Who Is Eike König?

by Jessica Deseo on 02/27/2020 | 3 Minute Read

Who is Eike König?

Ask any designer about the type of work they had to do when they first started, and you’ll hear a lot about grunt work and coffee runs, or having the thankless job of creating logos for your Uncle’s plumbing business. It’s a very rare thing that someone starts working with a major agency or in-house for a global brand right off the bat. Likely because of all those Gladwellian hours you need to put in or all those dues you’re supposed to be paying.

Eike König has a similar story too. Today, he leads his team at Hort, the Berlin-based creative consultancy and design agency he founded, but before all that, he was designing flyers for techno shows and skateboard shops. Scattered throughout his time at university, he worked a few internships, and as luck would have it, one of them turned out to be the German techno record label Logic Records. Eventually, he would be asked to become the art director for the label, and he would leave school.

The job allowed him to experiment, and there was no one fixed style for their album covers—you could find collages and photos, or even something more typographic in nature. But, Eike wanted to strike out on his own, and in 1994 he started his own agency.

Editorial photograph

“Hort” translates to nursery, but it also has another meaning, similar to kindergarten, or a place you went to after school. For Eike, and this is the principle behind his studio, it was a safe space for the not-yet adults to come together and play with one another, a place to exchange ideas, play, and create together.

It’s that energy that informs all of their projects—that sense of play and freedom, the same independence that allowed him to try new things at Logic. Slowly but surely, Hort’s reputation began to grow, and more and more international clients started to flow in like Nike, Microsoft, Adobe, The New York Times, and Walt Disney. And, as if managing that kind of workload wasn’t enough, Eike also teaches graphic design.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

But it’s all part of a natural progression for Eike and his career. “In the beginning, I always thought, ‘Oh God, this is bad.,’” Eike said in an interview with Keenly a few years back. “But actually, I feel it all as something much bigger as a process, to evolve steadily, and not just to stick to something that I have created.”

Of course, if you really want to get to know Eike, join us at Dieline Conference located at HOW Design Live 2020 in Boston, where he’ll take the stage and give everyone a deep-dive into his work and design process.

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