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.