A conversation with Anna Fridh

An easygoing one-on-one with members at A house Ark

februari 20th 2023

Anna Fridh got her first jobs as an illustrator in 1999 for Dagens Nyheter, Vårdguiden and Nöjesguiden. The following year, she graduated from Konstfack and has since been working full-time as a freelance graphic designer, art director and illustrator. As Anna is currently a Work Club member here at A house Ark, we’ve asked her to share some insights she has gained throughout her extensive career.

What are your greatest learnings having worked in your field for 20+ years?

What I have learned is that jobs come and go. Last year was my best year so far with so many fun commissions, while I had a slow start in 2023 with fewer jobs. With circumstances like these, it is easy to get into catastrophic thoughts and have horrible performance anxiety. However, jobs have always gone up and down, I have to reassure myself that it doesn’t mean that I’ll never get any more jobs – which is usually my first thought. On the whole I need to handle the setbacks better. I talk a lot with other supportive freelancers which usually helps.

What is the collab of your dreams?

I would like to collaborate with a partner who has an idea to open a concept-store specialized in health, food and beverage. Alternatively a combined studio and shop with the same idea, but with designers who also sell their products on-site. To work conceptually with the graphic identity on something like that would be a dream.

Speaking of health, how have you ended up working with so many ventures focusing on mental health especially?

I am drawn towards heart-touching topics.

How do you take care of your own health and work life balance?

I enjoy working out at the gym – everything in my life benefits from it when I do it: I become more creative and less stressed. But I don’t always live what I preach.

Being a graphic designer, art director and illustrator, you’re a key person in the process of creating printed matter. What is your take on the future of printed media?

For me the focus is not in print or digital, it is more a focus on the needs of my clients’ customers and what the message is, using the necessary channels to reach the target-group. However, I love the rustle and smell of printed matter fresh off the printers. The feeling of the paper. I think something deeply rooted in us is activated, as we’re using all of our senses. I wonder if we’ll experience a counter-reaction to the digital abundance we’re seeing now. Maybe the digital will feel dull and outdated in a few years, and a backlash will occur where we want more of what is “real”? Either way, I still believe that all channels are needed, as it is the message that is important.

Which one of the A house principles speaks to you the most and why?

”Sharing problems not just solutions” fits me well. I love to really get into and analyze problems.

Anna Fridh’s website. Get in touch with her here.

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