High-res version

Björn Maurseth is a graphic designer for corporate customers by day and one-man design operation Dagron Design by night. We communicated with him by a complex method of exchanging digital messages via a worldwide network of computers called “e-mail” to find out more.

At my day job I get to work with both print and web, designing for customers as well as being the in-house designer so I get to be involved in the entire process of marketing campaigns.”

Dagron Design is as much a hobby as it is work, a place for me to do projects where I have more freedom and control over the finished piece. With Dagron I can experiment more and challenge myself as an illustrator. I can also be more selective with what projects I choose to do.”

(Continued below:)

Explain what a graphic designer does.

For me, a ‘graphic designer‘ is someone who can master the use of typography, photography, graphics and illustration to create visually appealing compositions that convey a message to the viewer.”

What’s the difference between art and design?

“Design will often communicate something specific, which if done successfully, will be interpreted as intended by the viewer. Art is something that is created by the artist’s own feelings or opinions and can play more with emotions and could trigger a number of reactions.”

I do feel that art and design can blend. I certainly consider many posters work of art. They might communicate something very specific like time, place and price, have colors and text that make the poster readable from distance, but the motive on the poster itself could still be a work of art.”

What inspires you right now?

There are so many things that inspire me! Whenever I see beautiful typography, great photography, an original layout, a great color scheme or pretty much anything visually appealing, my mind starts spinning and I feel the urge to sit down and create something.”

Music has the same impact on me and sometimes I hear songs that create images in my head. It’s one of my bigges passions, so it’s natural for me to pursue music related projects. It’s not necessarily music I like, but it certainly helps for the creative process if I do like it and so far I’ve been lucky with the artists I’ve worked with.”

I’ve been jealous of Jeff Kleinsmith who is the art director of Sub Pop Records and a freelance designer who does a bunch of band posters and CD covers for excellent bands.”

Any particular music that you listen to while you’re designing?

I listen to all kinds of music, but I would have to say that I mostly enjoy relaxing indie, folk or lo-fi when I’m designing. Lately The Antlers have been a definitive favourite. But sometimes I need faster drums and heavier guitars to keep me going.”

Things from the past have always fascinated me. Worn-out objects and faded colors in wallpapers, paint, clothes or tools tell so many stories. I also feel that the use of vintage elements, colors and/or textures give illustrations an extra dimension of realism. Right now I’m experimenting with giving illustrations a vintage photographic effect. So far I think it immediately makes the illustrations more interesting and effective”.

Björn is currently working on illustrations for a project with Concerts Norway. His design work can be seen at Dagron Design which is actually just a misspelling of ‘dragon’ that’s become an inside joke among Björn and his friends. For reasons unknown they now use the word ‘dagron’ instead of ‘thank you’.

Björn’s favorite album covers:

Menomena – Friend and Foe

Bright Eyes – Cassadaga

The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
(“one of my favorite albums and also one of the first album covers that triggered my fascination for design”)