Can you tell me a little bit about your business Mint Station (where did it start, did you create it alone? )
I started Mint Station in late 2015 after working in the serious games industry for 2 years. I felt I needed more variation in my work. I wanted to do more print, not only digital work. Since I already had some clients coming in it was easier to step into the shoes of a freelancer. I am happy that I took that step even though it is not always easy to be self employed. I got the variety in my work that I had been wishing for and I am truly happy about that. One day I might be designing packaging labels for the food industry, and another creating a visual identity for a campaign or drawing colorful pictures like your new banner.
When did you come to Rotterdam? How do you find it being creative in this city?
I moved to Rotterdam 6,5 years ago. It was a time when I was finishing my study in Graphic design and I came here to do my last internship. The plan was to stick around 3 months and go back home to northern Finland. In the end, I ended up working as a junior visual designer in the serious games company here in Rotterdam for a couple of years.
I am from a fairly small city (Oulu), which I love, but does not have too much to offer what comes to events or cultural life in general. Coming to the Netherlands was quite an eye-opener. Rotterdam is full of life and creativity, even the architecture is fascinating. It is very inspirational to live in a city like this as a designer.
Can you tell me a little bit about the style of your work. It is easy to see your style across your work, what inspired that?
My style as a graphic designer is more minimal and Scandinavian. When it comes to illustration, I often go crazy with color. Colors are just something that brings me joy. I also enjoy playing with proportions and creating surreal settings.
Naturally, my roots in northern Finland influences and inspires my style. That combined with the inspiration from everyday life here in Rotterdam creates a nice little cocktail. I guess my style is a little bit like a nice fusion kitchen: a little bit of Finnish folklore mixed with the colors of Rotterdam.
What was your inspiration of the work you sent to WOR?
I wanted to combine the season with the rich event offering of Rotterdam. January is the time when you put your new year’s resolutions into action. You might try some new things, challenge yourself in new ways, or promise to melt those extra kilos you might have gained during the holiday season. Through WOR you can find the best events to enrich your January.
What have been your favourite projects to have worked on in the past, and what are your plans with Mint Station for the future, what should we watch out for?
Really difficult one. There are many of them. My favorite projects are often the ones where I have been able to combine graphic design and illustration in one way or another. If I think about last year, one of the nicest projects was to create a visual identity for a sponsored festival tent in the biggest music festival in northern Finland.
I also illustrated a Children’s book for a journalist/author Anouk Ama, who is from Rotterdam as well. And one a bit more unique project was to design a cover for a fire blanket and a matching card to go with it.
I am always in a search for new lovely clients, who I can help with their visual needs. When you work as a freelancer you never know what the future might have in store for you. But I wish I can keep on filling my portfolio with a variety of work: such as visual identity designs (events, campaigns, products/packaging), editorial illustrations or even experiment more in the pattern designs field for fabrics.
Check out Minna Viitalähde’s work at the website of Mint Station