For more of the duo’s work, see www.hvasshannibal.dk