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SNASK: Doing Things Differently

An interview with
Fredrik Öst & Erik Kockum


I’ve always liked to recommend to young designers is that you start your career working in a design agency before going freelance or starting your own design agency, that way you can see how things work and learn from others.

But the founders of SNASK have challenged that. Since the very beginning of their agency, which they started straight out of uni, they’ve set out to challenge the standard industry way of doing things, and have aimed to do things differently… to do it the SNASK way. In this interview Ian speaks to Fredrik Öst & Erik Kockum to discover how the agency SNASK started, and the journey taken to create a unique design agency.

This episode is sponsored by The Perfect Match, a game where designers submit mood boards created using Adobe Stock assets. If your skilful project is chosen, you will be featured on Adobe's monthly live streaming game show with other talented designers, art directors, and creatives, where the winner goes home with $1000!

Fredrik Öst & Erik Kockum Interview Transcription

Ian Paget: Something I'm keen to do with this, is create a little bit of a journey story for the listeners. So, I think probably the best starting point is, first of all, to mention SNASK, which is your agency. So I think we should talk a little bit about the origin story. I don't know how it all started, so can you guys share a little bit about how SNASK started out?

Fredrik Öst: Me and two other co-founders were studying in Caroline, north of England, for three years. And in second year at university, basically, we did our internships in New York and London.

And we decided to, we all wanted to start our own agency instead of getting employed. And people asked us like, "You need at least 10 years of experience to start your own agency." And then we thought, "Whose experience this that we're getting?" And we thought of, probably, old men's experience, where loads of it comes from. And then we felt like, "Then we might as well just do all the mistakes ourselves. And 10 year along the line, we will have found our own way and their own solutions to problems and ways."

That's basically how it started out. And that's where we are still. Almost 15 years later, we still make mistakes and we try and learn from them.

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