Interview with Antti Hinkula Kokoro & Moi: Giving Clients Tools to Build Their Design Identity
Our role is to create the concept and build the tools, but it’s the users who can then contribute and be creative using them. By sharing the fonts and other identity elements, we let the consumer become the producer.
Design innovators Kokoro & Moi aim to realise the imagery of the future by experimenting with traditional disciplines. Creative director Antti Hinkula explains how revamping old ideas can push design concepts forward:
“As the world changes, a lot of old ideas don’t work anymore, so you need to be more progressive to solve the problems of the future. We use the power of design to help our clients stand out using bold ideas and progressive concepts.”
The agency’s approach to developing no-nonsense identities for companies often incorporates the design of custom typefaces:
“Depending on the font’s qualities, it can take from one week to a few months to develop the final typeface. This can be expensive, but in the end our client can share and install it on as many devices as they need, without all the hassle of paid licenses.”
Strategic Development of Identity, Ownership of Imagery
Kokoro & Moi is one of the most respected design agencies operating in Helsinki, the increasingly fashionable capital of Finland. Despite its expansion to the US with the opening of its New York office in 2013, Kokoro & Moi maintains a firm base in its home country. Its Finland’s Faces project will be a highlight in Finland’s centennial celebration this year.
“The Finland’s Faces app lets everyone celebrate the Finns, who are building this country together.”
The app allows anyone to become part of the visual identity by creating their own blue and white portrait—the colours of Finland’s flag. It’s an inspiring and fun way to take part in the centennial celebrations.
Users own the images they create, so they’re not stored on servers or anywhere in the cloud. Giving the user ownership of the design is at the core of many of the concepts, identities, and experiences Kokoro & Moi has created for its clients and brands.
“Our role is to create the concept and build the tools, but it’s the users who can then contribute and be creative using them. By sharing the fonts and other identity elements, we let the consumer become the producer.”
Locally Grown, Internationally Renowned
Starting Kokoro & Moi in the early 2000s gave Hinkula first-hand experience with social media’s growing presence in the design world, so he knows the importance of giving your portfolio visibility by developing a presence on Behance:
“You need to share your work and make it visible for bigger audience. There is an audience for everything and opportunities can pop up, but you have to put the time in.”
Having worked for major clients such as the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, Hinkula is aware of the impact design can have on the public:
“I see design as a technological development that affects everything in our lives and opens up new possibilities. By creating more innovative and inspiring design and customer experiences, we can ensure our influence has had a positive impact on this city.”
When considering the future, Hinkula recalls the recent New York in 100 Years project requiring considerations for the planet’s destiny:
“Progressive technological development is shaping the world and culture faster than anybody can imagine. In our work, we love taking an unpredictable route in solving problems on every level, whether we’re building better businesses, services, products, or safer, mindfully evolving cities.”