Digital Designer at Kontrapunkt
Cecilie
Axelsen

A danish designer with a love for creating digital solutions, currently working at Kontrapunkt.

Copenhagen, Denmark • June 28, 2022

What led you into design?

Growing up, a lot of my friends were into graffiti, and I remember being really amazed with all the different types of letters and colour combinations they would create. I never really had the guts to do it myself, but I would try to paint letters and illustrations on canvas in my teenage room. I would definitely not call it art-school-potential pretty, but it really spiked an interest in design and art.

Growing older, I knew that I probably wouldn’t become the next Picasso. So I gave up on my artist dream and thought I'd apply for Anthropology instead. But just before handing in my application, I took a drastic turn and applied for multimedia design. That was one of my best decisions. It made me understand that there are so many levels to design and art that go beyond what I imagined it would require. Eventually it led me to study interactive design, where we would mix coding, motion and design to create digital experiences, and I now use all these things in my design work at Kontrapunkt.

What does a typical day look like?

I feel like my days differ very much from being super productive to really lazy. But if I can get out of bed, I will typically get up around 6:30 and try to get a morning workout in or a social coffee.

From there I get on my bike and follow the thousands of bicyclists into the city centre where my agency, Kontrapunkt, is. Here I’ll instantly grab a coffee, and then I'll either start out the day with a planning meeting or chit-chat with my team.

Throughout the day I will normally work on 1-3 different clients, so depending on how busy we are I’ll either be in and out of meetings, workshops and team sparring, or just sit with myself focusing on finishing a task. I’m part of a little digital team with only 6 people, so we jam on a lot of our work internally to get each others opinions. It’s really the greatest team who, besides the good work, will give you a proper laugh every 10 minutes – so it’s about putting in noise cancellation if you need to be productive!

After work, I hang out with friends for a beer, chill with my boyfriend or go bouldering to get away from the computer for a bit.

What’s your workstation setup?

I’m either really neat and organized or super chaotic when it comes to cleaning, so most of the time my desk will either be messy or dull. Since working more from home after the pandemic, I’ve attached my home desk that I should be using, the setup I end up doing, and then my workstation at the office.

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Where do you go to get inspired?

This is really where I wish I could tell you all these cool things that I do to get inspired, but I honestly love the internet. I know it’s such a thing not to get inspired there, but it’s crazy what the internet contains and what you can find. Sometimes there's some really great weird things. Also! Looking at hashtags of deep diving on profiles on Instagram will take you unusual places, but sometimes it’s really rewarding! For instance, I got really into creative coding during Corona after finding some cool profiles.

With that said, if it couldn’t be the internet, it would be magazines and books or just random conversations with clever people.

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

At Kontrapunkt, we have these nice inspiration sessions called ‘Haptic’, where somebody talks about something they find interesting. Not long ago, my colleague Andrew had a talk about the power of good storytelling. After the talk, we all had a conversation about something we hold dear. My colleague brought up his Leica camera, where he pointed out that when the Leica paint wears off, it reveals a beautiful brass layer underneath. How great is it that when something gets patina like that, it just grows more beautiful?

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

Urgh, that's a tough one, so I’ll post a few.

In my field of work, I really get to do a lot of different things, from big scale corporate websites to small portfolio sites. We recently launched a site for a municipality, which was a tough nut to crack, but I think we did it really well. Besides that, I also like some of the more quick ‘small scale’ sites I’ve done for companies like Honeytrap (film production) or my boyfriend, Jesper Palermo (photographer). The last site was made entirely in Webflow which was a lot of fun to try out.

Last but not least we did an e-commerce site for Planet Nusa, who makes sustainable sportswear for women, and I feel like the site turned out really neat. They’ll launch real soon, so I advise you to go check them out!

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What design challenges do you face at your company?

As an agency, Kontrapunkt is pretty blessed to be quite cross-disciplinary, meaning we do everything from strategy, to communication, to brand identity, digital, and activation. This gives us a lot of room to be a part of a project from start to beginning, but there will always be things that can go wrong. I think especially something like the activation of a digital delivery, whether it be the development or the content creation. Luckily, my new teammate is a creative tech wizard and will hopefully be able to help us reach our goal of creating just as pretty sites IRL as in Figma!

What music do you listen to whilst designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Embrace your insecurities, they make you a stronger designer. Insecurities prompt our desire to self-improve and that way pushes us forward, as where too much self-confidence at many times will make you settle for something mediocre. There’s nothing wrong with being a little self-critical, as long as it’s not extreme. 🙂

Anything you want to promote or plug?

I little while back, Kontrapunkt launched this cool website: https://futures.kontrapunkt.com/ and I advise everyone to go check it out! It uses storytelling to expand our imagination and encourages us all to discuss what kind of future we want to create.

Other than that, a little social media promotion has never hurt anyone, so find me on Instagram under @snildesille or @yeslikesicily. :-)