.

Winning FWAs has helped me get in contact with creatives all over the world. The award also makes me want to push the boundaries for the next digital projects I'll be working on. I also believe that the FWA has helped us get a lot of great projects, since clients look for award winning agencies to bring their ideas to life.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Hello, my name is Sebastian Gram. I was born in Denmark on April 8, 1981. I have lived in Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, for almost all my life. I started focusing on digital design and conceptualization back in 1999 – spending my time at different small design agencies until I joined Hello Monday in 2007 as a Senior Digital Designer/Art Director. From 2009 to 2010, I moved to New York to work at the Hello Monday office in TriBeCa which was a great experience both on a professional and personal level.  

After almost a year in New York, I moved back to Denmark to Hello Monday's Aarhus office. After a few years working here, I decided to pursue a crush I had on a small brand agency. This "fling" – as people at Hello Monday called it – made me realize that I missed Hello Monday and therefore I decided to go back to my "real wife". 

What do you do for inspiration?

I get inspired by my surroundings, colleagues and all the different projects that are going on around me. If my colleagues are making some awesome projects and pushing the boundaries, that inspires me to push it as well.  

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

www.thefwa.com – my all time favorite inspiration.

www.google.com – great search engine and a whole lot more.

www.pinterest.com – pretty into this at the moment. 

How many hours do you work each week?

Having my work being my hobby, I would say that I probably spend between 40-55 hours a week on work and work related stuff.

How do you relax or unwind?

I love working on different projects, so I would actually say that I relax when I'm working. Sounds odd, but I really love my job and I feel relaxed every time I find the right way through a project. And of course I really enjoy spending time with my wife and our three kids.  

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

I would properly be working within the more analog design world. Drawing typography or being a furniture designer.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

My favorite part of my job is definitely the diversity in the projects that I work on. Starting a new site/project, conceptualizing it, executing it and seeing it come to life in the development process. 

I feel the hardest part of my job are clients that don't have the same drive as we have. This can kill a good work process and make an interesting project come out all wrong. 

When I get stuck, I usually turn to my colleagues to get a new set of eyes on things. Otherwise, I keep pushing it until I feel that I'm on the right path again. 

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

The day I walked into a courtyard in Aarhus back in 2007 to say hello to a new design agency that just moved in. The agency was called Hello Monday. I began working for them about a year later as a designer. I believe we met each other at the right time and it all came together through our different skills. It was the beginning of a special relationship and a great adventure.

What software could you not live without?

Photoshop, a browser and OSX. 

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

Must be somewhere between 10 - 20 projects. Personally, I'm involved in 2 - 5 projects at the time. 

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

Some of the "youngsters" at our agency are great at using Adobe After Effect in terms of showing animation and site flows. I really find this helpful in the process of explaining a concept or a small hover effect to a client. I try to play around with it myself, but haven't had enough time to dig deep into it.

Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

North Kingdom – for pushing the boundaries to the max.

B-Reel – always loved the work of these guys.

Kokokaka – what´s not to like.

Who is your target audience?

Depends on the clients and the project brief.  I work with a lot of different target groups, which is very challenging in a good way. Forces you to think differently all the time.  

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Winning FWAs has helped me get in contact with creatives all over the world. The award also makes me want to push the boundaries for the next digital projects I'll be working on. I also believe that the FWA has helped us get a lot of great projects, since clients look for award winning agencies to bring their ideas to life.    

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

My first site was made back in 1998. It used a lot of #0000FF-color and didn't look that good. Luckily it isn't online anymore.  

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

I believe that Flash is dying a slow death. I definitely think it will die eventually, but when is hard to say.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

A bike or an old school Vespa scooter.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

Going all in on projects really made a difference for Hello Monday in the early years, and still does. We leave no details to chance. In my opinion, going the extra mile is definitely the way to get new clients and spread the word.

How have you learned so many design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

Have an open mind, don't be afraid to try things, and be passionate about your work. 

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I use the web for searching the latest trends. I also force myself not to find too much inspiration before I start a project. I'd rather find my own way without getting too affected by different kind of trends, and create what I feel is right for the specific assignment.

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

Since HTML has taken over once again, I really look forward to seeing the evolution of the technology and how far we can take it in design and development. Also, as a lover of typography, I'm very excited about everything that is happening in that area. I'm looking forward to seeing if we can push some of the traditions from the editorial world into the digital age – especially on tablets where a lot of things are happening in the newpaper/magazine/editorial space. 

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

A rug.  

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

At Hello Monday we have a mantra: "Have a passion, not a business plan." It's the passion that drives me. 

  It has been a privilege, thanks very much

The pleasure is all mine, thank you!


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