Philip Cronerud
Creative Direction

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Philip Cronerud is a Swedish-born creative with over eight years of global brand experience, a combination of a strategy and design. He aims to match creativity and marketing, enjoys the difference in viewers and thrive when given the opportunity to form concepts from beginning to end. He attempts for honest, original and true communication by partnering with people and brands who he admires.

He currently work in Cupertino, California (2016–present) where he focuses on branding, campaign and packaging design. Prior moving to San Francisco, he worked at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam (2011–2015), Printed Pages, It’s Nice That (2013–2015). His design process starts with analyzing the application and setting basic parameters that define the characteristics with the aim to give clarity, concept, and meaning.

Philip founded MEDIUMEXTRABOLD® which started as an extension of his growing interest in typography. Commissioned to design alphabets in use for the Cobra Museum of Modern Art (NL), Coca-Cola (USA), Foam Magazine (NL), VOO Berlin (GER), Baster (NL), and Smörgåsbord (NL). He has been invited for workshops and lectures by educational institutions like the Rietveld Academie, Beckmans College of Design, and Werkplaats Typografie.

He’s had the privilege of working for fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Nike, Audi, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Electronic Arts and more. His work has been recognized by the D&AD, the Type Directors Club, EuroBest, Cannes Lions and proudly part of the archive of the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach for modern book production, typography, and type.

Collaborators include Anton Corbijn, Andrew Zuckerman, Bonsoir Paris, Chad Moore, Jason Nocito, Greg White, Bruno Drummond, Gemma Tickle, John Short, Osma Harvilahti, Maurizio Di Iorio, Jonathan Zawada, Marcel Christ, Qiu Yang, Letman and more.

Interview by Saga Järnefelt

Where did you grow up?
I’m from Västerås, Sweden. An industrial city famous for pickles and the river Svartån. During the winter the landscape truly turns black and white with glowing falu red houses. I grew up mostly programming, playing video games. I was pretty good and used to play tournaments. Eventually, I started creating my own graphics. I would design Winamp interfaces and websites in my spare time and it goes from there.

Are you from a creative family?
My grandfather was an entrepreneur, he grew up as an orphan and built a world around himself. He would design textiles and briefcases and the Swedish military commission him to rethink the duffle-bag. We had books around the house but there was not a direct appreciation of the arts. I recall the first time I ever went to a gallery, I was 19 and it had a big impression on my life.

When did you move to SF and how do you find living there?
I came here in 2016. Growing up with the internet, San Francisco felt unique. How this counterculture had come together to share and distribute information. As a city, it’s essential to find the right neighborhood, the right people, the right places. Do that and it’s a great city.

Are you active as a type-designer?
I’m less active now. It has been a natural evolution towards finding and guiding talented people. I’m interested in building brands and challenge realities.

Why did you set up a typefoundry?
I think it’s with typography that most graphic designers achieve a certain recognition. Through a particular typographic treatment. The foundry was a platform for me to express myself, it grew quickly and was an important experience. I had the chance to represent designers. Lots of great came from this adventure.

What ideas or themes are you drawn to as a designer?
I admire how the Dutch look on design as a prestigious commission, something to honor. I used to live in Amsterdam and was fortunate to spend time with Karel Martens and Armand Mevis who thought me to view the design in a more conceptual way and to work with restrictions. How design is forever the product of lots of restrictions that contribute to a search for freedom and openness that make it looser or more unpredictable. Get the details right from the start in case you lose interest later on.

What is your view on advertising?
Advertising could be made better if it tried to understand its audience. We learn to ignore ads, no matter how loud they shout. What we have is basically print and TV translated to the web. So the way to approach the problem is to start over from scratch to think what the goal of advertising is, and ask how to do that using the new ingredients technology gives us.

What inspires you?
Books! I’m not an obsessive collector, but I find my books taking up more and more shelf space. Rob Saunders who run the Letterform Archive influenced me to expand my collection of out of print publications and to focus on my research. Traveling, techno and a loose daily routine keeps me feeling inspired.
(C) 2018



Special thank you Joe Burrin, Anthony & Gabrielle, Bas Koopmans.